Best U.S. Bargain Imports For 2022: Classic Land Rover Defender

Best U.S. Bargain Imports For 2022: Classic Land Rover Defender 9 photos
As we prepare for 2022, used car prices show no signs of dropping. Therefore, come along with us to find your next project on foreign soil. Because the U.S. has a 25-year ban on the age of imports, let’s look at these gems from 1997 that deserve a loving home.  
Defending your family and your estate is a worthwhile pursuit. A rising tide raises all ships, and since the Defender has been resurrected for the North American market, prices for classic examples are astronomical.

For the uninitiated, the Defender 90 is a rugged 4WD. A galvanized chassis and locking differentials won’t be found on any American contemporary, and the engine bay has ample room for modern power. The aftermarket has developed an obsession with resurrecting Land Rovers of all ages, so all you have to do is get it here.

Take a look at your retirement savings and then factor in the wild inflation everyone is experiencing. If you want to make a few dollars without gambling on the open market, here is what we recommend. This 1997 Land Rover Defender has been restored better than new. Autocasion lists that it has one-owner since new. What's more, you will have leather everywhere, a winch, and even a wood steering wheel. The 2.5-liter diesel is their venerable TD5 turbo. Many have been quick to drop in late-model power, but the TD5 offers great mileage on the highway. At current exchange rates, the price of €36,500 comes out to only $42,300.

Photo: ©


You will see them at boutique stores and swanky parties, but these rigs don’t have to be expensive. The going rate for decent Defenders is around $70,000, so you stand to make a few dollars. It is located near Barcelona, so it’s time for a weekend trip to Catalonia.

Why Spain? A few quick searches reveal that the U.S. imports a few billion dollars in turbines and industrial engines. Tossing a Land Rover onboard is less than $3,000, giving you ample room for profit. Now is the hard decision.

Flipping it would be a logical choice if you need cash fast. But since you won’t find one this affordable in the states, enjoy it while you can. Overlanding is the hottest segment of the aftermarket. Equipping your truck with camping accessories is a perfect way to practice social distancing, so its time to hit the trails.

Make everyone green with envy as you are able to conquer tough terrain without breaking the bank. A classic Defender can ford creeks and ponds with ease, and there are no complex electronics down near the waterline. Locking the center differential is your ticket to get lost, and you will have ample room for kids and cargo. The only items we would add are a tent/roof rack combo and new wheels.

What To Spend

The key to saving money is to find one already restored. This owner obviously spared no expenses in this build. With less than 87,000 miles, you could have a weekend toy and a nice investment simultaneously. Knowing a car’s history is worth more than any accessory, and that peace of mind is rarely found in classics.

Don’t believe us? Our friends at Arkonik start each Defender build at $145,000! The markup for doing paperwork and being patient has never been this steep. Sometimes its necessary to spend a little money to make a nice profit, so strike while the iron is hot. Put your money into something tangible while you can, and you will thank us in the long run! Stay with us for more fun automotive ideas.
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