There were times when Lend Rovers were mostly viewed as a reliable means of transportation for British farmers. These 4×4 pickup trucks were perfect for muddy roads in the countryside, but in 1990, Land Rover decided to shrug off this image and aim at younger off-road enthusiasts introducing the Land Rover Defender to the market.
It is based on the rugged steel ladder chassis with an aluminum-alloy body, which makes it a perfect base for an overland modification project. You just drill the panel and bolt-on whatever accessory you like without worrying about corrosion.
The car has a very militaristic feel to it with a high commanding driving position and minimalist, somewhat utilitarian interior style. Even the stock suspension is tough enough to negotiate its way through the bumpiest trails without any problems. This lifted 2006 Land Rover Defender 90 rolling on steelies wrapped in all-terrain tires is owned by Loo Yong Ping from Singapore. As a long-time Land Rover fan and creative director at the advertising agency, he had a very good idea of how to make this vehicle safer, more comfortable, and even handsome-looking in the Malaysian rainforest scenery.
“Even the stock suspension is tough enough to negotiate its way through the bumpiest trails without any problems”
How did you become interested in off-roading?
– Almost 15 years ago, I was exploring parts of Singapore with my cousin in my Defender and we drove past a bunch of Land Rover owners who were gathered in the bushes in the dark about to head into the forest for some off-roading. They honked, we waved, we became friends and the rest is history!
Why did you choose this particular model for your project?
– The Land Rover Defender has always been the 4×4 poster child and is the perfect base model in my opinion to create a capable overland/off-roading rig.
What inspired you to choose this modification style?
– I wanted a vehicle to have the perfect balance of form and function as a daily drive, hence it needed a balance of creature comforts with safety, off-roading capabilities, and protection for those trips where it gets a bit more hardcore. Safety is a big priority for me and my wife, hence the installation of a roll cage, more so now that we have a little daughter who we do plan to bring with us on our adventures.
What challenges did you face while putting it together?
– The law, local transport authorities have little patience when it comes to vehicle modifications, so the mods we do to our vehicles have to be within the confines of the law and/or only added on before we go for planned adventures.
What do you love about your vehicle?
– From the way it looks – the camouflage, stance, long list of accessories, to the way it drives – high torque, great driving position, height above regular traffic, sound system in the car. I love everything about it, it’s an extension of me as a person.
Is it your daily or a weekend ride?
– It is my daily driver.
Do you take it off-road? If so, where and how often?
– Malaysia and Thailand. Before COVID19, we would try to do big trips every quarter with the Land Rover Owners Singapore (LROS) fam.
SPECS – 2006 Land ROver Defender 90
– Land Rover Defender Td5 2.5L, five-cylinder in-line turbodiesel engine
– Stage 2 tuned with a VNT Turbo
– Updated intercooler
– Straight through exhaust
– EGR delete and silicon hoses.
Lift height and suspension
– 2″ Terrafirma heavy-duty lift kit
– Old Man Emu heavy duty rear shocks
– 285/75/16 BFGoodrich AT KO2 tires on steel rims
– Safety Devices external/internal roll cage
– Mantec Spare wheel carrier, Sidestep
– First Four steering guard
– First Four fuel tank guard
– Terrafirma Diff guard
– Terrafirma Tubular winch bumper + WARN Winch
– 55″ Roof-mounted LED Lightbar
– Famous Four Full-length Side Protection Body Sliders
– 2 x LED spotlight
– 2 x LED floodlights
– 4 x Window Guards
– 2 x MudStuff UK LED side spotlights
– 2 x MudStuff UK LED rear spotlights
– Full bonnet chequered plating protection
– Full roof and floor soundproofing
– 2 x SSCUS Leather racing seats
– MOMO Steering wheel
– Red Seat Belts
– Terrafirma Roof Console with custom switchboard + CB radio
– Alcantara roof lining
– Raptor Engineering Dashboard
– ExmoorTrim rear folding seats
– Custom molle organizer on the rear door
What are your future plans for this vehicle?
– I think I might add a pair of gullwing side windows with folding guards, roof rack, and maybe upgrade my suspension and tires to a 35″ set of BFGoodrich tires.
– Land Rovers do not have a reputation for being 100% reliable, having owned a Defender for more than a decade you get to learn the idiosyncrasies which come with a Defender and learn to live with it. I just hope it doesn’t break down at crucial moments. Life is an adventure after all and it helps to have an understanding wife, who “understands” when the vehicle needs to be in the workshop!
Watch the progress and find out more about this Land Rover Defender 90 project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @cowinhumansclothing!
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Automotive journalist and technical writer at Offroadium.com with more than 10 years of experience in the sphere of aftermarket parts and 4×4 vehicle modifications. Passionate about off-roading, outdoor adventures, and an active lifestyle.