The SUV was designed to fit the specification of Smith’s needs. The one-of-a-kind Defender features 27 different colors on the exterior panels, all of which were historically seen on Defenders used by the British Armed forces. With guidance from Smith, Land Rover used a mixed of leather and fabric for the seats. The vehicle also features hand-finished artwork.
The English designer said, “The Defender is a British icon, which is something I’m exceptionally proud of.”
Gerry McGovern, Design Director and Chief Creative Officer of Land Rover, adds, “I felt it would be a fitting tribute to the iconic Defender, that one of Britain’s most distinguished designers worked with the Land Rover team to recognize his creative vision.”
While the Defender has many of Smith’s special touches, it also maintains its traditional features.
The Defender debuted in 1948. According to Telegraph Luxury, the first Defender was allegedly sketched in the sands of Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey by its designer Maurice Wilks. McGovern. The original Defender was built on a WWII Jeep chassis and had a strong center steering wheel. However, both features were missing when the vehicle officially debuted.
Earlier this year, the British automobile company announced it will bid a farewell to the 67-year-old SUV. Production will conclude in December. However, the company will introduce a new model in 2016.
Land Rover will be celebrating the Defender all year long. Recently, Land Rover debuted an innovative visitor attraction tour that featured an authentic replica of the original production line used to create the SUV in 1948. The tour, which is open to the public, is located in Solihull in the U.K. It displays replica models in various stages of production, each one built using identical parts and in precisely the same way as the original Series I.
Remember the Defender by watching the video below.
(Photos via Sir Paul Smith)