After a 325-mile drive to Kearney, Neb., on a late-November evening, the following morning I backed the 2024 Land Rover Defender 110S into one of Morris Publishing’s spacious warehouse areas, where a team of workers loaded into the SUV several hundred copies of my book, “2,600 Cars and a Dog Sled: Bud Wells’ 67 Years of Newspapering and Automobiles.”
Joining Jan and me for the drive there and back were daughter Kathy and Bill Allen of Greeley. I visited with Ryan Morris, fourth-generation family member working in the printing business with his father, Scott.
With electronic air suspension, 395-horsepower supercharged inline-6 engine and 119-inch wheelbase, the Defender handled the added cargo back to Colorado with ease. Son Dale Wells of Johnstown in his Ram brought back from Kearney a second load of books.
The soft-cover books are on sale and being mailed to purchasers. Hardbound copies are being finished in December at Denver Bookbinding. Either can be ordered at budwellsbooks.com, or by contacting me at [email protected].
The Defender, like other Land Rover/Range Rover products, is an excellent offroader; decent, too, in on-road travel down the highway. Its squared-off rear end maintains its styling tradition, though does little for aesthetic appeal. I like the inline-6 performance, it is plenty powerful and shifts imperceptibly with its 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Defender rests on the lower end of the fuel-mileage scale. While the drive into Nebraska averaged 19.5 miles per gallon, the return trip with the cargo load was only 18.1. From a base price of $67,900, the sticker reached $82,053 with options added, including headlight power wash, configurable terrain response, electronic active differential, cabin air purification, tasman blue exterior with white contrast roof.