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DEFENDER of the Realm

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Defender offroadYou can find little bits of Great Britain in even the furthest corners of the map; A Savile Row suit being worn with pride at a Business meeting in Germany, Rolls-Royce jet engines flyDefender group millions to their destination, and a good old Dyson vacuum cleaner waits patiently in many closets for those moments when a bowl of crisps becomes airborne at a casual get-together. However, there is something else that our little rock in the middle of the Atlantic has contributed. The Land Rover Defender.

Like a constant drumbeat playing through the noisy gauze of warzones, jungles, mountains and desert storms, Defender has become the byword for rough and tumble. These mobile monuments of British engineering are brutally simplistic, but ingenious in their execution. In the humbling humidity of a Turkish Summer, the Land Rover Defender once again proved its worth.

Whilst on holiday in Turkey a collection of friends and myself decided to take an ominously titled “safari tour.” We were greeted by a convoy of old open-top Defenders, all baring the scars of labour. Although I have a lot of love and respect of these warhorses, temperatures of 35 degrees plus in cars of this age led me to vision of radiators resembling geysers and a scorching wait out in the sun. I was so very wrong…

Defender hillOur route sent us down some roads, well I say roads but more disintegrating gravel trails, and up into the mountains. The Defender strolled through these rutted areas without complaint, likely yawning at how tame these seemingly huge craters in the road were. As we began to gain altitude the cars big old thumping heart showed no sign of asphyxiation, pulling just as strongly. The sight of the convoy kicking up dirt in formation evoked a strong sense of pride. Here we were in the middle of nowhere placing so much faith in these noble machines that have taken a beating all of their lives. Even when the road completely disappeared at points the Defenders never missed a beat, a clear example of why the model has hardly changed throughout its illustrious history. “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

I was truly impressed with the strong showing from our home-grown heroes.

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