Information on Defender 110's
Info on defender 110's found on the web
Original 1993 US Spec NAS Land Rover Defender 110's
Imported only in 1993 they are some of the most sought after vehicles not only because of the
great number of enthusiasts that would like to own one but also because speculators and
collectors limit the number of vehicles that come up for sale on ebay to may be 1 or 2 per month.
The total number of Land Rover imported Defender 110's into North America is thought to be
around 536 vehicles, all of which were originally white.
525 of them were tagged with a badge that either is xxx/500 for US vehicles or xx/25 for Canadian
All have VIN#'s that are conform to US DOT/EPA standards
Very very rare are also Defender 110's from 1993 that have been modified by a registered
importer to be the same spec as the original NAS Defender 110's, this is theoretically possible I
have not ever seen such a vehicle but may be a few were done. This became possible after about
1999 or so when the NAS Defender 110 was petitioned to be on the Vehicle Eligibility List for
vehicle that can be modified by a registered importer. The other vehicle that is also on the list is the
1997 Defender 90, check US DOT website for more details.
Legal grey imported DOT EPA certified Defender 110's
Very few of these Defenders made it into the US before about 1987/88 when the US changed their
grey import policies to make it next to impossible to legally import a Land Rover Defender even
Anyone selling such a vehicle will very much emphasis that it has the correct DOT/EPA paperwork,
it is my understanding that the VIN number should also match North American numbering system.
Engine like the 3.5V8 gasoline and the 2.5 NA Diesel were imported and in case of the 3.5V8
surely were retrofitted with emission control devices.
Defender 110's from pre 1983 and the reasons behind the VIN# confusion
Are they 100% legal or illegal, I will not give this answer here. But basically when it comes down to
it if you have a serious accident then yes they are not legal.
Most are most likely much more recent vehicle that are somehow registered as something 25
years old for one reason or another.
A few things to know about Land Rover Defender 110's, they are produced since 1983 and are still
currently being made and sold in the entire world with the exception of North America.
The US has a 25 year exclusion rule that makes importing vehicles older then 25 years possible,
for Canada this rule is 15 years. Picking up a vehicle legal in Canada does not mean it is
automatically importable into the US.
So how could there be a 1977 Defender 110 for sale on ebay, well a few things. Many used Land
Rovers registration origins are from the UK and they have some very interesting tax related
registration laws. So Land Rover owners for many years in the UK have modified their vehicles in
part as a whole or with spares or entirely to be older to benefit from very cheap tax related
registrations. This is possible because a Land Rover Series 109 is very similar to a Defender 110.
Most people that do not have much knowledge of these vehicles cannot see the difference when
seeing one drive past them.
I estimate that may be 1500 to 2000 of these Land Rover Defender 90' & 110's are in the US with
many coming in every year. Importing them is not without risk, harsh penalties are levied against
those that decide to commit VIN FRAUD or declare their vehicle to be something it isn't.
These sort of imports have been occurring for over 10 years now as the demand was so high that
people searched the globe for vehicles that somehow met the very strange importation laws.
Basically most vehicles that are imported with documentation of their age to be more then 25
years get a waiver and thus make it in the country usually without much trouble. Should a serious
accident occur that is when the real problems start and everything comes back to the original
I can only say stay away from the 1968 Defender 110 built to 1999 specs, because if it comes
down to it how would you prove it isn't a 1999 spec with a 1968 vin.
Should you be looking at a Defender 110 or a Series 109 and you are not sure what the main
differences are, here a couple quick pointers. Defender 110's are Coil Sprung and have a
windshield with one single piece of glass, Series 109's are leafsprung and have a windshield with
2 separate glass panels one for the driver one for the passenger. There are many other details but
these 2 are easiest spotted on pictures and while having a quick glance at one of the vehicles.
There are obviously exceptions, for example I have seen a NAS Defender 110 that had been rolled
and poorly restored using a Series windshield and roof.
Land Rover Defender 110's for Off Road & Farm use only
Some sellers on ebay have Defenders for sale all the time, the ad looks like you are getting a very
recent defender with it's correct VIN number. The catch is somewhere in the ad it will say this
vehicle if for "Off road" use or sometimes "PARTS" only. Basicly the vehicle isn't road legal and the
seller knows this, to avoid getting in trouble and knowing it is impossible to register ever they are
sold like this. In my opinion the seller very much assumes the buyer will try to get it registered and
break the law somehow doing it, but I guess not the sellers problem. These auctions are run by
both US and UK based seller in some cases I have seen prices for more then NAS spec 110's that
are sold for Hunting and Ranch use only, why anyone would spend that kind of money for a not road
legal vehicle is beyond me.
This guide will get some mixed reviews as there will be a number of people making money from
importing VIN modified vehicles that will rate this guide as lousy as it shows the one flaw these
vehicle have. And while I really love Defender & Series Land Rovers I don't think it is fair to sell a
vehicle on ebay that has a swapped VIN from more then 25 years ago. Ultimately the insurance
and possible accident question problem is what makes it in my mind problematic, while US
Customs & DOT & EPA will create a whole other problem for the owner of such a vehicle.