The morning started early. It has long been arranged that the Land Rover faithful would pass through the famous gates of 'The Home of the Legend' by 7.15am, to be marshalled into place beside the longest-surviving production line on JLR's mighty Solihull estate to witness the final build of the last dozen Defenders that would ever be made.

Land Rover Defender set for comeback with investment from chemicals tycoon

Organisers swirled about and bacon rolls were plentiful, but no one really knew how it would go, or who would turn up. But it swiftly became clear that far more people would be on hand than were initially expected - and that the ruling mood, at least until the last car's last moment, would be celebratory.

Sixty-eight years of production was, after all, a supreme achievement. People swirled about, the line began to roll at about half-speed and the last few assembly operations began on the most famous dozen Defenders of modern times.

The cars crawled along, and as they did, technicians at the head of the process were gradually freed from jobs. First they carefully replaced their tools in racks for the last time, then they joined the throng watching the last car - a green Heritage 90 - proceed slowly on its way.