Land Rover Defender Blog

The Best Land Rover, Land Rover Ever Made

It's often said that Land Rovers are great big meccano sets. The simple construction means that anyone can knock out a "special edition" or a challenge Defender, but it takes some real know how to make something truly special.

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

September 17, 2014

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year


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We think that Land Rover (under the Jaguar - Rover Australia branch), produced the best ever Land Rover Defender and it was back in the 80's, before it even became known as the Defender. Meet the Perentie.

Reason 1: It's name


The Perentie's namesake is a yellow / brown lizard that thrives in the arid desert areas of Australia. The Perentie can grow up to 2.5m. The name is fitting, considering the next reason that this is the best Land Rover ever made

Reason 2: 6WD


Land Rover made 2500 standard 4x4 Perenties. But they also produced 400 of this goliath 6x6 option. In all, around $130,000,000 exchanged hands. This was a proper 6 wheel drive vehicle, with the 3rd axle working off the power take off transfer box. The PTO takes power from an intermediary shaft, that matches the speed of the 1st and 2nd props, so regardless of direction or hi/lo gearbox selection, everything works perfectly. Because the middle axle would be in the way of a traditional propshaft, the 3rd axle has a CV joint to bypass this. It's engineering at it's finest.

Reason 3: Engine


At the time of the Perentie development, Land Rovers had naturally aspirated diesel engines (a little underpowered) or you could purchase a V8. Land Rover fitted a 3.9 cylinder, 4 pot turbo diesel to the Perentie, made by Izuzu. Power!

Reason 4: Competition


The army is a detail orientated customer. They spend large sums of money and time testing and proofing potential replacement vehicles. The brief they hand over to the manufacturers is exacting. The prototypes built by Land Rover and then tested by the army were in direction competition with:

  • The Jeep AM10
  • The Mercedes 300GD
  • The Unimog
  • The Land Cruiser

Each one were weighed and ultimately found wanting against this beast.

Reason 5: Body & Cab

Copyright Carlo Kopp

The army specified that the Perentie had to have a wider and taller body and cab. The windscreen is reminiscent of a Santana or Iveco Land Rover licensed derivative, but offers a less restricted view. As always the Defender ladder chassis arrangement allows fitting of just about anything behind the cab - from crew transporter to special forces rapid deployment equipment.

Reason 6: Upgrades


Just about everything on this truck is upgraded. The chassis is galvanised, the brakes have wear sensors and a dual master cylinder, as well as discs up front. The 4 speed LT95A gearbox was used, with longer top gears than standard, civilian vehicles.

The Perentie had a Salisbury rear axle, and upfront the axle was re-enforced. The whole vehicle could be slung below a helicopter.

4X4 Variants

  1. Truck, Utility, Lightweight, MC2 (Mobility Category 2) (1222 Vehicles)
  2. Truck, Utility, Lightweight, Winch, MC2 (314 Vehicles)
  3. Truck, Utility, Lightweight, FFR (Fitted For Radio), MC2 (964 Vehicles)
  4. Truck, Utility, Lightweight, FFR, Winch, MC2 (208 Vehicles)
  5. Truck, Panel, Lightweight, Survey, FFR, Winch, MC2 (35 Vehicles)
  6. Truck, Carryall, Lightweight, Senior Commander, FFR, Winch, MC2 (11 Vehicles)
  7. Truck, Carryall, Lightweight, Personnel Carrier, MC2 (38 Vehicles)
  8. Truck, Surveillance, Lightweight, Winch, MC2 (RFSV) (231 Vehicles)

6X6 Variants

  1. Truck, Cargo, Light, MC2 (215 Vehicles)
  2. Truck, Cargo, Light, Winch, MC2 (32 Vehicles)
  3. Truck, Ambulance, 4 Litter, FFR, Winch, MC2 (94 Vehicles)
  4. Truck, General Maintenance, Light, Winch, MC2 (GMV) (181 Vehicles)
  5. Truck, Electronic Repair, Light, MC2 (ERV) (40 Vehicles) and Truck, Comsec Repair Workshop Vehicle, Light, MC2 (12 Vehicles)
  6. Truck, Long Range Patrol, Light, Winch, MC2 (LRPV) (27 Vehicles)
  7. Truck, Air Defence, Light, FFR, Winch, MC2 (72 Vehicles)
  8. Truck, Crew Cab, Light, Winch, MC2 (26 Vehicles)

Related items for sale on eBay

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Do you agree? Is this the best Land Rover ever made? 


  1. Robert Pate says:

    YES, I own one of the 32 cargo with winch, best thing ever, brought with 11.300 ks
    Now traverlin Oz with a 22ft van n boat n all the gear I ever Wanted..
    Love it. All at 20 lts 2 the 100 ..
    Bob n Bev

  2. Bruce says:

    I got one of the 35 survey types, fitted power steering and now a turbo, just love it

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