Land Rover Defender hauls books home for Bud

The 2024 Land Rover Defender 110 at Morris Publishing in Kearney, Neb. (Bill Allen photo)

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, 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.

Kristin Battenfield, owner/operator of KBat Communications, was first to order the book, “2,600 Cars and a Dog Sled,” and was presented her copy by Bud Wells. (Jan Wells photo)