The British automotive brand Land Rover has been making arguably the best off-road vehicles for close to half a century. The brand has built quite the reputation for being able to engineer unprofound functionality into their vehicles and have redefined the concept of ‘Go anywhere’. So the brand in a way has become the yardstick for measuring the performance capabilities of other off-road machines. The model which really put the Land Rover in the limelight is the now called Land Rover Defender. Initially, when Land Rover started making this model in 1983 they had called it the Land Rover One Ten, which represented the length of the vehicle wheelbase. They changed this in 1984 and shortened the wheelbase to ninety inches and called it the Land Rover Ninety. However, in the year 1989 they brought out a third model called the Land Rover Discovery and there seemed to be no orderliness to the nomenclature of their vehicles, so to avoid it they decided to name the One Ten and the Ninety as Defender 90 and Defender 110. This clearly brought distinction among their different models and one didn’t have to spend an afternoon just to get to terms with the model names and their features.
The Custom Land Rover Defender is what you would call the perfect blend of performance through simplicity and impeccable engineering. The Land Rover Defender was made right upto the year 2016, and from its first model, Land Rover has stayed true to its original engineering ethos. In addition, it rocketed the Land Rover Defender into the hearts of multitude of enthusiasts as simplicity which personified performance. Even the early models of the Defender are enjoyed to this day by their owners and it is a testament to its engineering brilliance. Customising the Defender is a no easy task, however, there are certain Custom Land Rover Defender builders who have managed to the cut the mustard. Let’s take a look at few of the Land Rover Defender builders who have done an impeccable job.
ARKONICThis Somerset based customizing house has been known for its overwhelming love for Land Rover Defenders. It has been rescuing old Defenders across the UK and building these vehicles from ground up and customizing it up to the varied tastes of its customers. The ‘Scout’ as Arkonic like to call this custom Land Rover Defender build, is an artistic blend of the iconic retro curves of the Defender 90 with the modern accessories. The Scout is coated in Bonnati Grey and is powered by the sporty 3.5 litre V8, contrasted with the black sawtooth wheels wrapped with all terrain BF Goodrich tyres. The interior is wrapped completely with black leather trim with 2 Recaro Cross CS seats doing the job of comforting the front passengers and the rear has tip-up seats. The audio duties are performed by premium Alpine sound system with Apple Car Play features.
East Coast DefenderThe aspect of Custom Land Rover Defenders is that it provides the perfect blend of modern innovation and the Defender’s rich heritage is what you would call progress in the right direction. The project pedigree from custom Land Rover builders East Coast Customs has one-of-a-kind modern designs which are relevant to the old Defenders. The old school looks ensure you get a glimpse into the era of functional motoring which has been loaded with luxury and innovation for simplicity of use. This mammoth Defender gets a heart transplant in the form of a 6.2 liter Chevrolet V8 engine churning 430HP, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The G4 roof rack adds to its luggage carrying capability and comes fitted with a wrench to rescue you out of slippery situations. The interior is fitted with a wood grain MOMO steering wheel and the interiors are covered in the finest of leather to give you the perfect flavor of luxury. The premium sound system ensures you can enjoy your favorite playlists in the deepest of woods. In short, what you would call a provocative version of Go Anywhere Luxury.
Little changes make big transformations and this is the design philosophy of custom Land Rover Defender Builders – Twisted. Twisted’s take on building a Ninety Defender Station Wagon is about getting its basics right and building it up from thereon. The chassis is stripped to bare metal and is given a spray of rust free protection, seal adhesions with aligning the geometry. The Defender is then given an ECU upgrade for better fuelling, enhanced performance, and speed de-restriction. The suspension is upgraded with anti-roll bars, upgraded springs, and re-gassed dampers. The Alcon upgraded brake kit is fitted to the Defender and finished up with 18’ alloy wheels and BF Goodrich All-Terrain tyres.
Chelsea Truck Co.This London based Custom Land Rover Defender Builder – Chelsea Truck Co. believes in going all out in transforming the Defender 110 into a something that looks like it’s just rolled out the production line yesterday. This Defender is powered by a 2.4 TDCI diesel engine and built as a flat-bed pickup truck with a coordinated combination of black and grey completing the body panels and use of beach yellow to give a sporty contrast. The front grill has been given a considerable uplift to fit into the modern design ethos of the current generation. The wheel arches have been widened to give it a bigger road presence and has rightfully inspired this build to be named as “Chelsea Wide Track. Step inside and you would almost forget that you are inside a Defender, the interior quality and finish can be only comparable to the likes of the most expensive Bentleys. So this build is a blend of at most luxury and brutish looks.
This Amsterdam-based custom Land Rover Defender builder claims that no two Defenders should be the same. The Landrovers pride themselves in building you the exact Defender of your dream and have been known to create the most radical transformations catered to individualistic taste. The build in question is what the company likes to call “The Beachdrifter” is inspired to elevate your “Coast Hunting” experience. The body is a contrast of gold and grey colours to give a very outdoorsy feel and compliment the shining sun. This Defender 110 comes with a soft top to enable you to enjoy the beach weather to its fullest. The interior has a very rustic earthy theme with red seats complimented by the brown inserts. The front grill and the headlight clusters have been upgraded to LED ones and the combination of gold and grey is sure to capture the fancies of the Sheikh from the Middle East and the Californian Businessman alike.
Top Hat ClassicsThis Netherland based custom Land Rover Defender Builder – Top Hat Classics has seen a lot of success in building custom Defenders and has now expanded business across the shores to the United States. Their Custom Defender 110 has a highly purposeful approach, the car is finished up in Baylor University Matte Green with Matte Gold Accents. The powertrain includes a 3.9 litre V8 engine with electronic fuel injection mated to a 5 Speed manual transmission. The interior is done up using a combination of leather and Alcantara to give the interiors a plush yet sporty feel, the in-car entertainment is upgraded to incorporate Apple Play as well. The traction duties are performed by BF Goodridge tires mounted to 16-inch black alloy wheels.
TMD TuningTMD Tuning is a customising house based out of Sussex and pride themselves in knowing a thing or two about building Custom Land Rover Defenders. The below example of the Defender 110 transformed into the ultimate explorer is exactly what you would want to get yourself to cure that adventure bug. ‘Defender 110 Expedition’ as TMD tuning calls this build is truly one of a kind, it is covered in a ultra-stealth of green and black colour scheme making it completely inconspicuous in the woods. The roof is where the most interesting bit of this build lies. The roof houses a tent that can be opened out as it forms a big umbrella around the car, this is perfect for camping in the middle of a desert in the blazing afternoon sun and not feel slightest bit of the sun’s heat. The interiors are done up in a combination of tan and dark brown, to keep the earthy theme consistent. As with all adventure builds of the Defender, this also runs on BF Goodrich Tyres wrapped around black alloys.
Defender IconCustom Land Rover Defender building company – Defender Icon, has by far the most interesting beginning. Nene Overland had a family owned business of farming which dealt with farming equipment and even the odd Land Rover. After he traveled around the world, he realised how the farming business would come into pressure from cheaper food imports from abroad and decided to move the business into building and customising Land Rovers. His passion for the Land Rover has built great recognition for his business across the lengths and breadths of Europe. The man himself, Nene Overland wanted to pay tribute to the glorious 67 years of Land Rovers being in production, in the form of building the Defender Icon Classic 48 Heritage. Like any through build by Defender Icon, the Defender was stripped to its bare chassis and given through rust proofing and built up from thereon. Some bit of necessary modernisation has been incorporated into the build for some day-to-day convenience like power windows and central locking. Majority of the build remains true to leasing fresh life into the Classic 48 Heritage and keeping it relevant for many more years to come.
So it is evident how each of the Custom Land Rover Defender Building houses have one thing in common, “Passion”, it is this passion that has seen them create remarkable examples of an already bulletproof car in the Defender. Its the same passion that has kept the Defender alive and made it relevant in today’s modern world and it is also this exact passion which will see the Defender march on in our hearts for many more years to come.