American & English Heritage Collide: The Land Rover Defender NAS Series
Land Rovers are British products through and through, synonymous with excellence and the Crown itself. But when the company decided to bring one of its most iconic products, the Land Rover Defender, to the shores of the United States, it faced some unique challenges. These challenges led to the truck itself becoming overhauled to the point that it became a series of its own, and so the legendary Land Rover Defender NAS (North American Specification) was born.
When Land Rover sought to bring the Defender to the United States, many of the issues dealt with safety specifications. Not that the truck was unsafe, but simply that each country has such differing regulations that an extreme overhaul was required. The Land Rover overhaul began in 1993 with production of the first Defender NAS series, and ended in 1997 due to the company’s unwillingness to continue retrofitting each model year to keep up with changing laws.
The NAS Defenders on their own were exceptionally popular; the initial batch of 525 sold quickly, and continue to be some of the rarest, most sought-after versions of the truck in the world. This first line ran with a 3.9-liter, V8 engine and was a hit amongst luxury utility vehicle enthusiasts (and still is).
Every model year exclusively ran with manual transmissions until the final 1997 production, which finally brought automatic capabilities to the truck. Due to a change in USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) regulations, in 1997, Land Rover ended the infamous production run, and the Defender NAS Series fell into the hands of enthusiasts and truck modifiers.
To own a rare Land Rover Defender NAS is to own a piece of automotive history; and to make these over 20-year -old trucks into modern luxury machines is a work of art.
At East Coast Defender, we have been working with all models of Land Rover Defenders for decades, the NAS series being one of our favorites in particular. With ultra-unique specifications, and an origin story suited for a superhero, these trucks are some of the most fun to modify. NAS Defenders were built with great innovation, and it’s a tradition we take very seriously. To learn more about the ways we are protecting the history of the Defender NAS, as well as other Defenders in general, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.