Remember Volkswagen’s Harlequin special editions from the mid-Nineties?

For those of you who aren’t as nerdy as this writer, they were Golfs and Polos with literally every single bit of the body painted a different colour. The result could be politely described as garish (see the image below). Exactly what VW was thinking has been lost in the annals of time.

British fashion designer Paul Smith, whose trademark is a generous use of colour, has applied the same principle to his new toy, a one-off Land Rover Defender built by JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.

No fewer than 27 different colours have been used for the Defender’s exterior, from bright blues and yellows to more earthy tones usually seen on army-spec Landies.

Inside, the seats are trimmed in black leather with cloth insert, in a fabric Smith designed for a furniture company. The dashboard is wrapped in leather as well and other neat touches include an image of a set of keys on the glovebox lid and a Paul Smith clock facia. There’s a hand-painted bee on the the roof.

Land Rover designer director, Gerry McGovern, said: “I felt it would be a fitting tribute to the iconic Defender, that one of Britain’s most distinguished designers worked with the Land Rover team to recognise his creative vision.”

We’ll leave to make up your own mind about whether or not you actually what Paul Smith has done with his Defender. But it’s certainly got me planning what I would commission SVO to do with my lottery win Range Rover.

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