1997 Land Rover Defender 90 Wagon 4.6L

Item specifics

    • Year: 1997
    • Make: Land Rover
    • Model: Defender 90
    • Trim: 2 Door Hardtop
    • Engine: 4.6L V8
    • Drive Type: 4WD
    • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): SALDV3242VA101930
    • Mileage: 131,000
    • Exterior Color: Alpine White
  • Interior Color: Slate Grey


I’m thrilled to offer for a sale this BEAUTIFUL color combination, CLEAN and SERVICED 1997 Land Rover Defender NAS Wagon/Hardtop!  It has been very well cared for and drives like a dream and looks absolutely stunning in Alpine White over Slate Grey!  Let’s dive right in!


Let me begin with a little background.   This gorgeous Rover was made as truck #110 and produced as a Station Wagon/Hardtop model.  It was delivered new just a few days before Christmas in 1996 and has lived a very obvious cared for life ever since.  The truck has lived entirely in warm southern climates and never seen snow or salt.  This D90 came from the factory with the 4.0L V8 as all North American Spec (NAS) Defenders did, though unfortunately this motor was a little underpowered for the truck in many aspects.  Fear not with this Rover!  The 4.0L has been quietly replaced with the more powerful Rover 4.6L V8!  A massive and sought after upgrade for sure!  The 4.6L for most purposes is the same engine, same design and even looks nearly identical.  The main difference was the rotating assemble and cam, so a 4.6L engine block bolts up to a 4.0L top end and transmission without any drama or modifications.  And because the engine looks identical and really only gains some more displacement, emissions are left the same.  This engine was offered on the full sized Range Rover of the same year and was proven to be a powerful and torquey alternative to the stock 4.0. This allowed for approximately 40 more horsepower and a much more enjoyable truck to drive.  It really is the perfect engine for the truck and one drive with a 4.6 converted D90 and it makes the 4.0 trucks seem like there is an anchor behind them!  If you are in the market for D90 or even own one now, I HIGHLY suggest exploring this route.  Unless you were buying a 5,000 mile out of the wrapper D90 to store away there is no reason NOT to do this swap.  Passes CA smog NO problem.

This beauty came out of the factory in one of the best Rover color combinations: Alpine White over Slate Grey.  It is truly in a BEAUTIFUL and CLASSIC color package.

This arctic colored beauty however lives in sunny, dry, temperate Southern California since and is rust free!!!!  It has only serviced by the Land Rover dealer in its history, as well as very respected independent Rover shops here in SoCal and started and driven often and serviced with dedication and care.  It keeps getting better!  Let’s continue to the service!

The Condition and Service:

This truck has been ENTHUSIASTICALLY and PROFESSIONALLY maintained and serviced and is a high standard for Rover service!

Let’s start on the engine and drivetrain:

This engine has great miles for the year (a low average of about 6,864 a year), 131,000 miles appear on the odometer.  The 4.6L swap has approximately 10k miles on it only!   It was driven and enjoyed as it should be, but being owned by someone who wanted to enjoy it for decades, it was showed more than generous preemptive care.  There has been A TON of scheduled and preventive maintenance performed to this truck to keep the engine in near brand new condition.  The motor is VERY healthy and has loads of smooth power!  And a happy Rover will go and go and go happily for hundreds of thousands of miles.  And this happy Rover has received LOADS of preventative maintenance to make sure of that. NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHTS.  Note that the engine intake still says 4.0L – that is the original intake and all that was replaced was the engine block (please see the pictures of the 4.6L engine number as posted below though).  If the winning bidder chose to, it is a about 15 minutes to swap a 4.6L intake cover on.   The truck received a recent major service interval (known as a 60k service) and is ready to enjoy!  Between the engine swap and service the drivetrain has seen alone, there is almost $10k in upgrades and service!


As part of the preventive service schedule, this truck received BRAND NEW OEM head gaskets and OEM head bolts.  This service was done during the engine swap and creates a broad stroke as part of this truck’s ongoing preventative care.  THIS is the maintenance you want to see on a Rover!  The truck runs COOL as can be and has never overheated.  The cylinder heads were cleaned, decked and pressure checked! BRAND NEW valve cover gaskets, valley pan gaskets and seals, front cover gasket, oil pan gasket, exhaust manifold gaskets and upper intake gaskets, all resealed among a few other minor seals.  These were done in order to keep with the same high regard and care.  The upper and lower intakes, valve covers and front cover were thoroughly cleaned.


Radiator flows fantastic and keeps this beauty nice and cool.  The temp needle NEVER moves past 12 o’clock even with the AC on and in traffic.  The proper coolant is used and brand new!


As part of the overall service and engine install, a BRAND NEW water pump was installed as well!  Not once did this truck show a need for it, but it was done as part of the dedicated service to keep it in tip top shape and ready for the owner to go LOADS of care free miles.


BRAND NEW spark plugs and high quality STI wires.


Newer stainless cat back exhaust with a nice mild growl to it.  Nothing obnoxious, just a hint of a growl.


Newer serpentine belt!


K&N air filter which will last the life of the truck!


Recently adjusted and tight, only a couple notches on the handle holds the truck tight


The trans was just given all new fluid and shifts great!  Doesn’t bang into gear or slip!


Newer gear oil in the diffs and transfer case.

Lets move to the suspension and brakes:


Newer brakes pads in the front and rear, the truck brakes great. No pulling under breaking either.


The OEM shocks have been replaced with incredible Bilstein shocks.  These are fantastic shocks and are soft on bumps but tight in corners.  The trucks handles wonderfully!


4WD Low and High both work great!


Nice and tight and responsive!

Let’s continue to the exterior:


The paint is very nice!  It is a 8+ out of 10.  Could even be a 9- to many.  Shiny, beautiful Alpine White paint was recently polished, finished and waxed by a highly acclaimed detailer here in LA.  It looks wonderful.  CLEAN and CLEAR CarFax.  NO ACCIDENTS. CLEAN CARFAX.  ORIGINAL PAINT. The white paint is deep and has a wonderful luster!  There are several very minor dings on the truck and there are a few scratches,chips and flaws which are very hard to see in pics and in person.  The roof and hood are in very nice shape, not like most Rovers that fade in the sun!  Remember this is a near 19 year old truck with totally original paint, there may be some minor scratches, wear not discussed in detail etc, but they are well below any expectation level for Defender or cars of this year.  Even against more modern cars the paint will compete head to head – it really is quite nice.  The truck was kept in dry, cool underground storage and was detailed generally weekly by the aforementioned detailer.


NO RUST.  Clean floors, no rusty door handle or fuel filler pockets!  No trail scars, no rust on the firewall, floors or elsewhere.  Some light oxidation on axles, spring etc from stone chips on the underside.  There are two screw heads I found that have some light rust on them, that’s about it! That’s how rust free and how thorough we are being on this truck!  Clean under seat bins, no water sitting, no rust!


BRAND NEW BFG All Terrain tires!  These are the tried and true dual on road and off road tire.  They behave wonderful on the highway and are quiet, but are ready for even fairly heavy duty off roading.  Loads of tread life left on the tires!  Fronts and rears have 90% tread left and are new condition.


The Freestyle wheels look absolutely stunning on the Rover!  They were just recently cleaned and look great.  There is some minor flaws, but because of the overall shine and shape, not very noticeable.


The bumpers are in nice shape and free of damage.  The rear bumper has had some paint fade/degradation, but would be great easy Sunday morning clean up if you chose.  I like the character it adds personally.  Other plastic or rubberized plastic trim, shines beautifully!  Similarly the front bumper has a few minor flaws/chips, as does the brush guard, but they in no way take away from the beauty of the car.


Not to let a pebble defeat this truck, the windshield is in great shape!  Beautifully clear glass makes a world of difference.  It makes the truck feel brand new!  The door glass is wonderful shape!


The Rover has a factory trailer hitch and is wired and ready to tow!


Nice undercarriage!  No rot or trail scars.  Never offroaded!

Onto the cabin:


The Slate Grey vinyl seats are in nice shape. The vinyl is soft and comfortable.  I truly love driving this truck.  You sit high and comfortably in these soft seats! The vinyl has been very well cared for and shows some minor flaws at best.  There is a very small nick on the drivers side bottom cushioned (see pictures) and is minor at best.  There is also a very small fissure on the passenger side bottom cushion (also pictured).  The little flaws don’t take away from the interior, and are actually hard to notice both from the overall size of them but also the height of the truck when looking inside.  I just like to point out anything I see!  The interior has been recently cleaned and conditioned as well and is overall is very nice shape!  Rear seats are in great shape and appear to only have minor use if any.


None of the typical dirt or staining on the door panels!  Beautiful shape!


Headliner looks great, with minor flaws at best.  No staining, or tears!  Some minor typical shrinkage in some corners.


Beautiful carpet in the truck!  It has been shampooed and cleaned as part of the overall detail.  Even the cargo carpet has a matching carpet above it in order to keep the originals looking wonderful.


Both seat sliders work perfect!  Nice and smooth!


All windows work smooth and quickly!  Another hard to find in a Disco!


Sunroof works perfectly!


The OEM radio was upgraded to an aftermarket Alpine unit with Focal speaker and a subwoofer in a matching carpeted box in the cargo area!  It sounds FANTASTIC and was installed cleanly and well and puts us in 2016 for sound capabilities!


AC is arctic cold and heat is earth core hot!


Mirrors and their housings are fantastic


The wheel is very nice, no tears or issues or issues!  It has been conditioned and feels great in your hands!   It is a real rarity to find these wheels in good shape!


Rear carpet is fantastic as are the panels and glass.

The Experience

Driving this D90 is fantastic. It is quick as a sports car and is as WAY more comfortable than a Wrangler.  You sit high and comfortable with great outward vision.  The seats are comfortable, the wheel is smooth, the AC cold, the radio crisp and the ride supple.  It really doesn’t get much better in a Rover!  Let’s not forget, the 4.6 conversion let’s this Rover scream!  The torque delivery is instant and with a crack of the pedal she goes rocketing away.  It is a very light push needed only.  She will cruise on the highway at 75mph happily and I am sure will do more just as happily as well.  The wagon/hardtop style really ads a much better degree of usability over the convertible trucks.  You can safely lock the truck, keep the cold or heat out and also you gain rigidity.   And if you chose to off road her, let’s chat about that for a moment.  While this truck has not been off roaded, these D90 are absolutely unstoppable off road.   They have a very low center gravity despite a high ride height and can happily travel and ridiculous angles and boulder over just about anything you put in front of them.  Truly an amazing rig!  I actively race and wheel Rovers and I can go on and on about how they can behave off road if you want to open that can of worms!

I hope you can tell by my long ad that this truck is a great pre-owned and beautiful Rover.  There are other D90, but if you do find one for sale and it has more methodical service and miles, I urge you to buy it!  Remember, Rovers take a little extra care and feeding, so a Rover with 70k miles with questionable, unknown or poor service history is worth about as much as a Slurpee if you add up all the service that will need to be done to make it a reliable, beautiful, solid truck again.  Treat them well and keep up on maintenance and they will love you back!  Don’t spend big money on a truck from a “turn-em-and-burn-em” style dealer when all they do to promote the truck is say a few things they think people like to hear.  As you may tell from my ad, I know the care that these trucks need and the details that make them tier 1, from a tier 2 or worse and I hope to have addressed them to those of you that know as well.  If an ad says “Low miles and well cared for”  Ask questions!  If you don’t get thorough, well addressed answers, start planning more money and more aspirin.  This is a NO RESERVE AUCTION!  If you were to add up all of the recent items in this truck, you would find well over $14k in recent retail scheduled and preventive service and restoration/upgrades alone.  This truck is ready to go live another 200k+++ miles of beautiful, reliable, enjoyed life in your hands.  Don’t buy an unserviced truck for a little less than spend multiple times as much to get it to this level of service!

Feel free to ask me any questions at all.  Residents around the country I am happy to be flexible for your arranged shipper so that you can get your new truck as soon as possible.