Land Rover Defender Blog

The Number of Classic Land Rovers is Dwindling

Due to a variety of reasons, the numbers of classic Land Rovers are decreasing. Find out the whole story here.

Heather Gribbin

Heather Gribbin

February 14, 2018

Heather loves Land Rovers and spending time in the great outdoors.


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Classic Land Rovers - a collection of iconic vehicles, part of the history of the 4x4 and loved by so many. They have been around for decades, and it would be hard to imagine a world without them. But something worrying is happening, something shocking to fans of classic Land Rovers. They are slowly disappearing. So just how many remain on UK roads? What is behind this reduction in numbers, and can anything be done to stop it?

Dwindling - by how much?

Talk to any Landy lover and they will be saddened to hear of the decrease in numbers still on the road. But the figures speak for themselves. In 1994 there were 5,371 Land Rover 110s knocking about (including 4 cyl, County Diesel Turbo, Hi-Cap Diesel and Petrol, SW, V8 County, Hicap, SW). As of January 11th, 2018, only 1,274 remain. So in 24 years over 4,000 110's have disappeared. With so many collectors, restorers and supporters of these classics out there, what is causing this trend?

Where Have All the Classics Gone?

It would be great news for restorers if all the missing vehicles were laying in barns somewhere. An endless supply of classics to retrieve, lovingly bring back to life and return to the roads. Unfortunately, though, the answer is not quite so simple.

As with any car, certain inevitabilities occur. Crashes are bound to happen, and, if serious enough, result in write-offs. Some owners decide to SORN their vehicle, perhaps due to the cost of needed repairs. And as we are only too well aware, when it comes to any Land Rover, but particularly classics, those repair costs are seldom small.

The same goes for insurance, for some motorists the price is just too high and not wanting to part with their beloved oldy, they take the cheapest option of declaring the vehicle off the road.

Another growing trend is exporting Land Rovers. Demand for older models is high in many countries, especially in the US as it is legal to import a vehicle over 25 years old. So owners in the UK looking to make a considerable profit from their classic are increasingly reaching out to overseas bidders.

Perhaps one of the saddest reasons for the decline in numbers is classics that are broken for parts. Essential as some claim it to be, it seems tragic that these vintage motors are pulled to bits and sold off piece by piece. To us, their value as a complete original is priceless.

Preserving What Remains

With numbers undeniably dropping, what can be done to protect those still with us? Sadly, very little.

Some vehicles are lucky enough to be in the hands of ones who value them, and who ultimately can afford to maintain and run them. For others though, their days may well be numbered. So if you are the privileged owner of one of the UK's remaining classic Land Rovers, treasure what you have. And remember, they are getting rarer every day.



1 Comment

  1. BrenLiew says:

    Most here in Malaysia, are in barns left to rot but are still legal to register for on road use. As the article suggests, parts are expensive, and in Malaysia parts are extremely difficult to find, moreover importing them from the UK will incur in expensive import duties and shipping fees. Restorers here usually will gut the engine for Japanese engines as they are cheaper and readily available, and those who can afford are not many. It is sad to see these classics slowly disappear.

    I drive a 110 hcpu pickup 2.4 puma as a daily. Love it to bits.

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