1988 Land Rover Defender 110


• Stunning nut-and-bolt restoration by Riverhouse in the Netherlands


• Freshly rebuilt 3.5L V8 with modernized A/C


• Former Algerian military vehicle, extremely dry with a believed original 78k kilometers 


Delivered new to Algeria for use as a military patrol vehicle, this 110 served through the '90s before arriving in civilian hands on the island of Corsica. Well-maintained and benefitting from its early life in a dry desert climate it was sourced by Riverhouse in 2015 as an excellent candidate for further restoration and upgrades. As a unique left hand drive gas V8 example with factory A/C it is a very different spec from most former military trucks and perfectly suited to a new life cruising the beaches of the Hamptons or Nantucket. 

In early 2016 we commissioned a full restoration and transformation of the truck at Riverhouse, with the goal of creating the ultimate "beach cruiser." As a three-door 110 the truck provides a perfect basis for a full soft-top conversion and we enhanced the spec by ordering split front doors with removable windows/frames and a custom swinging rear half-door for ease of use. The truck can be opened to "troop carrier" style in seconds by unzipping the soft top windows and removing the door uppers, or can be driven entirely open by folding down the windshield and removing the top frame (an easy job with two wrenches and a beer).

From the beginning the truck proved to be an excellent candidate for this project. The restoration was a true body-off affair, and as it came apart a beautifully solid ladder frame presented itself. Stripped and powdercoated, it is now ready for many more years of adventurous off-road endeavors. The aluminum body was also found to be very nice, and now with a fresh coat of Land Rover's famous Arles Blue (LRC424) it is one of the most stunning Defenders out there. For a little additional flair we opted to add gloss black diamondplate hood panels on the front (makes an excellent stand for poaching the elusive White Rhino) and matching gloss black fascia panels/grille as well. Finally, to give it a little extra ground clearance and even more presence, the truck received a lift/Britpart suspension kit and a gorgeous set of Wolf steel wheels wearing new off-road tires. 

Inside, the goal was to create an equally-beautiful spec but one that wouldn't suffer from long days on the trails or the beach. The truck's floors all wear new rubber mats and are painted to match, offering the crucial "hose-down" ability that outdoor pursuits demand. Eight custom seats, trimmed in durable yet soft vinyl with contrast diamond stitching, are the focal point, with the six jump seats in the rear all equipped with seatbelts and convenient latches to hold them closed when carrying cargo. Up front, the bulkhead was cut down, creating a more inviting interior and one that is easier for taller folk to live with. A matching center console with a storage cubby and cupholders replaces the original 9th seat, while a new dash houses the A/C vents and a twin-USB charging port. 

Unlike most ROW trucks, this Defender features the gas 3.5L Rover V8 paired with an LT77 5-speed gearbox. Quieter and more refined than the diesel options, it is a great engine for any soft-top Defender. Fully rebuilt along with both carbs at the end of 2017 it has seen only a few hundred break-in miles since. While not a fast vehicle, it will happily cruise along at 65/70 or handle stop-and-go traffic on the way to July 4th weekend plans. In addition to the engine work, Riverhouse completely restored the truck's original A/C system to accept modern R134a and it is a revelation on muggy summer days. Simply zip the soft top closed and the Landie transforms from troop carrier to a climate-controlled cabana. 

Simply put, this truck was a dream build, and it will continue to drop jaws and scare small children wherever it roams. It's located here at the showroom in NY, fully imported and ready for registration (we can help on that front, get in touch for specifics). Call (914) 402 5799 or email Ben at info@midcenturymotoring.com for more information.