Super Street Network

 |   |  East Coast Defender - Custom British Classics
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

East Coast Defender - Custom British Classics

East Coast Defender is doing a lot more than importing Defenders; they're rebuilding and customizing them from the ground up!

Austin Lott
Oct 24, 2018
Photographer: Sam Du

There's something about rugged four-wheel drive capability paired with leather-bound luxury that's appealing. Just look at half the vehicles Land Rover sells, and the fact that the Mercedes G-Class didn't change for years. The recipe is simple, but the truth is, they don't make 'em like they used to. So, your options have typically been to settle and get something new that comes close, or to get something used. A few months ago, we got a chance to see that there's another way when East Coast Defender brought a pair of classic Land Rovers by our Southern California office.

East coast defender range rover classic defender 90 Photo 2/44   |   East Coast Defender Range Rover Classic Defender 90

A trio of Brits that grew up around Land Rover's legendary Defenders founded East Coast Defender (ECD). The company was born in '12 and started out with simple imports and clean rebuilds to customer specifications. They then realized if they wanted to do things right, and become known for the best custom builds in the world, they had to bring every step of the process in-house. Today, they have 50 employees working in a 30,000 square foot facility that strips each Land Rover to the frame and painstakingly refinishes or replaces nearly all of the components. Along the way they integrate custom touches for each customer. They can do nearly anything in their facility, and the work is impressive. Think famed Porsche builder Singer, but for old four-wheel drives—classic character with just enough modern touches.

Pictured here are a Range Rover Classic (four-door) and a Land Rover Defender 90 (two door). The Defender, named Project Millenium Falcon, is a faster and more technologically advanced take on the classic off-roader. The truck is sporting a Chevy LS3 V-8, good for 430-hp, a four-speed automatic, full rollcage, Borla exhaust, and 18-inch Boost/Kahn wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber. Outside it could be mistaken for a clean restomod Defender, complete with an eminently functional Warn winch. Step inside and the transformation is profound. There are touches from the original Land Rover design, but now different materials are offset by contrast stitching and LED lighting. There's even a wireless charging mat for your phone and Wi-Fi throughout.

East coast defender range rover classic passenger side profile Photo 6/44   |   East Coast Defender Range Rover Classic Passenger Side Profile

The Range Rover Classic shows the other end of the spectrum for ECD: the exterior and interior look better than they did on the showroom floor. Throughout the build there are small touches that update the four-wheeler, including the not-so-subtle LS V-8 swap in place of the original Rover V-8. Other things, like a USB port that's mounted in a previously blank button on the center stack show these guys are not only good, they're thoughtful.

East coast defender land rover defender 90 front bumper Photo 7/44   |   East Coast Defender Land Rover Defender 90 Front Bumper

ECD has solved the dilemma of classic British vehicles: the LS power plant is reliable and easy to source parts for, not to mention mechanics competent to work on it. They've also done it in such a way that they haven't scrubbed the vehicles clean of all their character, either.

East coast defender land rover defender 90 ls3 engine Photo 8/44   |   East Coast Defender Land Rover Defender 90 Ls3 Engine
East coast defender range rover driver side profile Photo 15/44   |   East Coast Defender Range Rover Driver Side Profile
East coast defender land rover defender 90 boost kahn wheels Photo 19/44   |   East Coast Defender Land Rover Defender 90 Boost Kahn Wheels
East coast defender range rover classic Photo 26/44   |   East Coast Defender Range Rover Classic
East coast defender land rover defender 90 boost kahn wheels Photo 33/44   |   East Coast Defender Land Rover Defender 90 Boost Kahn Wheels
East coast defender range rover classic front bumper Photo 40/44   |   East Coast Defender Range Rover Classic Front Bumper
East coast defender range rover classic ls engine Photo 44/44   |   East Coast Defender Range Rover Classic Ls Engine

Sources

ECD Automotive Design
Kissimmee, FL 34758
407-483-4825
https://www.ecdautodesign.com
By Austin Lott
15 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

Jaguar gave its rally F-Type a full roll cage, ripped out most of the interior, and added auxiliary lights to the hood
Collin WoodardNov 12, 2018
The one car that caught our attention the moment we stepped into VIP Fest 12 and not only held it, but had us coming back for another visit (or three) as the day continued
RodrezNov 9, 2018
Sam always thought MX-5s were cool cars but he never thought he'd ever own one until he spent a few days behind the wheel of an 2019 MX-5
Sam DuNov 7, 2018
Earlier this year, Subaru announced the WRX STI would get a 5-horsepower boost for 2019. No, it wasn’t much, but at least the STI would no longer be outgunned by the turbocharged four-cylinder Mustang. Subaru’s latest special edition STI, however, comes with a much less underwhelming boost in power. It’s called the WRX STI TC 380, and
Collin WoodardNov 6, 2018
Evasive Motorsports' S2K sat front and center in the Mackin Ind. booth during SEMA week doing exactly what it was supposed to do: wowing show goers while pulling them in for a closer look at all that Mackin has to offer
RodrezNov 6, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP