Best Places to Offroad in the U.S.

Land Rover Defender for Sale in USA

Land Rover Defenders have a lot of features that define them: luxury, comfort, quality, history, craftsmanship, power, and exclusivity. But nothing defines these audacious machines with more clarity than the moves they can make when taken off-road. Legendary from its beginning, Defenders are often thought of as the ultimate off-road vehicle because they seem to find no terrain impossible. It’s one of the reasons these vehicles are so commonly used by militaries from around the world. In short, their durability and power is world-renowned.

When you own a Land Rover Defender, you might as well really use it. To do that, you’ll need to find some of the most challenging and stunning off-road sites scattered throughout the United States. What follows is a quick summary of four we would recommend as the best if you are penciling in a Land Rover Defender road trip for this upcoming summer.

  • The Mojave Road

This scenic roadway hits some of the highlights in the American West: Joshua Tree Forest, the Colorado River, Rock Spring, and Soda Lake all included. Starting in Arizona and ending in California, this is primarily a super-remote desert run. And what does a desert not have? Water. Time to test those off-road survival abilities.

  • The Dalton Highway

A little off the map from the United States mainland, the Dalton Highway in Alaska (also known as the Haul Road) is 414 miles of hard driving and incredible sights. Much of this road is unpaved, putting your chassis to the test, one a Land Rover Defender will pass. This is an extraordinary run taken almost exclusively by off-road fanatics and truckers who don’t have any other choice. Pack well, and only attempt in the summer months.

  • El Camino Del Diablo

Hey, where are you going this summer? The El Camino Del Diablo, my friend. Now that’s a conversation starter. The Devil’s Highway is a historic 250-mile stretch of highway that has been around in some form for nearly half a millennia. Starting in Arizona and covering a wide-range of the Southwest, this beautiful and remote area is a bucket list item for the true off-road driver.

  • The Rubicon Trail

Unlike some of the long-haul roads we’ve listed above, which combine beauty, rough edges, and length, the Rubicon Trail is the premier roller coaster in the off-road lexicon. The trail is only 22 miles, but it packs a punch. This run located west of Lake Tahoe in California is a pure performance test; only the finest 4X4s and their drivers can conquer it.

There’s a longer list of course (no mention of White Rim Trail?), and if you find your off-road adventures to be sublime, you’ll track them down. To have the proper Land Rover Defender designed to tackle these challenges, call the experts at East Coast Defender at 407-483-4825.

Project Spotlight: Project Urban Assault

Land Rover Defender for Sale in USA

As East Coast Defender glides into 2017, our builds look to get more audacious and more custom. Our eye is to perfection, and our trademark resides someplace in the realm of the cutting edge. These Land Rover Defenders built in the USA., with nothing outsourced and everything built from the ground up within our sprawling Florida facility, are the vehicular definition of luxury and muscle. As exciting as past years have been, everything has been building up to this moment in time for us; our current combination of expert staff and years of modification knowledge place us in perfect position to begin minting masterpieces of the highway.

So, Project Urban Assault is our opening salvo. Jaw dropping and heart pumping, this custom modification is a landmark piece for us. From interior to exterior, no detail was too small, and no opportunity was missed to push the boundary of what a Land Urban Assault 2Rover Defender can fully be. This iconic build was completely custom-made for a client, and, like all of our designs, the input of our customer was essential to pushing us to the limits. We want to make the truck that fits in your garage.

Project Urban Assault was painted in a custom Imola grey and dusted with an eggshell finish. Its unique color is part stealth, part stand-out. Featuring a wide body kit and Kahn special-edition wheels (which come hand in hand with BFG tires, quickly becoming ECD’s go-to in the world of premium tire types), this road warrior also has a full roll cage. Off-road and on-road, it’s ready for anything.

Maybe most notable, to the connoisseur anyway, is the custom grill we crafted onto it. The slick air-intake fan in silhouette, this Zunsport grille will not be found on many other trucks of this vintage. To Urban Assault 3provide the level of power that would be expected in order to match the remarkable exterior, we dropped a Chevrolet LC9 engine right into it. The lucky driver of this one-of-a-kind beauty will be able to control via an electronic shift system.

The interior, however, is where Project Urban Assault defines itself. Custom stitching is done onsite in a red and black matrix that extends from the Puma dashboard with built-in Wi-Fi all the way to the trunk. Urban Assault’s seating layout is classic with a modern artistic touch that incorporates style and comfort in equal measure. This is a machine built with excellence in mind, a Land Rover Defender built in the USA, and one of the finest new entries into our historical catalog. To craft your own custom Defender, contact us today 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com.

Accessories for Cold Weather Defenders

Land Rover Defender for Sale in USA

Land Rover Defenders, particularly those customized in the Florida headquarters of East Coast Defender, are trucks designed to handle all weather. From mud to water, sand, and jungle, these beasts of the road do not hesitate to conquer any challenge Mother Nature can put in their way. But even so, one season often stands out above the rest when it comes to putting automobiles to any type to the test: the icy, cold winter. Engines have to work harder, tires need to be reliable, and interior systems must work to perfection for your truck to operate at its maximum capability in the coldest months of the solstice.

At East Coast Defender, we ensure that they do. However, there are some special accessories that you may want to consider when building a Land Rover Defender that will get heavy use during the frozen months.

Exterior Accessories

Powerful lighting is always key, so roof-rack mounted light bars are a good idea (try the LED expedition rack for a really unique light display). Seeing as you may be asked to pull a less fortunate traveler out of a snowy ravine, the most powerful winch available, front and rear mounted, is paramount.

Engine and Tires

Accessories are side items to the main course of winter driving necessities: a powerful engine and tires to match. East Coast Defender installs some of the finest around, from 3.9-liter V8s to Chevrolet LS3s and LC9s. Chevy engines come equipped with a two-year warranty serviceable at any dealership. Your choices here vary a bit, but what is not left to chance is the muscle you’ll need when navigating snowy terrain. An engine is only as useful as the tires below it, however, and we never overlook that. A set of 18-inch Kahn alloy wheels featuring BFG tires should allow you to roll over any ice or snow covered surface.

Interior Comfort

The exterior choices we’ve noted are for the function of your Land Rover Defender in a blizzard, but what about comfort? Your hand-stitched leather seats just wouldn’t be same without a solid heating system installed in them. When the going gets tough and the visibility is less than excellent, a dashboard-mounted, fully-automated touchscreen GPS system will guide the path. If the sound of the weather isn’t to your liking, cocoon yourself in the all-encompassing warmth of a high-performance, multi-speaker sound system. If you have to go out in the cold and snow, at least do it in style.

These are but a few of the many features that can be custom-fitted to your bespoke Land Rover Defender. Contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com for more information on what we can create for you this winter.

ECD Cornerstones: Innovation, Perfection, Heritage

Land Rover Defender for Sale

Land Rover Defenders built in the U.S. are a new chapter in the life of a legendary on-and-off-road vehicle that has roamed the asphalt for over 60 years. The things that can be accomplished in the 18,000 square foot warehouse of East Coast Defender push the envelope of where these luxury trucks can go and what incredible new heights they can reach. Those who work on and design these builds value creativity and imagination right alongside the vision that our clients bring to the table. But above all, East Coast Defender features three key points as the cornerstones of our entire identity and vision: innovation, perfection and heritage.

Innovation

It’s a mistake to think of the Land Rover Defenders built in our Kissimmee headquarters as merely modifications on an age-old truck. In truth, they are full, top-to-bottom redesigns that take into account everything from the engine to the sound system. This requires us to make advancements in every field, and to thoroughly integrate innovation into every move we make. We are always engaged in pushing the limits of what a custom built Land Rover Defender can be. Our innovation shines through features like the LS3 engine, paddle shifters, and in-car technology.

Perfection

All that innovation leads to the next concept that defines us in equal measure: perfection. It’s said that one cannot hope to ever be truly perfect in any task, but at East Coast Defender, that is no reason to stop trying. Every build pushes us one step closer to our ultimate vision of the perfect road machine. We improve through repetition and attention to detail. We come to the building docks every day with one goal in mind: that of a flawless build. During our chase of perfection, we’ve hired team members that will help take us one step closer including our Production Manager, Sam, and our Quality Control Lead, Sergei.

Heritage

As we push the boundaries of mechanical and technological possibilities, the heritage of Land Rover Defender, that elusive legendary mystique that created a truck some 60 years ago that still stands as an icon today, can never be far from mind. As radical as our designs can get, we never lose sight of that gritty, English, family-farm truck that rolled tirelessly through the mud and through time. The value in the Defender namesake, and the honor it is to uphold it, is never lost on us.

Write it in stone and engrave it in the metaphorical heart of East Coast Defender; innovation, perfection, and heritage will always be our calling cards. For more information about becoming a part of the family that builds the finest Land Rover Defenders in the U.S., call at 407-483-4825, or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com

Project Spotlight: Project Willow

Land Rover Defender for Sale

East Coast Defender builds around 40 luxury vehicles per year. Every one of those 40 will roll out of the warehouse after an incredible engineering and design effort that’s rewarding and grueling. To some degree, it’s hard to see them go; these modified trucks become a piece of ECD, as every detail is fretted over during long afternoons and many months of planning and research. Land Rover Defenders are unique, their legacy distinct and decades in the making, so there’s also a loyalty to the brand. Our focus in on upholding the very best in design execution in each and every build. To put it in short, our heart is in every vehicle we build. They all get equal treatment, and they are all pushed towards perfection.

However, like all things in life, some just stand out above the rest. Project Willow, a mind-blowing creation of both grit and touch, stands out as one of 2016’s absolute best builds. A NAS 90 Defender, with every bell and whistle ProjectWillow2imaginable, we pushed the edge of innovation with this project and came out with something distinct and one-of-a-kind. Willow is the only NAS defender on the planet with a Puma dashboard, but the interior refinements do not end there: hand-stitched all-leather interior (with the work done 100% on-site by our craftsman), and a touch screen information/entertainment system that keeps you in control of the vehicle’s electronics like a road captain.

Project Willow is the definitive synergy between luxury and power. The interior is slick and exotic. It features a distinctive seating layout that allows passengers to feel as if they are traveling in a space that they wouldn’t find anywhere else on the road. From a performance aspect, the galvanized chassis went a long way towards stabilizing power. Lastly, from an accessory standpoint, the roof rack and Hella head lamps were just a few of the inspired touches that went into the design of Project Willow.

It was truly a one of a kind build, but it only achieved that level of sophistication from our clients. Our favorite builds are the ones that challenge us to take Land Rover Defenders to heights of quality they have never reached before. The limit is only within our client’s imagination. For more information about what it takes to begin a build with East Coast Defender, contact us at 407-483-4825.

Creating a Daily Driver or an Off-Road Maven

Land Rover Defender for Sale

The versatility of any Land Rover Defender is both a part of its legacy and the reason why some 60 years after their inception, they are still highly sought after road warriors. The Defender has the space and comfort for any sized family, although family was not in mind during initial creation. With handling improvements that took place in 1990s, the Defender is on par with many other SUVs and trucks, as the vehicle of choice to take to a soccer practice. But make no mistake, the Defender was originally designed to be an off-road powerhouse, and that legacy still growls within the pistons of the engine and vibrates along the shocks of the base. The ways in which you use your Defender, with this all in mind, is really up to you.

And it’s also up to your design specifications, especially when building a custom Land Rover Defender at East Coast Defender from the base up. Every one of our trucks is going to have that sporting/road duality built into its very nature, but we can easily, through the magic of modification, nudge your custom vehicle a bit further into one column or the other.

Off-Road Modification

Off-road and in the mud is where the Defender made its name; from military patrols to rolling over mountains just for kicks, its ability is world-renown. If you are buying a custom-built Land Rover Defender strictly for this capacity, you Daily-Drivercame to the right place. From KO2 oversized tires to full internal roll cages, Mantec snorkel air-intake systems and an assortment of body kits designed to take on any conditions: ECD can make your Defender into a supernatural conqueror of all off-road situations. There’s no specification to obscure and no modification to extreme. We will not rest until your off-road Defender is up to your exact off-road standards.

Daily Driver Modifications

We’re not all dreaming of off-road adventures as we cruise down the highway: some of us just like to drive, and in luxury at that. At ECD, we have that covered as well. Land Rover Defenders are sought after equally for their grace as their grit, and our modifications take that a step further: hand-stitched leather seating, touch screen entertainment systems (and sound), sunroofs, built-in enclosures for you beloved pooch, and full-scale LED lighting. Every lavish detail can be implemented making your “truck” into something more like a mobile living room.

Interested in your own custom-built Land Rover Defender? Contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com for more information.

Land Rover Defender Heritage: 1998 – 2000s

Land Rover Defender for Sale

Land Rover Defenders have evolved consistently over the course of 60 plus years, but with each stage came different changes: some drastic, some minor. Regardless, everything always stays true to quality and craftsmanship. The Defender’s exotic early history, from military beginnings in the shadow of World War II to its farmland roots, sometimes obscures what is a very interesting modern history. In the 1990s, Land Rover Defenders in the U.S. began to become a more common phenomenon, and as they did, the trucks had to progress yet again.

The late 1990s to early 2000s also brought with them a new engine for the Defender in the form of the 122bhp five-cylinder TD5. In December of 1998, this became the default engine for all Defenders, be they 110s, 90s, or NAS variations. This is the engine that defined Defenders as regular road vehicles known to be rather powerful enough for any terrain you may look to take them on, but more supple in handling than some previous generations. The TD5 of the late 90s was also introduced in order to meet more rigid European emission standards that had developed over the years.

Defenders had made it over the pond before the 1990s but generally in small numbers to specific buyers in secondary markets. Beginning in 1993, Land Rover officially brought the Defender to the U.S. in the form of the NAS line of vehicles. Developed specifically because of United States road standards, NAS (North American Specification) Defenders were marketed as a vehicle that could be driven by families with an edge. In 1994 and 1995 editions, Defender NAS 90s were outfitted with simple but powerful 3.9-liter V8s; with its smaller size and more common engine configuration, these Defenders were much more suited for the commercial American market than any prior formats.

Land Rover Defenders coming to the U.S. was one of many headlines for the legendary truck through the 1990s and 2000s. Defenders have morphed in a kaleidoscope of variations throughout its history. That’s one of the things that make them both sought after, and so readily comported to incredible modifications. These later years also saw a steady change in engine types: the TDCI 4-cylinder diesel around 2007, and the 2.2-liter diesel in 2012. Through all of these changes, the trucks remained classics, and it’s off the basis of this generation of vehicles that East Coast Defender makes its cutting-edge modifications today. To be included in this evolution of the Defender, contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com for more information.

Building a Defender: Tear Down and Fab Up

Land Rover Defender for Sale

Every truck that rolls into East Coast Defender’s state-of-the-art Florida-based garage is very far from the luxury vehicle that will one day roll out of the lucky future owner’s garage. These Land Rover Defenders built in the U.S. are just that: built. From engine to interior, wheels to eccentric modifications like snorkels and roll cages, everything that becomes one of our vaunted projects is created onsite. This long and exciting process can be referred to simply as a tear down, and then a fab up. It all occurs under the watchful eyes of our expert mechanics, and to the exact specifications of our valued clients.

Our Defenders are not simply touched up. A full teardown is something that takes skill and time; a teardown at ECD literally means taking the vehicle to its original chassis with essentially nothing but the solid foundation of a Land Rover Defender remaining. These deconstructed vehicles become the platform from which the art of creating a custom built Defender rests. As co-founder Elliot Humble puts it: “Tearing down a chassis is something that takes time, practice, and process. It means we have to repair and replace parts, even repainting, but it also means that we are giving our builds the most quality foundation.”

From there, an East Coast Defender vision expands. Every project has a goal of perfection, every part of each build must meet rigorous standards, and every design concept must push the envelope of innovation. The build up is where the fun begins. By the time you receive your completed vehicle, it will look brand new: but the heart of a sturdy and rare Land Rover Defender chassis beats from within.

Our Land Rover Defenders built in U.S. look to be inspirational luxury vehicles, and they are designed to fit your personality and spirit. We paint on site, we stitch interior fabrics on site, and we fit engines on site; nothing that is to become your driving machine is outsourced. We do this to ensure strict quality control standards, and also because, well, building Defender from the ground up is quite the adventure. These vehicles are icons with a history to match, and our buildup modifications try to pay homage to this while breaking new ground all their own. It’s a labor of love. For more information on how to get yourself involved, email us at info@eastcoastdefender.com.

ECD Celebrates its 2016 MVPs

Land Rover Defender for Sale

This year at ECD has been an amazing one. From building a custom Land Rover Defender for the founder of Under Armour to the vast range of custom Land Rover Defenders we’ve built for our clients, we are excited to bring in just as much passion and focus on quality and perfection in 2017. We have always said two things power our brand: our product and our people. At the end of this year, we celebrated both the year and our employees to thank them for their dedication and their ability to take our builds to the next level of innovation. Here is a look at our 2016 Employee Choice and Founder Choice MVPs and Honorees:

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Drive Train Lead Technician – Charlie, MVP 2016

Charlie walked into ECD on overdrive. Seriously. This man never stops. He constantly questions how we can improve our product and the quality of our builds, from axel improvement for top speed efficiency to suggestions on engine performance, Charlie has taken both of ECD’s drive train bays by storm. Charlie has been awarded both the MVP vote from his peers as well as the runner up MVP Founder’s Choice award, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic to have him on our team.

 

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Quality Control Lead – Sergei, MVP 2016

Ah, Sergei. Sergei is possibly the hardest man to please when it comes to quality in the Rover Dome. Armed with a quality checklist, yellow AND (his now famous) red tape, Sergei does not mince words when it comes to voicing improvements for quality through every phase of each build. He is relentless and an invaluable part of our quality control process. You say quality in the Rover Dome, everyone’s thoughts will instantly land on Sergei, so it comes as no surprise that he is the Founder’s Choice #1 MVP for 2016.

 

eoycelebrationnickownersmvp-copy Tear Down Lead Technician – Nick, MVP 2016

Nick came to ECD with the task of improving our tear down and fab up phases that build the foundation for our custom Defenders. He has completely transformed the tear down bay and ironically made it into the cleanest and most organized bay in the Rover Dome. Nick sees opportunity in every aspect of his bay and has been awarded the Founder’s Choice 3rd place MVP award.

 

 

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Upholstery – Hector, Innovation & Quality Award

Having all of our upholstery done in house has made a tremendous difference to our builds. Having Hector on our team has brought a new level of customizations to each vehicle, from red, quilt-stitched leather interiors to custom wrapped storage boxes, Hector consistently works to a standard that is well beyond our expectations. Hector has been given the Innovation and Quality award, and not just because of his amazing dancing skills.

 

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Electrics Technician – Miles, Most Improved Award

Miles, our youngest employee here at ECD, started off as an apprentice to our current lead electrics technician. Miles is a quiet worker, consistently focused on improving his wiring skills and workmanship, and although we tease him for his age, he has certainly left an impression on not only his mentor, but the entire ECD team. We see Miles as a force to reckon with now and only more so in the future and he has been chosen to receive the Most Improved Award.

 

 

Thank you to our team and their families. We look forward to what 2017 will bring and how we can continue to bring custom, quality, and perfection to every build. If you’re ready to start your custom Land rover Defender, hand-built by our dedicated and knowledgable team, email us at info@eastcoastdefender.com or call us at (407) 483-4825.