The original production run of the Land Rover Defender officially wrapped up in 2016 — but Defenders don’t die easy. The company then went on to release a limited series of 70th Anniversary V8 Defenders selling for more than $200,000. It was, perhaps, the best Defender ever made; trouble was, we couldn’t buy them in the United States.
Now, South Carolina Defender builders Himalaya has stepped into the breach with the next best (or perhaps even-better) thing with their newest build: a 70th-anniversary Defender tribute. It takes the classic style of the 70th Anniversary edition but adds substantial performance modifications.
This Defender 90 receives the classic engine swap for these boxy Landies: replacing the stock motor with GM’s bulletproof LS3 V8 engine, routed through a six-speed automatic. Per Himalaya, the setup produces 525 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque. Himalaya also gives the Defender a lowered, sport-tuned suspension (seriously) for better handling. Other updates include Fox shocks, a more robust roll cage and front and rear skid plates. Himalaya also provides some modern touches, like a touchscreen with Bluetooth, USB and HDMI connections, heated seats, and heat-reducing window tints.
Himalaya did not give a price for this build — though given past builds we’ve tested, expect a price tag significantly north of $100,000. And if you like the idea of this but want something a little bigger, Himalaya’s equally exquisite Crew Cab pickup is still for sale.
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