When it comes to rare vehicles, the NAS Defender certainly is one for those looking to buy a Defender here in the United States. While you may find a refurbished Defender that has been imported, it’s far more difficult to find the edition of the Defender that was made for the U.S., the North American Spec (NAS).
The Defender is a utility vehicle that was pretty widely sold in most other areas of the world, except North America and a few other locations. In fact, they didn’t stop production in its original home in the U.K. until a few years ago. The British vehicle’s production run started in the 1980s by Land Rover as competition with other utility vehicles, like Jeep, and was modified until it took its final form in the late 80s and early 90s.
While Land Rover had started selling its Range Rover vehicles in the U.S., this would be the first utility vehicle the company brought to North America. The regulations and requirements for this style of vehicle were vastly different here in North America, and that meant Land Rover had to produce a batch of Defenders that were specifically built to meet these regulations, hence the North American Spec. So starting in 1993, Land Rover produced a limited quantity of these vehicles to be shipped to both the U.S. and Canada with features that included the 3.9L Rover V8 engine, full external and internal roll cages, brush guards, roof racks with baskets, safety lights, and fully functioning air conditioning.
The original run of the vehicles were all the same color (white) and included mostly the D110. From 1994 to 1995, the majority of the NAS Defenders produced for the U.S. were a soft-top version that later featured a removable fiberglass top instead. The standard colors were Conniston Green, Portifino Red, Arles Blue, Beluga Black, Alpine White, and AA yellow, and each NAS vehicle is supposed to be stamped with their production number, which is how most NAS Defenders are identified.
After disappointment over cracking and failing fiberglass tops, Land Rover decided to produce a run of the NAS D90s with hardtops. As regulations continued, the NAS Defenders sold well from 1994 to 1996, but hints of the end of production began in 1996. Finally, in 1997, Land Rover produced 300 final NAS Willow Green Defenders as the final hurrah for Defender production for the U.S (1997 NAS Defender 90 LE Station Wagon). There were a few other special editions with collaborations and limited edition NAS Defenders, but in 1998 U.S. regulations introduced airbag and side-impact door requirements, which Land Rover couldn’t add to the Defender without major modifications.
Ultimately, around 7,059 of the NAS Defenders made their way through the U.S. and are still extremely rare. You can now buy one from hunting around online or start here at E.C.D. where we will source the vehicle for you and transform it into your dream Land Rover Defender. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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