In 2015, the Land Rover Defender as we know and love it will make way for something new and more environmentally friendly, a concept we haven’t quite gotten accustomed to.

In these parts, of course, we’ve been suffering from Defender deprivation ever since Land Rover yanked the North American Specification (NAS) models from its lineup in 1997 due to new airbag requirements.

An ode to the soon-to-be-extinct Land Rover Defender

Developed from the original Land Rover Series I (below) first launched in 1948, the boxy proto-SUV was introduced as the Land Rover One Ten in 1983 and didn’t get the Defender badge until 1991.

Click to enlarge

To commemorate the soon-to-be-extinct utilitarian icon, we’ve been photographing Defenders in their natural habitats on our jaunts across Europe.

For our first installment of the “Defenders of the Universe” series, we bring you this rare “Black” edition, encountered on our recent excursion to Gstaad, Switzerland.

Photographs of Defenders in their natural habitats on our jaunts across Europe

Owned by the dashing Thomas De Camborne Lucy, special events guru for the ultra-luxe Zai ski brand, it not only seats nine but has the rare distinction of a leather interior.

Stay tuned for more, and remember, there’s still time to convince Land Rover to just change the engine and not throw out the baby with the bathwater….