|FORGET Ferrari, it’s Land Rover every time for Stratford businessman Denys Shortt.
The owner and founder of the DCS Group marked the end of the production line for the iconic Defender model by securing one of the final 400 limited edition Heritage models – which sold out in a day.
Denys has had it converted it to be as near as possible to the original Series 1 – with a canvas roof, aluminum body parts and no radiator or radio – making his a bespoke model.
Denys also owns an original 1949 Series 1 a decade ago which together with his new one are his tribute to 67 years of British engineering.
Although he could have treated himself to a Ferrari or a Porsche, Denys says his passion is the Land Rover Defender – the last of which rolled off the production line at the firm’s Solihull plant last week.
He told The Observer: “The Defender is the complete opposite of an expensive luxury car. It is noisy and uncomfortable which is what makes it so much fun to drive.
“The original Series 1 story is also very cool because it was a car created at the end of the Second World War from excess metal and paint from the war.”
“That first car in 1948 was exported worldwide and brought much needed foreign exchange back into Britain. It’s sad to see the end of their production.
“When I heard the end was coming for the Defender, I began searching for an HUE registration plate to match the first Series 1 produced. I was lucky to find an old HUE registration.”
The British Motor Museum in Gaydon is home to the first Series 1, made in 1948, which was registered as HUE166.