Our aim with the business is to help supply good quality and reliable vehicles that can be used for anything you want to throw at them and to last for more generations to come. We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel, it’s pretty difficult to do that with a Land Rover. We’re just bringing something we have enjoyed, and taken for granted in the UK, over to the US and to supply a service here that we have honed and tuned in the UK for nearly 50 years. Having pretty much the best supply chain in the world – being our own family business – Keith Gott – Specialist in Landover products, and many years of experience in export, we know how to do things right and also we will only ship vehicles and parts in accordance with the law.
US Importation law
The rules for what can be brought into the US are actually very simple. For Land Rover Defender’s, other than the couple of years and types that were allowed here, the vehicle has to be over 25 years old from its date of build in the UK, and it has to be as per what the chassis number states it is. So, if a vehicle is stated as Right Hand Drive and a 11L Series Diesel engine on its’ chassis number, when it appears in customs it has to be exactly that!
Usual things that we will find
After 25 years in the UK weather, there are typical issues that are found.
Defender’s have a steel chassis and bulkhead and a mainly aluminum body apart from certain steel structural inserts in key areas. The chassis condition is the main concern for any Defender, the usual first place’s that shows rust and corrosion are the rear cross member and the bulkhead outriggers, this is due to being the parts where the road wheels throw road grime and dirt at. For a 25 year old original chassis it will nearly always be the case that the rear cross member has been replaced or needs replacing, ideally you want to find one that has it’s original outriggers as this nearly always indicates that the rest of the chassis is in good order, but as long as the work has been done properly, having them already been replaced is not a problem.
The bulkhead is generally the 2nd area that also suffers, mainly in the top corners between the wing and the windscreen. It generally comes from water ingression into the top of the bulkhead where the steel doesn’t get any paint or coating treatment and they rust from the inside out. Again if a good condition original bulkhead can be found the better, but corner plates and A frame post can be cut out and changed which if done correctly is perfectly fine. Footwells are also known for corrosion – if both elements are found and our very bad then generally complete replacement of the bulkhead is advised.
Finally, door frames and B posts on 110 Station Wagons are the other places corrosion can be found, again replacement sections can be fitted or if only slight, fabrication can be done to rectify the issues.
Bubbling of the external paintwork is generally caused by oxidization of where the steel parts of the structure react with the aluminum – not a sign of rust. It usually only affects the paintwork and can be stopped easily, but once there, the only way to really get rid of it is by knocking the paint back, treating the area and fully re-spraying. Everything else on a Defender is easily changeable and readily available – ideally through us of course!
Availability in the US:
200 TDi (1990 to 1994) – 2015 to 2019
300 TDi (1994 to 1998) – 2019 to 2023
TD5 (1999 to 2007) – 2024 to 2032
The first Defender as we know it with coil spring suspension was built in 1983. With the diesel engines, the first used was the Normally Aspirated Diesel engine (The N/A) or normally gasping as it is also known as, a great reliable workhorse engine, but pretty slow and noisy. After that came the Turbo Diesel engine (Not to be confused with a TDi – Turbo Direct Injection). The Turbo Diesel engine was really only the N/A diesel engine but with a Turbo fitted, and sadly it was just a bit too much for it. They we’re renowned for wearing out piston rings and causing low compression and creating crankcase pressure. Finally in 1990 the first of the TDi (Turbo Direct Injection) engines came out. This was an engine designed to run with a Turbo. The engine was faster, very reliable, quieter and produced great low-end torque – happy Land Rover fans! The 200 TDi was the first series, and then in 1994 the engine was revised and the 300 TDi series came out, both 2.5 litre and both direct injection and both producing similar figures. The 300 was revised in the placement of a new cylinder block, the Turbo being lower so again slightly quieter and the layout of the water and air systems being a bit more efficient. A lot of enthusiasts will still argue that the 200 Tdi was the better engine though – due to basically being indestructible !
All the vehicle’s we source can be shipped over as soon as they are the correct age, some key work will be done in the UK and the vehicle’s will be fully steam cleaned in accordance with shipping and custom regulations. The main bulk of work done will be in Las Vegas though, after customs clearance and before getting the title at the DMV. It is at this point that if an engine change is wanted or body style, LHD conversion etc, the work gets done then before a title is given.
What we recommend to anyone considering sourcing a vehicle through us – is that you pick and order the ideal vehicle for you before we ship it to the US, that way we can make sure we have all the right parts and ingredients to create your perfect Defender, it will also allow us to make the most of the shipping process – benefiting you in the long run.
Please also be aware of the time scale here. There is usually a vessel leaving the UK each week, but we would need a couple of weeks before to prepare and pack for shipping. The transit time for the vessel is usually around 3 weeks, and then an additional 10 days for customs clearance. After this it will be down to lead time in the shop and also what range level or bespoke level we will be supplying for you. Basically please allow for a minimum of around 3 months to get your vehicle unless the vehicle is already in our shop in Vegas.