Defender demand was rising fast a decade ago and now there is a sudden slow down and price drop.
There has been a rise in the demand for restored and also unrestored ‘banger’ condition classic Land Rovers in Malaysia in the last decade. After the many high end conversions seen in recent action movies, this has been a sought after 4×4 for the wealthy and also for some die-hard enthusiasts who just want to be of this iconic vehicles heritage.
In Malaysia we have seen restorations of the classic Defender moving along swiftly as government owned Land Rovers were being auctioned off at low prices (we have seen 3-door pickups and wagons as low as RM23k to 28k and the longer 5 door wagons from RM29k to just RM39k).
From simple ‘back to showroom’ restorations to ‘007 Bond’ bad guys mean machine re-builds that had owners forking out hefty sums. We ourselves were bitten by the bug a few years ago and looked at a 5 door wagon with a 200 TDi engine. It had raised suspension, large and wide wheels and front bucket seats.
Priced at RM70k negotiable, it was tempting, however a cash purchase meant our kids education fund would be used and common sense stopped us from making an offer.
Meantime, a number of well appointed luxurious Defenders were imported into Malaysia from exclusive Defender modders in England like Project Kahn or the Himalaya Spectre 110 and of course the Chelsea Truck Company (there was a unit recently on sale for a princely sum of RM388k) to name a few.
Prices of these ‘next level’ restored Defenders sit between RM250k to RM350k which is quite insane when considering a used Range Rover is much cheaper.
Still, it is the iconic look and the ability to be seen driving a rather unique classic Land Rover 4×4.
So, as the years passed a shift happened. It seems that in the past 2 to 3 years’ prices of classic Japanese 4×4 vehicles like the Land Cruiser and Isuzu Trooper have started rising and the asking prices of the classic Defender has sort of stagnated and in some cases, dropped a smidgen.
Then in the last year, prices actually moved downwards a little for locally restored Defenders, especially the pickups and the 3-door versions. The 5-door wagons were still holding on to their values and the UK imported modded versions were also holding on.
A classic Land Rover Defender ownership represents an opportunity to own (the best version we think will be the Defender Works V8 Trophy) and enjoy an iconic vehicle that might increases in value in the coming years as the economy picks up and the travel and camping bug hits Malaysians again.