Land Rover: Apocalypse

Today the last Defender rolls off the line at Solihull

There’s not a lot that can be said.

No one wants it to go. Especially not the people who make it, produce it, design it, engineer it and sell it.

The discontinuation of the classic Land Rover, which since 1990 has been the name for the basic, stripped-down, analogue hero of the British motor industry is a victim of emissions and safety regulations that apparently make this classic piece of utilitarian engineering obsolete.

Emissions we can understand. But are we losing the Defender because of its lack of airbags?

Is this the price of regulation?

We’ve been thinking for a long time that it won’t be long until the motoring industry, like the motorbike scene around us, will turn back to analogue.

Sooner or later the big manufacturers will realise that people are sick of their cars being more like electronic appliances than machines encoded with human passion. How long can it be until, say, Honda or Mercedes issue a simple car with a chassis, an engine and running gear that links metal to metal rather than circuit to circuit.

Surely in the 21st-century, mechanical productions can be made safe enough and green enough to survive?

Rest In Peace Land Rover Defender. You will be sorely missed.

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