The only way to appreciate the 2020 Land Rover Defender is to understand that it’s not a 1996 Land Rover Defender; it’s a different vehicle with its own merits. That said, nostalgia is calling and I must answer.
Since people who don’t already know won’t care, I’ll keep this brief: The “Camel Trophy” was a recurring off-road boondoggle that involved teams representing different countries running 4x4s (usually, but not always, Land Rovers) through ridiculously technical terrain.
The vehicles were famously resprayed in a dusky yellow sometimes referred to as “Sandglow” and were always bristling with cool accessories. Camel Trophy events were often used to showcase Land Rover’s latest and greatest hardware. Today you can find photos of Defenders, Range Rovers, Discoverys, and even Freelanders in the mix throughout the heydays of the events in the 1990s.
The epic Kaokoland Expedition that Land Rover hosted to launch the new Defender was pretty extreme in its own right, but of course, a few of us have been wondering what the 2020 Defender would look like in that classic Camel Trophy livery.
Some owner will inevitably make one of these for real, but until then, we have some Photoshops. Jason Torchinsky’s is the image above. Here’s mine, I’m not quite as good at image manipulation as he is:
Also, my friend and fellow car writer Jeff Glucker made one for Twitter:
Man, yellow in general is such a great color for 4x4s, isn’t it?
I’ll keep sniffing around the internet and drop more of these into the comments as I find them. I encourage you to do the same!
Meanwhile, if you’re still not satiated with Defender delights, check out my writeup from Kaokoland and this photoset from Nick Dimbleby and Land Rover’s media team.