- land rover has handed out seven defender suvs to deserving nonprofits as part of its defender above and beyond service awards.
- each defender was kitted out with custom paint treatments, off-road equipment, and, in one case, an animal-friendly interior.
- the suvs were handed out at an event at the biltmore estate in north carolina.
around this time last year, land rover kicked off the defender above and beyond service awards, a project to give away seven customized defenders to nonprofits. after some initial culling of more than 300 nominees, there was public voting, and then the winners were announced last fall. now, the representatives of the fortunate organizations have finally headed to the biltmore estate in north carolina to meet their new rigs and learn how to use them off-road—to the extent that their mission involves that kind of thing.
wolfe county search and rescue, which specializes in tricky mountain rescues in eastern kentucky, was probably in its element out in the woods at biltmore. the people from hamptons community outreach, the winner in the "urban improvement" category, maybe not so much. although some of the tricks for navigating the trails (air down the tires, use low range) would also apply to driving on the beach in east hampton.
each of the seven p300 defender 110s was outfitted according to its mission. the wolfe county search and rescue defender was probably the most decked out for off-roading, with a snorkel, front skid plate, winch, roof-mounted auxiliary lights, and snow chains. the humane society of independence county, in arkansas, focused on an animal-appropriate interior: seat covers, a cargo space divider, rubber floor mats, a pet access ramp, and a portable rinse system. (and also, since you never know where animal rescue might take you, a winch.)
the defender slated for the new york marine center (the winner in the "coastal and marine conservation" category) was outfitted in similar fashion but also included an onboard air compressor, perhaps with beach driving in mind. montgomery emergency medical services of belle mead, new jersey, exercised uncommon restraint with their build, opting only for mud flaps, an a-frame protection bar, and wheel-arch protection.
all of the defenders got a custom wrap with graphics promoting the relevant organization, along with a prominent "defender above and beyond service awards" logo—which isn't just for land rover to brag about its good deeds, but also so that the people of independence county, arkansas, don't think that the local humane society is out there buying brand-new land rovers. nope: they won it, and they get to keep it.
if your favored nonprofit didn't get enough of the 165,000 public votes that were cast last year, take heart. maybe land rover will run this again, and you can get another chance to make the case for why your favorite 501(c)(3) nonprofit could really use an suv with a snorkel. and maybe a winch.