Everyone has a vehicle on their list that is a must-have, and for Luis Mauro Orellana, it was a 1984 Land Rover Defender 110 High Capacity Pickup 4WD Right Hand Drive. We had the chance to catch up with Orellana in Barstow, California, to see this showroom-ready rig up close.
The Defender 110 is unique and something you do not see often which makes it a complete head-turner. In a sea of side-by-sides and buggies, the Defender 110 stood out, but in a good way.
“I’ve owned a couple of off-road vehicles in the 90s and used to go off-roading with a 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ and CJ7 jeep,” Orellana said. “I am a car enthusiast and have many vehicles and Cafe racer bikes.”
A Land Rover Defender 110 is an iconic vehicle and one that Land Rover has continued to produce, but not like this, especially with an Isuzu turbo-diesel engine.
A Restoration Done Right
Restoring a vehicle can go to either extreme, totally right, or really bad. Orellana’s Land Rover painted Audi Nardo was definitely done right; it is packed with the perfect mix of new and old. Both inside and out, no detail was left untouched.
“The truck originally started in Montana as a hunting truck,” Orellana explained. “The original builder pulled elks from the middle of the wilderness through rough terrain with it.”
“The Land Rover was then brought to California for a nuts and bolts restoration which included paint and a cage,” Orellana continued. “The restoration process took four years from 2015 to 2019, I then acquired from the restorer.”
The Defender 110 has a fully floating four-linked suspension with a one-ton Dana 44 front end and a 10.5-inch GM 14 Bolt rear end. An Eaton Detroit Locker in front and ARB Air Locker in the rear, with a center diff lock as well, make sure that the Land Rover can go over any terrain.
The Land Rover is also equipped with an onboard ARB air compressor with an external hook-up for airing up tires on the trail or for use with small air tools. A custom-made battery box and air compressor combo are mounted in the storage space under the passenger seat.
The exterior of the vehicle is what draws all the attention and features a custom external cage (front clip, cab, and bed) that is powder-coated gloss black. Mounted to the cage is a 60-inch Hi-Lift jack, Cess Off-Road shovel (powder coated textured black), and a Fiskar Carbon ax mounted on the passenger side.
Two aluminum Sand Ladders which were ordered from Budapest, Hungary, and powder coated textured black are mounted on the driver side with custom mounting brackets and a Snap-On spanner wrench included for removal. Custom black Rotopax diesel and water jerry cans are mounted on either side of the bed on custom-made mounting brackets.
Inside the Defender 110 wasn’t left untouched and has black heavy-grained leather Defender seats with custom double diamond stitched inserts. It also has leather-wrapped upper and lower dash panels.
The interior also features a JVC KD-AV41BT Bluetooth head unit inside the Tuffy Security Products console with a backup camera mounted inside the trailer hitch. Keeping the party going are Rockford Fosgate Power T142 four-inch full range coaxial speakers mounted on custom-made powder-coated aluminum mounts inside the door panels and two five-foot firestick antennas with a CB/FM splitter mounted inside the console, which provides a signal for both CB and AM/FM radio allow for communication and tunes.
Custom-made jumper cables that plug into the clip for the winch power under the push bar in the front of the truck make it easy to jump-start this truck or another vehicle without needing to access the batteries directly. There is also a battery kill switch or power interrupter switch located near the passenger footwell.
A Warn Zeon 10S 10,000-pound winch with synthetic rope is mounted on the front bumper along with two ARB intensity LED flood driving lamps. A Line-X Bedliner with UV protection keeps the rear of the Land Rover protected.
Enjoying a Classic
Starting as a hunting crawler truck for Montana’s wilderness, this Land Rover has a new home in Southern California but is still being enjoyed. It is one thing to see a vehicle like this on display, but to see it out being used is something we can all be excited about.
Cage and the modern Apocalypse look that it conveys along with the diesel turbo engine are some of Orellana’s favorite things about the Defender 110. We couldn’t agree more with him about the looks of the rig.
“The experience driving it is one-of-a-kind feels like a movie,” Orellana said. “My daughter has named it ‘Rockstar,’ and my five-year-old loves riding it.”
Orellana would like to thank is team at Merchfuel with their support on the project. This Land Rover may have seen its share of time in the dirt in Barstow, but Orellana plans to continue to off-road it as much as he can.