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The Mercedes G Wagon 6×6 is one of the most iconic supertrucks of all time. If this AMG Limited Edition is too common for you, custom shops now offer trucks ranging from a 6×6 Ram 1500 TRX to a 6×6 Hemi Jeep Gladiator. But if you want a collectible factory-built option with as much luxury-brand bragging rights as the Mercedes, consider a military Land Rover Defender 6×6 imported from Australia.

Land Rover built 6×6 Defender trucks for the Australian military

Promo photo of a Land Rover Defender 6x6 truck up for auction, a power station visible in the background.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Cars & Bids

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

Jaguar/Land Rover Australia badly wanted the contract but had one major problem: its Defender trucks maxed out at one ton. So the ingenious company engineered a three-axle/6×6 version of the Defender, specially for the Australian military.

The Land Rover “Perentie” is a Defender with a larger cab, longer frame, and three axles. Its power comes from a turbocharged, 3.9-liter Isuzu diesel and goes through a four-speed manual. After the transmission, the truck’s two-speed transfer case has a regular drive shaft to one rear axle and a PTO driving the final axle. In this way, the driver can choose either 6×4 or 6×6.

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

There were several generations of the Land Rover Perentie 6×6–according to Land Rover’s first prototypes had a regular Defender cab but military-spec axles. The Australian Army never bought these prototypes, so Land Rover sold a few to private buyers.

Land Rover started deliveries of the first-generation trucks, with rear drum brakes and seven leaf springs, in 1989. The Australian Army actually modified these trucks with eleven leaf springs in the back, as well as disc brakes all around. Land Rover incorporated these upgrades into its second-generation Perentie, delivered in 1998.

Finally, Land Rover built a left-hand-drive variant for the Army of Oman. When the Australian Army swapped to Mercedes 6x6s in 2013, it sold its surviving Land Rover 6x6s to civilians.

Land Rover collectors are importing 6×6 “Perentie” Defender trucks

Custom Land Rover Defender 6x6 Perentie from Australia built for Overlanding.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Cars & Bids

In most U.S. states, you can import and register a foreign vehicle once it’s at least 25 years old. Popular imports include classic Toyota Land Cruisers, military-spec Mercedes G Wagons, and of course regular Land Rover Defenders. But some discerning collectors in search of a factory-built 6×6 have begun to import Land Rover Perenties from Australia.

A company called “Ultimate Collector” located and imported a lovely 1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 (pictured) and listed it for auction on Cars and Bids. Land Rover built 17 separate configurations for the military. The Land Rover that went up for auction had a regular cab and a panel van body, similar to an ambulance. With the addition of some windows, it would make an excellent base for an overland camper build.

Closeup of the front rim and tire of a Land Rover Defender 6x6 truck.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Cars & Bids

The Land Rover 6×6 up for auction is finished in Nardo Gray, its interior is Black and Green. Its odometer only lists 12,700 (KM? Miles? The listing is unclear), so it may well be one of the early prototype Land Rovers, though in this case its model year should be earlier.

Despite this Land Rover’s slightly confusing history, it has a valid VIN number and a clear U.S. title. This is excellent news for anyone who wants to buy it and drive it. It bid up to $31,000 back in 2020, but the seller did not accept the highest offer.

Is a six-wheeled Land Rover a smart buy?

The tailgate and swing out rear tires of a Land Rover Defender 6x6 truck.
1990 Land Rover Defender 6×6 “Perentie” | Cars & Bids

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

The extra axle also robs the Land Rover of some straight-line power, which the manufacturer attempted to offset with the addition of a turbo. An imported Land Rover 6×6 might not be the most practical choice, but boy is it cool. Doug DeMuro put it well on Cars and Bids:

“I truly can’t think of a cooler overlanding vehicle, and I’d go crazy if I saw this at a national park or a campground.”

Doug DeMuro, Cars and Bids

Next, read aout the all-new Ineos Grenadier Land Rover lookalike or see the Land Rover 6×6 Perentie in action in the video below: