1985 Land Rover Defender 90 'Testarossa' With A Secret Under The Hood

Apr 23, 2021 2 min read
1985 Land Rover Defender 90 'Testarossa' With A Secret Under The Hood

With a 355-horsepower LS1 V8 engine and a 6-speed transmission, this 1985 Land Rover may just be one of the most capable Defender 90s ever.

Starting life as a Defender 90 Testarossa from Genoa, Italy, this solid bodied survivor would have made an excellent addition to most any collection. However, the potential for so much more was there, a potential that was quickly spotted by its importer. Once touching ground in the U.S., the Defender then underwent an incredible transformation into what it is today - and incredible go anywhere, do anything utility vehicle. Not too far off from Land Rover’s intentions but miles ahead of actuality.

Starting from the ground up, this Defender 90 sit tall on 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires wrapped around  Black Rhino beadlock wheels, perfectly hiding TeraFlex big disc brakes. A custom long-arm suspension with TeraFlex suspension components and Fox shocks control track and movement of the front and rear Dana 44 axles fitted with 4.10:1  gears and selectable lockers. At the heart of the build is a GM LS1 5.3-liter V8 that feeds 355-horsepower through a 6-speed automatic transmission. However, the improvements did not stop there.

Appropriately covered in Rhino-Lining and a stunning shade of Masai Red paint, it would be hard to imagine a better looking Land Rover. Custom Salt Coast rear and front bumpers sit at either end with a Warn winch with synthetic winch line installed on the latter. Protecting the sides are a custom set of “boat side” rock sliders with integrated steps that deploy for ease of entering and exiting the vehicle. An original-style tan soft top matches a tan and black two-tone interior.

With over $100K invested in this build, it would be hard to find a better riding, better looking, and more capable Defender with the classic style of the 1980s. For more information on this vehicle, how to register to bid, or for information on consignment visit classiccarauction.us.

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