Team Spotlight: Sam, Production Manager

Land Rover Defender for Sale

The work done at East Coast Defender relies on one thing in particular to separate our custom Land Rover builds from any others in the marketplace: the absolute cutting edge talents and abilities of our team members. Our designers and builders are brought in from every corner of the mechanic skill pool, each with different expertise. These customized, modified Land Rover Defenders just wouldn’t be the same without their knowledge. Our culture thrives on self improvement as we constantly strive towards perfection. We’ve assembled quite the team including our workshop manager, quality control lead, and head of engineering, but we found ourselves asking how we can inch even closer to build perfection.

We believe that Sam Roberson will take us one step closer. As the new production manager at East Coast Defender, his goals are clear: to always have the strictest eye towards quality and to decrease the time it takes for our clients to receive their dream truck. Efficiency and quality will be his world.

Sam’s main responsibilities will have him on the facility floor looking for improvements and consistently making refinements to production. He comes from a background of mechanical fixes to emergency vehicles which necessitates creativity and speed: those fire-trucks and ambulances have to find a way to get back on the road. These skills should translate well to ECD. He has an eye for the small things in a build and will look to ensure that down the line, quality can take hold even further within the garage.

Though production lead time and other measurables are an asset and will help in efficiency, East Coast Defender’s main focus is on innovation and quality; how long it takes to complete a project depends entirely on how long it takes before we feel a truck is as close to perfection as it is ever going to be. “I want to go faster, bigger, stronger than anybody in the world.” That drive for excellence is one of the things that attracted Sam to his new role here, and his dedication to it is a main reason he was hired. Land Rover Defenders are challenging vehicles to build in every sense, but this challenge is what makes them worth the time and care. The cars are iconic, the builds are revolutionary, and Sam Roberson looks to uphold that standard with ECD as they strive towards the future.

Seven Things You Didn’t Know About the Defender

Land Rover Defender for Sale

Land Rover Defenders have such a long and distinguished history, not to mention a thousand technical facets, that there is always something new to learn about the ever-evolving truck. From its humble beginnings as a working car for farmers across the U.K. to its evolution as a luxury road vehicle, the Defender has carved out its own unique space in the automotive record. With that in mind, we thought we’d share seven things you may not necessarily know about this legend of the road.

  • Aluminum: Early versions of the Defender were built with aluminum as opposed to steel because of World War II restrictions on materials. This would come to be oddly prophetic, as all modern vehicles have grown to depend on the lightweight material even without war rations in place.
  • A Big Name Favorite: It’s the car of The Queen, for starters; if you don’t see Her Majesty in a limousine, she will be in a Land Rover Defender. Other famous names behind the wheel of this iconic vehicle over the years range from Bill Murray to Sean Connery and Ralph Lauren.
  • The Wolves: Designed under the shadow of war, Defenders, to this day, do their part in militaries around the world. In Great Britain, the version of the XD Defender series is referred to as The Wolves.
  • Defender in the USA: Around the early 1990s when Land Rover Defenders finally began coming across the pond, modifications had to be made in order for the trucks to be street legal per the USDOT. This led to what is called the relatively rare Defender NAS (North American Specification).
  • Military Mobile: As mentioned, it is not just Great Britain’s military that has relied on Defenders over the years. Countries such as Australia and Germany have incorporated fleets into their regiments. Military Defenders are equipped with special TD5 engines designed to be resistant to the electromagnetic pulse created by nuclear weapons.
  • Bond, James Bond: Various Land Rovers have shown up in James Bond movies over the years, with an especially relevant role for the Defender in Daniel Craig’s recent version Spectre.
  • The Replacement: And sadly, all good things must also come to an end. Defender’s ceased production for good on January 29th, 2016. A new type of replacement vehicle is rumored to be in the awning for 2019. But due to their quality, Defenders will live on over the years with incredible modifications and restorations.

That’s just the beginning. Land Rover Defenders built in East Coast Defender’s massive Florida facility will have a history all their own. For more information about becoming part of this vast narrative, contact us at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com for more information.

Favorite Projects of 2016

Land Rover Defender for Sale

Each project taken on when building a custom Land Rover Defender becomes a snowflake of truck design: unique and esoteric, with no two being exactly alike. At East Coast Defender, we can offer so many gadgets and modifications that creating a build is anpedigree-1 experience. Some of those experiences become legendary, and in 2016, we like to think we’ve had an incredible run of custom builds that have rolled out of our Central Florida facility.

In particular, two stand out for this year: Project Pedigree and Project Beast. With each custom build, our team or the build’s owner assigns a code name for a variety of reasons, but mainly because we end up spending so much time with the trucks that calling them the “green one” just does not do these works of art justice. An 18,000 square foot state of the art facility, 28 full-time employees, and some of the most talented minds in Land Rover building and design produce around 40 vehicles per year. This gives you an idea of both the exclusivity and care taken in the creation of each one of these projects.

pedigree-2Project Pedigree is a true to the nature of the Defender green colored classic and one of 2016’s best builds. Luxurious as caviar and as powerful as a polar bear, this is a classic take on what a Land Rover Defender can be, but with modifications that make the hearts race in the 110 community. A brand new Chevrolet LS3 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission was placed under the hood, ready to rip and roar. Its exterior color stands out in particular: a bronze-green that popped in both the shop and on the streets. And oh yes, it had accessories: A G4 expedition roof rack with a ladder, a set of BFG KO2 tires, and the pièce de résistance, an eye-catching Momo Indy woodgrain steering wheel that contrasts wonderfully with the all-black leather interior.

beast2Project Beast fell into the same sphere when mulling our favorite builds of this past year. The award-winning build, featured in the Luxury Travel Magazine, Beast is a modern, provocative, and innovative take on the Land Rover Defender. The matte, all-black exterior was meant to turn heads, as were the 18-inch Kahn special-edition wheels. There’s no doubt that the interior is just as revolutionary as the exterior. It features a completely hand-stitched leather interior and JBL 8-speaker sound package. Plus, it handled like a dream, in part due to having customized Tarox performance brakes and lift kit designed to maximize drivability.

In 2017, the team at ECD look to exceed and improve upon these two incredible builds. Our goal with every Land Road Defender that comes out of our custom facility is perfection and innovation, and we’ll keep striving to get there. Somewhere out there, within someone’s imagination, are the mental keys to unlocking what will be our favorite builds in this New Year. To be a part of this evolution in trucks, contact us via phone at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com.

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Fly and Drive Program

Land Rover Defender for Sale

One-hundred-thirteen years ago, two brothers descended on the rolling sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to try something truly audacious. In a story now well known to history, and one that forever fundamentally changed the course of human history, Orville and Wilbur Wright launched the very first flight. It was bold, it was visionary, and it took technical understanding of mechanics on a level no one had previously been able to accomplish. Equal parts of genius and obsession went into what became known as that first flight 113 years ago. It only lasted a mere 12 seconds, as their craft powered itself for 120 feet at a snail-like 6.8 miles per hour (6.8!). That’s the origin story behind the famous picture: Orville at the helm, comfortably changing the course of history with resolve and persistence, as two brothers invented flight.

Down in Florida in the 21st century, two brothers (Tom and Elliot Humble) behind East Coast Defender bring a similar sense of adventure and the maniacal search of technical perfection to the endeavor of truck building. While the comparisons might end there, the Wright Brothers are a partial inspiration for ECD’s bold new Fly & Drive Experience.

Buying a Land Rover Defender in the U.S. from the world-class experts at East Coast Defender is not like purchasing any other truck: it’s the building of machine created to fit your personality and accompany your distinctive individuality. Each project has its own code name and its own identity.

That’s where the Fly & Drive program comes into play: we want you to be a part of this process all the way. For select individuals thinking of getting a Defender with ECD, we are offering a tremendous opportunity. In the Fly & Drive program, we will fly you out to our superb facility under the palms of Central Florida, arrange test drives, and give you a full tour of our operations: all of this on us with our executive concierge service.

Seem too good to be true? Most people didn’t think the Wright Brothers were serious either. But they were, and so are we. So this winter, if you are thinking of purchasing a luxury, custom Land Rover Defender in the U.S., contact us at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com, and we’ll start the process.

Land Rover Defender’s Military History

Land Rover Defender for Sale

For over half a century, Land Rover Defenders have been cruising battlefields and front lines, from jungle to desert, in an assorted spectrum of uses. The British military has been using various series’ as an official vehicle since the 1950s, and many nations, when seeing the capabilities of this formidable truck, followed suit. In recent times, Defender 110s (based on a 1994 model created specifically for the British military, called the Defender XD) have patrolled in combat zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Their ability to withstand extreme conditions, as well as the way they roll over exotic terrain, lent them a formidable reputation and the nomenclature as the Wolves. As ex-wolves aged out of military service (or were upgraded to a new series), they found their way to the public market.

Early versions of the Wolf tinkered with using the civilian TD5 engine, but issues with battlefield electronics pushed Land Rover in the direction of a 300TDI. The originals, those seen in the 1950s and 1960s, were outfitted primarily with a 3.5-liter V8. That original 3.5-liter V8 series was phased out in 1985 with the Series III; showing upgrades in both performance and modification abilities for shifting battlefields.

In 1994, Land Rover settled into a basic version that is still used today in the form of Defender XDs. These were offered in both soft-top and hard-top variations and outfitted to the specifications of Defender 110s and 90s. In modern times, Defender XD 90s are very rarely used by militaries worldwide in comparison to XD 110s. Much of this has to do with increased power in transportation modes used to move the vehicles around the world (such as helicopter lifts and large cargo jets), and even more of it has to do with how well the XD 110s were made in general; the primary benefit of the 90 series had to do with its smaller size.

The 300TDI engine ceased production in 2006, but Land Rover has maintained a facility specifically to build Wolf-grade engines of the modern day. In armies from Australia to Germany and, of course, Great Britain, the Land Rover Wolf Defender 110 fleet is still in heavy use. Police departments around the world also make use of the military version of the truck. Whether on streets, mud, sand, ice, or mountainside, the Land Rover Defender has been a reliable workhorse for militaries since before the advent of spaceflight. This is only possible through consistently brilliant design and an ongoing passion for the most exceptional quality.

Ending 2016 at East Coast Defender

Land Rover Defender for Sale

 

2016 at East Coast Defender has been an incredible year of success, achievement, recognition, improvement & evolution towards becoming the worlds finest Custom builder of Land Rover Defenders.

We have increased our production facility here in the Sunshine state to 20,000 sq. ft. this has allowed us to set up a robust production line & support it with some of the most skilled mechanical technicians in the USA.

We have appointed heads of departments to assist with our journey to build the finest Defenders on the planet. Our Head of Engineering has helped us implement our industry leading GM drive train range with outstanding warranty terms.

Our Head of Production has helped apply processes to ensure that in 2017, we not only produce the highest quality Defenders but we can also build them at a more efficient rate to ensure we continue to meet our growing demands for custom made Defenders.

Our marketing department & concierge team have created a client communication portal online to ensure we keep our clients updated on the progress of their unique custom defender builds.

We have moved key departments in-house. With our own paint shop & upholstery departments under our control, we are now 100% self-compliant on building these unique trucks from start to finish.

ecd_0661-2-copy-2In April of this year, Project Beast, our first custom Defender with LS3 won the People’s Choice Award at the Festivals of Speed.

At East Coast Defender, we live by a culture that our success will never be final & we strive for excellence in every inch of our product. We are focused, allowing us to move closer to that goal in 2017.  We are self-critical & nobody can be harder on driving our product towards perfection than the owners & outstanding team members that put up with that driven culture daily.

ECD will be holding an end of year celebration this weekend with our team & extended family members for a few hours to celebrate our success in 2016. We have already defined & communicated our objectives for 2017. We have a dedicated team of owners, heads of departments & team members that we know will deliver for our clients. As owners, we would like to thank our team & family members for the dedication & support in 2016.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal clients, passionate fans & followers.  It is truly your feedback & passion for our product that drives us every day.

Happy Holidays.

Tom, Scott & Elliot.

“Project Pedigree” Showcase

Land Rover Defender for sale USA

East Coast Defender Completes Classic “Project Pedigree” Land Rover With Modern Twists

East Coast Defender (ECD), North America’s premiere source for re-engineered Land Rover Defenders, recently delivered its most recent creation: Project Pedigree. ECD co-founder Tom Humble provided a conceptual overview: “This is what our hard-core Defender enthusiasts ask for,” he said. “We don’t have many builds that come through with classic-looking exteriors, so this build’s beautiful blend of classic styling and modern performance and comfort is what makes the truck really stand out.”

The current trend in custom luxury vehicles is monochromatic paint. In fact, ECD’s customers commonly choose solid white, grey, and black as their favorite colors. Project Pedigree goes throw-back, paying tribute to the original Defender look and feel with a classic two-tone exterior. In this case, the traditional white roof is joined by a custom Bronze Green body. Stance was also kept stock: Project Pedigree sits at factory ride height on new factory steel wheels inside performance LT265/75R16 BFGoodrich Radial All-Terrain KO2 tires.

Tasteful and functional accessories were added to the exterior. Most noticeable is the G4 Expedition roof rack with ladder. It hosts a full-width forward-facing LED bar and rear LED work light. Bumpers were also upgraded: the front unit houses a Warn VR 8000 winch and LED driving lights; the tubular rear bumper mounts the swing-away spare-tire carrier. Body protection is provided by traditional side sliders/step boards and black-checker rocker-panel plates. LED headlights in vented KBX surrounds complete the exterior upgrades.

Seven-passenger comfort highlights the interior. ECD added a leather-trimmed Puma dashboard and Puma-style quilted-leather upholstery. Comfort and convenience additions start with air conditioning, power front windows and remote entry with an alarm system. To enhance driver feel, a Momo Indy woodgrain steering wheel was added. Electronics were upgraded with a premium Alpine system. Project Pedigree also includes touchscreen GPS navigation, back-up camera display, concert sound, and Bluetooth.

Project Pedigree’s powertrain was also modernized. The stock 1960s-rooted Rover/Buick 3.9L V-8 was replaced with a current-tech GM powerplant: the 6.2L Corvette Stingray LS3 V-8. This bumps engine output to 430 horsepower. The LS3 is backed by a GM 6L60 6-speed automatic transmission, which is adapted to the factory Rover LT230 transfer case.

Project Pedigree is the latest custom Defender to emerge from ECD’s 18,000 square-foot headquarters near Orlando, Florida. Company co-founder Tom Humble says, “Pedigree really pays tribute to the original look and feel of the Defender with the secret surprise of being completely modernized and upgraded internally with its new Puma dashboard, all leather interior, LED exterior lighting and Chevy LS3 engine.”

ECD is currently taking reservations for 2017 builds. Customers who choose their Defender options and upgrades before April 2017 — an online customizer simplifies the process — can expect to take delivery the same calendar year. For more information, please contact East Cost Defender, (407) 483-4825.

Posted in PR

Team Spotlight: Tom, Elliot & Scott

Land Rover Defender for Sale

East Coast Defender is a tight group of hardworking individuals that strive for greatness on every single build. From a humble beginning in a 900 square foot shop to its more recent explosive growth beneath the swaying palm trees of Florida, ECD now boasts 23 full-time employees and an 18,000 thousand square foot, world-class garage. Building over 40 custom Land Rover Defenders each year is a passion for the crew, and it all would not have been possible without a leap of faith from founders Scott Wallace and the brothers Tom and Elliot Humble. The three founders all wear different hats, but Tom works sales, Elliot is the project manager and Scott is the business and financial strategist. And they love Defenders.

The team has one goal: perfection in every build. They are constantly working to meet the client’s needs, push innovation to the very razor’s edge, and create astonishing luxury Defenders. The business philosophy as Scott puts it, quite succinctly, is “vision with grind.” ECD looks to combine the elements that make Defender’s world-renown as incredible and reliable workhorse trucks (strength, power, durability) with ground-breaking luxury accessories for a synthesis that is part vehicle, part art. They build in-house to have full quality control over every aspect of the vehicles creation; outsourcing nothing and relying on a team of professionals who have decades of experience with these unique trucks. From in their paint facility to on-campus upholstery work, the results put the craftsmanship at ECD on a level that has no peers.

Tom Humble credits the ability to produce these driving machines to many things, but one stands above the fray: knowledge. With a production manager who’s been working with Land Rover Defenders for 25 years, to a deeply ingrained sense of legacy to the car’s original intent, ECD’s harshest critics are themselves. As Tom puts it: “We know our product and we take note of details that most wouldn’t notice. It just means that the quality of our builds will be nothing less than superb.”

East Coast Defender, with Scott, Tom, and Elliot at the helm, look towards a future of continued innovation and finding excellence at all levels. For Scott Wallace: “The biggest challenge is to continually bring the culture to life of pursuing excellence. If you can get a collective group of people to understand and deliver excellence in what we do, we will truly build some phenomenal Defenders.” That’s mission for these artesian of the Land Rover Defenders, one that shows no sign of slowing down in the balmy afternoons in Central Florida. Contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com for more information.

Choosing Custom Elements for Your Build

Land Rover Defender for Sale

Custom elements when applied by the creative masterminds at East Coast Defender can take your standard Land Rover Defender and turn it into a bespoke, luxury vehicle that fits your vision and life. No one build is exactly the same, and the combinations available are endless. How can you choose the elements for your build?  Style, usage, and whatever you can dream up all factor in. One of the best ways to get an idea of the type of customization you may be looking for in a build is to simply flip through our project gallery. Here you will see the full vibrant range of possibilities.

All worked up from the finest chassis that our group of dealers in the United Kingdom can track down, the projects that have rolled out of our Kissimmee garage over the years can range custom-elementsfrom intimidating to jaw dropping. Take our Project Hulk for example; with an intense set of Kahn wheels, roof rack, and a dark Porsche olive green exterior, it makes a certain entrance. Plus, don’t forget the all important KBX package. Then there’s Project Infrared, bright and audacious, but with all the tech you could possibly want including full LED lighting and a top-level fully ingrained sound system. But even bright red Project Infrared has the same brute strength as any of our Land Rover Defender’s, with a roll cage, a 2” inch lift kit and a growling fully rebuilt 3.9 V8 engine. Our Head of Engineering, Ryan, continues to push the innovation envelope with custom 3D printed pieces like door handles. No customized accessory is out of reach.

The exterior options can be a bit overwhelming: roof racks, sawtooth wheels, Masai winch bumpers, the list goes on and on. But when picking elements for your build, one would be remiss if they didn’t put some serious thought into the place you’ll be spending the most time: the interior. Our in-house team of professional upholstery experts can put touches on seats and dashboards that are otherworldly. Corbeau racing seats can be monogrammed, luxury leathers from the around the planet stitched into every seam, and any seating layout you can think, we can make it work. We build it; simple as that. Don’t forget Masai Panoramic glass, sunroofs, and even, in the case of Project Eclipse, a custom built dog cage for your pooch.

Every Land Rover Defender built in the U.S.A by East Coast Defender starts as a concept and morphs into a fully-realized vision. It takes time, knowledge, and the help of our clients: your expectation of perfection is what drives us in the pursuit of creating the finest luxury vehicles. No accessory is too difficult, and no customization too obscure. For more information feel free to contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com.