“His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time. Through his interpreter, the crown prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.”—Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, recounting the time Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II scared the crap out of Saudi Arabia's then soon-to-be King Abdullah.
In honor of QEII's evident badass-ness behind the wheel of a Land Rover, here's a look at the very best classic Defenders on eBay Motors this week.
1961 Series II Diesel
According to the seller, this one's all original—down to the electronics. If you know anything about old English electronics, or rather, how not great they generally were, you know just how astonishing this is. If you want the most pure Land Rover experience there is, this is probably your best bet. [More pics...]
1987 Ex British Army D90 Diesel
After spending nearly its entire life in the British military, this Defender made its way Stateside last year via a Florida importer. It's about as bare bones as you can possibly get, right down to the five speed manual transmission. Check out the interior pics if you want to see what a truly utilitarian vehicle is. [More pics...]
Corvette-Powered Overfinch Defender
At some point, an owner of great intelligence decided to take his or her Defender to one of Britain's top Land Rover improvement companies, who proceeded to beef up the suspension, add a bit more luxe to the interior, and drop a 5.7L V8 out of a Corvette into the engine bay. Simply put, it's a brilliant vehicle. [More pics...]
1988 Defender 110
Exactly how little has the Defender changed over the last 30 years? Unless you're seriously into the Land Rover scene, at first blush you'd never guess this one rolled off the assembly line 27 years ago. It underwent a thorough restoration two years ago, has a Rover V8 under the hood, and some of the nicest bench seating you'll ever see. As a bonus, that cargo rack on top is actually a load-bearing structure. [More pics...]
1989 D90 Diesel
Another Defender that was brought Stateside well after it was born, this one earned its nickname—"The Brute"—by the owner's continuous off-road use. It sits two inches higher than stock, and has all sorts of goodies like skid plates to prevent rocks of unusual size from damaging The Brute's vital organs. The exterior shows the battle scars, so there's no need to worry about minor boulders dinging the doors. [More pics...]
1985 D110 Convertible
Untold thousands went into building the perfect old-school cruiser here. The new paint's great, you can fit up to nine people in the open-air back, and there's even an aftermarket HUD installed. Though if you're going fast enough off road to need to check your speed, you shouldn't have time to check your speed. And, all the electronic wiring has been upgraded. [More pics...]
1983 D110 Soft Top with Discovery Drivetrain
If you've ever wondered what would happen if you blended the much newer drivetrain of a Discovery with the ruggedness of the Defender, and added some modern tech on top, here's your answer. A 1997 Discovery was the donor for the engine and transmission swap. The soft top sits on top of an all new roll bar, which might come in handy given the rest of the off-roading improvements at play here. The stereo's been replaced with a modern unit, with everything from nav and a rear view camera, to marine-grade speakers, if you feel like playing in the mud. [More pics...]