Mercedes G Wagon 6×6 Too Mainstream? Drive This Factory Land Rover Defender 6×6 Instead

The Mercedes G Wagon 6×6 is one of the most iconic monster trucks of all time. If this AMG limited edition is too popular for you, custom shops now offer a range from 6×6 Ram 1500 TRX to a. But if you want a factory-built collectible option with plenty of luxury-brand bragging rights like Mercedes, consider the Australian-imported Land Rover Defender 6×6 Military.

Land Rover has built 6×6 Defender trucks for the Australian Army

1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Auto auctions

In 1983, the Australian Army put out a bid for new one- and two-ton military trucks. The new truck was called “Project Perentie”. The Perentie is a relative of the Komodo Dragon, native to Australia.

Australia desperately wanted the contract but had one major problem: its Defender trucks maxed out at one ton. So the ingenious company designed a 3-axle/6×6 version of the Defender, specifically for the Australian Army.

The Land Rover Perentie is a Defender with a larger cabin, longer frame and three axles. Its power comes from Isuzu’s 3.9-liter turbocharged diesel engine and runs through a four-speed manual transmission. After the transmission, the truck’s two-speed transfer case has a normal driveshaft to one rear axle and a PTO driving the final axle. This way, the driver can choose either 6×4 or 6×6.

Profile photo of the Land Rover Defender 6x6 truck, all three of its axles clearly visible with trees in the background.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Auto auctions

There have been several generations of the Land Rover Perentie 6×6 – depending. The first Land Rover prototypes had a regular Defender cab but military-spec axles. The Australian Army never purchased these prototypes, so Land Rover sold a few of them to private buyers.

Land Rover began delivering first generation trucks, with seven rear and seven, in 1989. The Australian Army had already modified these trucks with eleven leaf springs in the rear, as well as disc brakes all around. Land Rover incorporated these upgrades into the second generation Perentie, which was delivered in 1998.

Finally, Land Rover built a left-hand drive for the Omani Army. When the Australian Army traded in his Mercedes 6×6 in 2013, he sold his remaining 6×6 Land Rover to civilians.

Land Rover collectors import Defender 6×6 “Perentie” trucks

Land Rover Defender 6x6 Perentie Custom from Australia Built for Overlanding.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Auto auctions

In most US states, you can import and register a foreign vehicle once it is at least 25 years old. Popular imports include classic Toyota Land Cruisers, military-spec Mercedes G-wagons, and of course, the regular Land Rover Defenders. But some discerning collectors looking for a factory-built 6×6 have begun importing Land Rover Parents from Australia.

A company called Ultimate Collector has located and imported this beautiful 1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 (pictured) and listed it for auction. Land Rover has built 17 separate configurations of the Army. The Land Rover that was put up for auction had a regular cab and truck body, similar to an ambulance. With the addition of a few windows, it would make an excellent base for building your wild camper.

Close-up of the front rim and tire of the Land Rover Defender 6x6 truck.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Auto auctions

This Land Rover 6×6 for auction is finished in Nardo Gray, with black and green interior. The odometer only lists 12,700 (KM? Miles? the list isn’t clear), so it could be one of the prototype Land Rovers, though in this case it should be its earlier model year.

Despite the slightly confusing history of this Land Rover, it has a valid VIN number and a clear American surname. This is excellent news for anyone who wants to buy and drive it. I offered up to $31,000 in 2020, but the seller did not accept the higher offer.

Is the six-wheeled Land Rover a smart buy?

Land Rover Defender 6x6 Tailgate and Rear Swing Tires.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Auto auctions

Land Rover added the auxiliary drive axle to the Perentie 6×6 for payload capacity as much as off-road capability. But reviewers of the Mercedes-AMG 6×6 report that it is exceptionally smooth off-road.

The extra axle also robs Land Rover of some straight-line power, which the manufacturer has tried to make up for by adding a turbo. The imported Land Rover 6×6 might not be the most practical option, but boy is it cool. Doug DeMuro put it well on cars and bids:

“I really can’t think of a cooler, downhill ATV, and I’d go crazy if I saw this in a national park or at a campground.”

Doug DeMuro, Auto Auctions

Then, read more about the all-new or watch the Land Rover 6×6 Perentie in action in the video below:

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