2015 Land Rover Defender 90 Hardtop XS by BowlerOffered Without Reserve
RM | Sotheby's - PARIS 13 FEBRUARY 2021 - The Bowler Collection
- Modified under the personal supervision of Drew Bowler
- Offered directly from the collection of former Bowler Motors Limited Director Richard Hayward.
- Verified mileage of just 7,908 miles from new.
- Highly specified, including Bowler “Fast Road” suspension, Stage 1 tuned engine and 18” Alloy wheels.
It is often said of many series production vehicles that the most desirable examples are to be found at either extremity of their production history; that is to say, that the most sought after tend to be the earliest, and the last. The former is generally considered to be the very purest in terms of design, whilst the latter benefits from years of intensive development and often incorporate a multitude of ergonomic and dynamic modifications, thereby ensuring a superior driving experience to that of the earlier cars.
This is undoubtedly the case with the Land Rover. Early 80-inch wheelbase, 1948-build Series 1 examples are now highly collectable; their proximity to Rover Chief Designer Maurice Wilks’ original (and ground-breaking) design brief ensuring that their place in a discerning collector’s market will forever be secure. Although the ensuing seven decades saw continual development and refinement of Wilks’ design, at no stage did Land Rover engineers lose sight of the vehicle’s original purpose, substantially resisting the urge to gentrify it in the face of burgeoning SUV competition in the 1990s and 2000s. Since cessation of production of the final “original shape” Land Rover - the Defender - in 2016, a considerable appreciation has built up for later cars, with models such as the 2.2 litre Turbo Diesel Defender 90 XS now amongst the most desirable.
This particular example is highly significant in not only being one of the final batch of Defender 90 XS models delivered, but also one sympathetically modified by marque experts Bowler Motorsport of Belper, Derbyshire. Indeed, the entire upgrading process was carried out under the watchful eye of the late Drew Bowler himself, who later described the finished vehicle as “exactly as a Defender should be”.
Immaculately presented in black with contrasting red Bowler script and two-tone leather interior, the vehicle benefits from a Bowler Stage 1 engine upgrade, with a consequent increase in both power and torque delivery. Further enhancements to the vehicle include an upgraded Bowler Fast Road Suspension package - incorporating uprated Bilstein coil spring/damper units - as well as 18” Bowler 15-spoke alloy wheels, an upgraded Bowler Silver Gear Shifter set and the fitment of a 350mm Momo leather steering wheel. Externally, the car boasts a multitude of Bowler-specific components and accessories, including black Bowler lightweight bumpers, side rails, steering guard and rear steps as well as Bowler badging to the bonnet, radiator grille and driver’s side rear quarter.
Boasting six seats, rubberised matting to the rear compartment and a toe hitch, this particular Defender remains a hugely usable and practical proposition for the discerning Land Rover or 4x4 enthusiast. Furthermore, having been assigned the unique Bowler build number of S44 - as stamped on the dash plate - and covered less than 8,000 miles from new in the hands of former Bowler Director Richard Hayward himself, there can be few more correct or desirable examples of a late Land Rover Defender extant.