1991 Land Rover Defender 110 Pickup
1991 Land Rover Defender 110 Pickup
Manufactured: Solihull, England
Imported: Puertollano, Spain
Engine: 200Tdi 2.5L Turbo Diesel
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
As the leaves started to turn and drop here in Virginia, finding the right backdrop for a freshly painted Defender pickup was almost too easy. Pull off on the side of any road out this way and you’re surrounded by an active, and constantly changing mural full of color. I was driving west of town a few weeks ago as I passed Delaplane Cellars high up on Lost Mountain and thought, “bingo.”
We found this 1991 Land Rover Defender 110 pickup back in February in Puertollano, Spain. It’s a town of about 50,000 people situated about three hours south of Madrid; a nice dry climate for Land Rover hunting. What caught our attention first was the odometer: The dusty and dirty exterior had traveled just shy of 90,000 kilometers from new, or about 55,000 miles. Our big question was: How? How is that possible? A pickup is utilitarian. It’s an investment; normally something bought and used on a farm. How would something like that come to be bought and hardly used?
The owner explained it had been used by the Real Federación Española de Caza, or the Royal Spanish Hunting Federation. Used regularly, but only to help with the hunt, the truck just didn’t see tremendous miles over the years. For us then, it was perfect: We spent the Spring and Summer having the truck’s paint and bodywork brought back to life, as well as giving the drivetrain a nice overhaul to make sure it was ready for use back here in the States.
Tempting though it was to photograph the truck with shotguns resting on the tailgate, the allure of Delaplane Cellar’s rolling hillside was too much to resist. Jim and Betsy Dolphin built and have run Delaplane Cellars since buying the land in Virginia’s beautiful Crooked Run Valley back in 2007. Their beautiful white tasting room is a testament to their philosophy and goal with the winery: Produce excellent wine, as simply as possible, using only Virginia-grown grapes. Like the tasting room itself, the ‘simple’ approach produces a complex, highly-regarded, and beautiful Virginia wine. While we weren’t pouring tastings at the crack of dawn on a Thursday (next time, maybe), we were able to take in and appreciate the stunning view from their tasting room deck.
If you’re in the area, we highly encourage you to stop by the vineyard and taste for yourself. If you come soon, the palate of color stretching as far as you can see will be a welcome reward for your visit. If not, no matter. Delaplane Cellars sits high enough on Lost Mountain that the trees seem to rest like a blanket over the rolling terrain. Wine, scenery, or a Defender. Pick one or all three. Your call. Just make sure not rush it. There’s too much to enjoy out there.
Driveline. Truck has its stock 200Tdi four-cylinder turbo diesel, mated to an LT77 5-speed manual transmission. Truck has about 55,000 miles on it from new. Restorative work performed over the summer includes a new timing belt, tensioner, and water pump, as well as new brakes, and fresh brake fluid, coolant, and engine oil. Truck starts easily and shifts beautifully through all five gears. Clutch and brakes are both strong. Note on mileage: We replaced all the gauges and added a VDO tachometer as a part of our restorative work, wanting the dash cluster to look as fresh as the rest of the truck. At this time we replaced the KPH speedometer with a MPH speedometer more appropriate for the U.S. The KPH speedometer will convey with the truck, but as the new odometer was set at “0” the truck will convey with a clear title, but with ‘mileage in excess of mechanical limits’ annotated on the title.
Exterior. The Defender has a fresh coat of its factory white paint on the body and wheels, over a fresh set of 5x European-spec Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires in 235/85/16. Black bed rails and trim pieces offset the white nicely. Bulkhead, floors, rear cross member, chassis, and all common rust-prone areas are dry and rust-free.
Interior. The Defender still has its original tweed fabric seats, and is configured to seat two. The center seat has been removed in exchange for a cubby box with cupholders. Lots of the dash has been replaced with new parts, to include the lower dash, dash cap, and finisher. Truck has a new MPH speedometer, water temperature gauge, and fuel gauge. We also added a VDO tachometer, the Defender not being offered with a tachometer from the factory. From there, it’s just a pickup. Head down to Tractor Supply and see if you turn any heads. There probably won’t be another one like it in the lot.
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