Defender on the island

1997 was the last year Land Rover Defenders were made for the Japanese and North American markets due to the increasingly heavy-handed safety regulations being introduced. It was also the only year that an automatic transmission was offered. The JAS and NAS are almost identical, even to the point of being left-hand-drive, powered by the rover 4.0L V8 petrol used in the earlier Range Rovers, the same tubular front bush/bull bar and rear bumper/step/receiver added to the rear cross member, and an external/internal roll cage over the front seats. Two visible differences are the speedometer in km/h rather than mph, and the amber sidelights are farther back and smaller on the Japanese model (though here almost always found replaced with North American size, as in this case).

Daisy (#594) is a 1997 Japan Specification Land Rover Defender 90 that was made for the Japanese market, spent most of its life near Osaka driven and cared for by a Japanese woman, and is largely original and in reasonable shape for a 27-year-old vehicle. The proportions of the short wheel base 90 (~92″) are quite cute and almost toy-like, especially sitting on larger tires.

Defenders run full-time 4WD with high/low ranges, have coil springs and a sturdy steel ladder frame, aluminum bodies, and despite some “modernization” retain the spartan utility nature of the Series rovers. This 90 variant in Arctic White has classic Rover steel wheels with slightly up-sized tires, two doors with folding steps in the front, seats two up front, has four single jump seats in the back, a hardtop with sunroof, upper alpine windows and sliding side windows, and a safari door in the back.

See more posts related to Daisy’s journey, restoration, and adventures