- Land Rover has donated seven Defender SUVs to deserving non-profit organizations as part of its Defender Above and Beyond Service Awards.
- Every Defender has been outfitted with custom paint treatments, off-road gear and, in one case, an animal-friendly interior.
- The SUVs were given away at an event at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.
Around this time last year, Land Rover launched the Defender Above and Beyond Service Awards, a scheme to donate seven personalized Defenders to non-profit organisations. After an initial selection of over 300 applicants, there was a public vote and then the winners were announced last fall. Now, representatives from the lucky organizations have finally made it to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina to meet their new rigs and learn how to use them off-road, as long as their mission involves that sort of thing.
Wolfe County Search and Rescue, which specializes in delicate mountain rescues in eastern Kentucky, was likely in its element in the woods of Biltmore. The folks at Hamptons Community Outreach, the winner in the “urban improvement” category, maybe not so much. Although some of the tricks for navigating the trails (airing out the tires, using low range) would also apply to driving on the East Hampton beach.
Each of the seven P300 Defender 110s has been equipped according to its mission. The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Defender was probably the most equipped for off-roading, with a snorkel, front skid plate, winch, roof-mounted auxiliary lights and snow chains. The Humane Society of Independence County, Arkansas focused on a pet-friendly interior: seat covers, cargo space divider, rubber floor mats, pet access ramp and system portable rinse. (And also, since you never know where animal rescue might take you, a winch.)
The Defender planned for the New York Marine Center (winner in the “coastal and marine conservation” category) was similarly equipped, but also included an on-board air compressor, perhaps with beach driving in mind. Montgomery Emergency Medical Services of Belle Mead, New Jersey, exercised uncommon restraint with their build, opting only for mud flaps, an A-frame crash bar and wheel arch protection.
All Defenders have been given custom wraps with graphics promoting the organization concerned, as well as a prominent ‘Defender Above and Beyond Service Awards’ logo, which isn’t just for Land Rover to brag about his good deeds, but also so that the people of Independence County, Arkansas, don’t think the local Humane Society is buying brand new Land Rovers. No: they won it, and they can keep it.
If your favorite nonprofit didn’t get enough of the 165,000 public votes cast last year, take heart. Maybe Land Rover will do it again, and you’ll have another chance to explain why your favorite 501(c)(3) nonprofit could really use a snorkel SUV. And maybe a winch.
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