Last November, Arthur Goddard gave his nod to the Defender 2,000,000 on a visit back from Australia to the Solihull manufacturing facility in the UK. This facility is where headed the engineering team to produce the Defender, which now regarded as an icon in the automobile world.
The two-millionth Defender to be produced was recently auctioned at Bonhams in London and fetched a record £400,000, sold to a bidder from Qatar. The proceeds have been donated to the brand’s humanitarian and conservation partners – the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation.
On his inspection of the Defender 2,000,000 during his tour of the production line, Goddard, now aged 94, commented: “You’ve got to be pleased with the Defender of today. It’s hardly changed since day one with its big fancy chassis and simple body shape. And it still keeps out the wind and rain!” It was back in post-war Britain when Goddard and his team succeeded in engineering the Land Rover in just a matter of months. During that time, steel was so scarce so the team designed a Birmabright aluminium body around a steel box-section chassis. This allowed them to mould the metal into shape at the factory and remove the need for expensive and labour-extensive tooling and press work. “We all thought we were doing something special here. It was all about function over form as we had the farmer and the agricultural community in mind but it very quickly exceeded those expectations. We were surprised when people started using it to take the children to school and do the weekly shop!” Goddard recalls.
If you own a Defender, this is a reminder of the great legacy of your car. Make sure it stays in tip-top shape by letting Roverworks take care of its maintenance. Call (02) 6241 8777 for the best Land Rover repair in Canberra.