First heritage special edition Works V8

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Spencer Wilks’ own personal car was the inspiration for the Works Defender V8 Islay Edition : credit: © JLR
Behold the new Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition – the first heritage-themed Works V8 to come from Land Rover Classic and inspired by Spencer Wilks’ personal 1965 Series IIA.

Behold the new Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition – the first heritage-themed Works V8 to come from Land Rover Classic and inspired by Spencer Wilks’ personal 1965 Series IIA.

With Heritage Grey bodywork, a Limestone roof and matching heavy-duty steel wheels, together with a bespoke interior trimmed in leather with unique tweed detailing (from the Islay Woollen Mill), the Defender Islay Edition is a lovely-looking thing.

As its name implies, it’s powered by a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine (mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission)which produces a respectable 400bhp and 380lb-ft of torque. Quoted top speed is 106mph, with the 0-60mph sprint polished off in a remarkable 5.6sec.

As one would expect, each Islay is comprehensively restored, re-engineered and upgraded, utilising high quality Defender donor vehicles from 2012-2016. Exclusively limited to just 30 units (in both 90 and 110 station wagon body designs), the Islay editions come with a hefty price tag, starting from £230,000. Regardless of that small impediment to ownership, we should imagine they’ll all be sold out before this issue of LRM even hits the newsstands.

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If you feel like replicating some of the details a few of our favourites include the centre cubby which features removable wooden tray crafted from walnut and incorporating actual whisky cask barrel oak from Islay’s Kilchoman Distillery, as well as the body colour detail surrounds and oak wood veneer that extends to the rear loadspace floor. Outside we like the side graphic reading ‘GXC 639C’ – the registration of Wilks’ Series IIA – while the LED headlights, uprated suspension and braking system are welcome upgrades given the Islay’s performance.

If you’re about to embark on a restoration of your own, why not celebrate 75 years of Land Rover and reference a vehicle that’s special to you, and use products influenced by where it’s come from. While this car is a lottery win for the majority of us, we love how the links to the Isle of Islay are weaved into the thoughtful details inside and out and that can be achieved regardless of your budget.