Sky Top Rovers selling Defedner 110's !? - Defender Source
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Old April 29th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Chris V

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Sky Top Rovers selling Defedner 110's !?

Any one looked into this ? Seems strangely familiar to the Dealer in Rutland VT

Skytop Rover Co. is now registered with NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), and we are able to import and convert to U.S. Department of Transportation specifications any vehicle that was not originally manufactured for the U.S. market. What does that mean to you, the Rover fan? Well, it means this: while there are plenty of Registered Importers out there, they are busy converting Ferrari Enzos, Mercedes, and various other curb scrapers. You know, makin' the big bucks. We at Skytop have never had any illusions about making any money in Rovers, but man, we still love 'em. Hence, we will specialize in the conversion of Land Rovers. Period. We know Land Rovers, having imported almost 300 of them over the last decade. It is what we do, and we feel that the United States of America needs more Defenders, especially ones that meet Uncle Sam's stringent requirements. Your hamburger has to meet U.S. Government Standards (at least the ones we eat), so why should your Land Rover be any different?

Q: Why is this important? Why can't I just bring some old Defender through the Swiss cheese they call the Tijuana border?

A: Because while that is possible, and people do it quite frequently (and not just through Mexico), one misses out on some real advantages: Did you ever notice on Ebay how the REAL 1993 Defender 110's bring the big bucks? That is because it is the difference between going out with a girl who looks and acts like Paris Hilton, and going out with Paris Hilton. They are both pretty hot, and pretty dumb, and can carry a little dog around, but only one is Paris Hilton. Same with the D110. Possessing a Rover without the pedigree of EPA and DOT approval carries a stigma, least of which are the questions it raises. Questions like "why does the title say 1967? I thought the coil springs only came out in etc...etc...". Rover fans know the drill.


Insurance is another key factor when considering a Defender purchase. When a vehicle is imported through a DOT and the EPA using an approved Registered Importer, and ICI, the VIN number for that vehicle is entered into the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). This allows insurers to accurately determine the vehicle's rate of theft, and produce a premium. If a vehicle was brought into the country without proper EPA and DOT paperwork (even if it was legally imported!), most insurers will not write a policy, or will charge a much larger premium for minimal coverage. Likewise, when a Land Rover is brought into the U.S., and "re-vinned" or "re-badged", with the VIN number from an older Rover, there is always the chance that a keen eyed insurance investigator will be aware of the discrepancy, and deny the claim, leaving the insured holding the bag for any claims arising from an accident. This has already happened in several cases in the past few years. In the most infamous case, the U.S. Treasury Department was notified by the insurance company. This (I won't disclose the names of those involved, as far as I know litigation is still pending) resulted in not only the claim being denied, but ultimately the F.B.I subpoenaed the records of the company that had originally imported the Defenders (they had brought over quite a few Rovers over the years), confiscated ALL of the vehicles, and destroyed them. The owners of the vehicles were left with no recourse, and the chap who was running the Rover shop conveniently left the country rather than face irate customers, (not to mention the federal arrest warrants!). Granted, this case is extreme, but it pays to be aware of just what can happen when the Federal Government gets involved, as things can go sideways very quickly. This story is legend in Rover circles, and is used to scare children around the campfire at meets.

We plan on having several in stock at all times, and we will gladly convert a Defender that you already own, or plan on purchasing. Call beforehand before you hit the "Bid Now" button, however, to make sure the model and year you are looking will be possible to convert. For now, look for Defender 110 Five Door Wagons that were manufactured in 1993, and Defender 90's that were manufactured after Dec 31st 1996, but before September 1st 1997. (Crazy, eh?!). We plan on petitioning NHTSA to make other years and models eligible for importation, but for now, stick with these 2 specific models and years, and make sure that they are LEFT HAND DRIVE, to save the expense of converting them from RHD. We will certainly swap them over for you, however.

You are all probably asking the big question: WHAT IF I WANT a Defender with the world famous 200Tdi Engine?

The answer is that yes, you can have a Tdi! Remember that Skytop is only registered with NHTSA, i.e. the Department of Transportation. Any Defender that we import will also have to pass the emission standards of the Environmental Protection Agency, and be certified. We have contracted with an ICI (Independent Commercial Importer), who is authorized by the EPA, and can obtain certificates of conformity for each vehicle. The Tdi, once it has been fitted with traps and filters, should pass EPA, (we are told!) A few Tdi's have already been certified, and are on the road right now. With gasoline prices hitting 3 dollars a gallon the allure of the turbo Diesel engine from Rover with its fuel economy becomes clear. Those who are a bit more industrious can also take advantage of the current trend towards "Bio-Diesel", which utilizes used vegetable oils for fuel through a relatively simple rendering process. More about this process can be looked up online using the relevant keywords. Bio Diesel manufacturing kits are also sold on the market, and are easy to set up and use. The 200 Tdi really is a superb engine - those who have worked on them firmly believe that if one changes the oil every 6000 miles, and changes the timing belt every 60,000 miles, it will run forever. Roveristas will see this engine as the culmination of a few false starts, and many feel the 200Tdi is even superior to the later 300Tdi. We only mention the 200Tdi for our purposes, as the 300Tdi was not available on any of the Defenders that are currently eligible to be imported.

So, with all that said, please call or email, and let us know what you think- we would be happy to convert a Defender for you, or answer any questions you may have about our conversions. And again, we thank all of our previous customers for allowing us to reach this point, which we have seen as the natural progression of the past 12 years we have spent wrenching on Rovers. We couldn't do it without you.


Gabor S. Antalics

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Old April 29th, 2006, 02:45 PM
chrisvonc's Avatar
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Chris von C
No Defender at this time
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Va
Posts: 4,136
Chris, you do realize there is a General Chit chat section right?

Chris von C

Please email one of the current MODs if you need assistance.

Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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Old April 30th, 2006, 12:22 PM
Chris V

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Red face

Sorry , didn't realise there was a separate section
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:39 AM
smenzel's Avatar
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1967 Series IIA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 328
Interesting that this information isn't easy to find on their Web site.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:19 AM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
1997 Defender 90 SW
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, Cook
Posts: 883
I think they are on the up and up. Awhile back they were and still are selling that CT110 and I called and spoke with them. They went thru the process to become a legit company that federalizes imports. I can't remember the company that they were working with to obtain the needed certs but they are indeed legit from what I could tell...

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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:40 AM
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David Marchand
'97 D90 SW Arles
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 2,842
It sounds like they are on the up. Really won't know until they bring in a few rigs and and we can get the details from buyers. If they can indeed bring in low mileage 110's and 90's with TDI or other, in a reasonable "Rover" price range ($30-40K), I'd predict they would get a solid number of sales. Hell, I'd be very tempted to sell the Disco and buy a 110 with all of the latest updates.

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