The first model introduced by Land Rover 56 years ago, the Defender has become an icon of off-road capability. 27,000 are sold yearly in 140 countries (although not in the United States because it does not meet certain safety requirements) and sales reached a zenith in 1997 with almost 70,000 units moved. The next-generation Defender has been announced as a possible 2008 model, and will be built on the new T5 platform, the same foundation that supports the Discovery 3, which will be available later this year. Land Rover's goal is to produce more models on fewer, more flexible platforms— possibly only two. You can expect market values for late-90s Defenders— currently at about $35K-$40K, to elevate, making the Defender the only appreciating investment besides upstate lake frontage.

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