1998 Land Rover Defender 90 “Wolf”

Highlights

  • An ex-military Defender “Wolf” with all the associated upgrades and fittings
  • With light use in the hands of just one keeper since leaving service
  • Recently fitted with a new clutch, tyres, and canvas roof

The Appeal

 
When is a Defender not a Defender? When it’s a “Wolf.” Whilst retaining the external characteristics of a high-spec Defender the “Wolf” was a significantly uprated, even tougher version of the erstwhile farmers’ favourite. With around 8,000 procured by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from 1994 onwards, their official military title (in SWB, 90-inch guise) was Truck Utility Light HS or “TUL.” The HS standing for “high specification.” The “wolf” nomenclature was a colloquial nickname that just stuck.
 
Those upgrades and high specifications included the easier to maintain 300 TDi engine, a reinforced rear axle and uprated suspension, an upgraded chassis internally sprayed with Dinitrol rust inhibiter, 24-volt electrics, internal roll cage and reinforced steering guard. A range of military specific fixtures and fittings were present depending on the configuration and intended use.
 
With close to 100 different configurations procured by the MoD it is not always easy to identify specific configurations. Our example appears to be a GS (general service) model for 2+4 passengers. It represents just the right blend of charming originality, light use and well cared for stewardship that best exemplifies these specialist military utility vehicles.
 


The History and Paperwork

  • The 90 Wolf entered military service in 1998
  • Its service record is not known but will be available under a FoI request from the MoD
  • The Wolf’s 300TDi engine was “remanufactured for the MoD” in July 2015
  • The Land Rover was first registered with the DVLA (denoting its military retirement) in 2019
  • Since then, it has been in the ownership of its first and current civilian keeper
  • Around 12-14,000 miles have been covered in that period
  • All the Land Rover’s needs have been well catered for during this time
  • These include new tyres in 2021, a new clutch in April 2024 and a new canvas hood
  • Paperwork on hand includes the current V5 registration document
  • The Wolf holds an advisory free MoT until June 2024
  • A recent £1,000 plus invoice for a new clutch is also included and pictured
 


The Condition

  • The Wolf looks very much the part in its military “Olive Drab” livery
  • The paint and bodywork condition are pleasingly commensurate with its military history
  • Inevitably this means scuffs and minor dents in places
  • The interior is charmingly original with a number of military-specific fittings present
  • The condition is good for the vehicle’s age
  • There is a minor tear in the passenger side seat base
 
The Wolf certainly looks the part both externally and internally. The exterior condition suits the vehicle’s action orientated specification and military service perfectly. There are some crapes and scuffs in evidence and the nearside front wing lost a fight with a small tree during its current ownership. All part of the Land Rover charm. Despite this there is a pleasing lack of apparent corrosion or alloy reaction, underscoring the care taken of these vehicles during their military service.
 
Wolf specific fitments are numerous and include the tool lashings on the bonnet (including for “pick head,” “shovel,” and “helve”), the spare wheel mounting plate, the protected side air intakes, the wing mounted ATU wing box plates, convoy flag holders and original, NATO style tow hitch with 12 pin electrics. The wheels are the original uprated GKN style 61/2J x 16 x 20.6 items which are shod with a matching set of 2020 date stamped BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A tyres.
 
The interior of the Wolf is an interesting mix of standard Land Rover Defender with some seemingly quirky military specification additions thrown in. The general cabin layout will certainly be familiar with rubber matting to the floor and hardwearing, Exmoor style fabric to the front seats. The condition is good with just one rip noted to the passenger seat base. Likewise, the instrumentation, steering wheel, gear lever and low ratio selector are standard fare.

Between the front seats, however, remains the standard issue MoD “small arms clip” and the cabin is dotted with a number of miliary “aide-memoir” stickers to help ensure military standard driving routines are followed. In the centre of the dash is a selector dial for the different configuration of convoy lighting. A standard issue, articulated map reading light is also present.
 
The rear cabin is equally original and well presented. Accessed via a side hinged rear door it is trimmed in a hard-wearing rubber mat to the floor and features twin folding, two-person benches with original inertial reel lap belts present. A pair of auxiliary battery trays are fitted, and this is a good place from which to appreciate the full-length internal roll cage from.



The Mechanics

  • The MoD specified to easier to maintain 300TDi engine for the Wolf
  • This is mated to a five-speed manual gear box and permanent four-wheel drive
  • The Wolf has benefited from an MoD engine rebuild in 2015
  • A new clutch and thrust bearing have just been fitted
 
At the point of the Wolf’s introduction, standard defenders were using the Td5 engine. The MoD specified the 300TDi for the Wolf, however, as they considered it easier to maintain in the field due to the lack of the former’s more complicated electronics. This unit is a 2.5L turbo diesel originally rated at 111bhp and 195 Ib-ft of torque.

The unit in this example has been rebuilt as witnessed by the blue painted rocker covers and the “remanufactured for MOD” plaque. Since this rebuild the Land Rover is thought to have covered no more than 15,000 miles and has been treated to a new clutch and thrust bearing. Ally this to an advisory free MOT and we can deduce that this is a mechanically well sorted example indeed.
 
The engine bay presentation is good for the vehicle’s age and what can be seen of the bulkhead appears to be in a sound and solid condition. The underside appears very good, too. Various military markings and codes are evident as is the heavy-duty steering guard for ultimate off-road protection.
 


Summary

 
With the Land Rover Defender already providing the last word in rugged, off and on-road utility, the military-grade Wolf doubled down on this with a range of further upgrades. Hence considered as a highly desirable and eagerly sought-after model by connoisseurs and enthusiasts. This example presents very well and is awash with period and specification correct extras and equipment. A great Wolf ownership opportunity surely too good to miss.
 
BEFORE YOU BUY 
This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following: 
The seller is registered as a private seller which means consumer rights stemming from EU consumer protection law do not come into effect. However, you are still covered by Car & Classic’s own Terms and Conditions.. 
We request that a non-refundable fee  be paid if you are the lucky winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted Please refer to our helpful FAQs and T&Cs for specific rates. 
This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is Where Is’ basis and without warranty. Photos and descriptions are solely for guidance purposes and it's customary to carry out a full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase for your own peace of mind. 
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 
We want a smooth transaction just as much as you do and as such we run all UK-registered cars and motorbikes for sale on Car & Classic through an online HPI check to verify that they show no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and have no finance owing, allowing you to bid with confidence. 
✓ We also check whether vehicles are recorded as being written off as part of an insurance total loss claim at the time an advert is placed on Car & Classic and we helpfully provide write-off category labels (Cat C/D/S/N) for your assistance. However, the presence or absence of a label does not guarantee the vehicle’s status and it is always worthwhile carrying out your own  full vehicle history check before making an offer on a vehicle. 
✓Buyers are responsible for vehicle collection 
or delivery. Importing vehicles may result in additional customs duties and import taxes so it’s worth checking beforehand.. If requested, we may refer you to a third-party shipping company who can help. For more details and to speak to the team, email [email protected] 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1998
  • Make Land Rover
  • Model Defender
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 23,193 Kilometres
  • Engine size 3000
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Akeley
  • Location Northamptonshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
9 bids from 6 bidders
  • chris.w•••• £4,900 20/06/24
  • matt-id•••• £4,500 20/06/24
  • stuart-•••• £4,250 19/06/24
  • Tallpau•••• £4,000 19/06/24
  • stuart-•••• £2,400 19/06/24
  • matt-id•••• £2,200 18/06/24
  • dolorib•••• £2,000 18/06/24
  • matt-id•••• £1,100 16/06/24
  • Rs brot•••• £1,000 14/06/24

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