Land Rover’s Islay Edition Defender Works V8: Rare Elegance on Wheels

Exquisite heritage meets modern performance

There's a poetry to this machine, a rugged testament to the marriage of form and function. The Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is not just a vehicle; it's a story, a heritage, a living, breathing artifact that thrums with the heartbeat of its Hebridean roots.

Drawing from the legacy of the 1965 Series IIa, this special edition Land Rover echoes the pioneering spirit of one of its progenitors, Spencer Wilks. The very idea of this machine conjures up images of the Scottish Isle of Islay, of windswept moors and the tang of sea spray, of the simple, hardy beauty that birthed the Land Rover name.

Only 30 of these unique beasts will roam the earth, each a painstakingly restored and rebuilt Classic Defender, expertly sourced and lovingly re-crafted by Land Rover Classic specialists. A select few, indeed, will have the privilege of gripping the wheel of this majestic machine.

The exterior, a nod to the Mid Grey of its predecessor, is rendered in Heritage Grey, with a contrast roof and rugged steel wheels in Limestone. The details whisper of history and continuity: the iconic grille, the heritage Land Rover badging, the bespoke side graphic – ‘GXC 639C', the registration of Wilks’ Series IIa.

Within, every surface tells a story. The tactile tweed of the seats, door cards, central armrest, and sun visor is an homage to the land itself, with an earthy palette mirroring the blues of sea and sky, the purples of local heather, and a subtle yellow, a nod to the peaty grasslands of Islay.

The interior is adorned with reminders of Land Rover’s legacy, including a plaque adjacent to the gearshift, telling the tale of the birth of the Land Rover name. The connection to Islay is strengthened by the removable console tray, which features the oak of whisky barrels from the local Kilchoman Distillery. Each tray harbours a wooden disc replicating a whisky barrel end, marking the vehicle as one of the rare 30 limited edition examples.

Underneath the bonnet, the Islay Edition packs a mighty punch with a 5.0 litre petrol V8 engine and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, offering 405hp and 515Nm of torque. With 16-inch steel wheels outfitted with mud-terrain tyres, and upgraded brakes, suspension, and handling kit, it promises to deliver a ride as smooth as the finest Scotch whisky.

This is more than a car. It's a physical embodiment of a legacy, a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit, and a nod to our desire to explore, to conquer, to endure. It's a beautifully rendered tribute to the past, while simultaneously embracing the future with open arms. A classic reborn, indeed.


  1. Exclusivity and Rarity: The Land Rover Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is an extremely exclusive vehicle, with only 30 examples available. This rarity adds to its desirability and collector's appeal.
  2. Historical Significance and Heritage: The Islay Edition pays homage to the Land Rover's origins and the Isle of Islay, providing a connection to its rich history and heritage.
  3. Meticulous Restoration and Expert Craftsmanship: Each Islay Edition undergoes meticulous restoration by Land Rover Classic specialists, ensuring the highest level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.
  4. Unique Design Elements: The Islay Edition stands out with its Mid Grey exterior finish, bespoke side graphic, and luxurious tweed upholstery, showcasing thoughtful design elements that differentiate it from standard Land Rover Defenders.
  5. High Performance and Capability: Powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine and equipped with upgraded brakes, suspension, and handling, the Islay Edition offers impressive performance and capability on and off the road.


  1. High Price Point: The Land Rover Defender Works V8 Islay Edition comes with a significant price tag of $300,000, making it inaccessible for many potential buyers.
  2. Limited Availability: With only 30 units produced, securing one of these limited edition Defenders can be challenging, leading to potential disappointment for interested customers.
  3. Fuel Consumption and Efficiency: The powerful V8 engine may result in higher fuel consumption, which can be a consideration for those concerned about environmental impact and operating costs.
  4. Limited Customization Options: As a special edition model, the Islay Edition may have limited customization options, restricting buyers who desire more personalized features.
  5. Potential Trade-Off in Off-Road Capability: While the Islay Edition offers upgraded components, it may not match the specialized off-road capability of certain other Land Rover models optimized for rugged terrains.

Overall, the Land Rover Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is a unique and collectible vehicle that combines heritage, design, and performance. Its limitations lie in its limited availability, higher price point, and potential trade-offs in fuel consumption and off-road capability compared to other Land Rover models.

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