Our Signature is Customization

Land Rover Defender in the US

There are, of course, several options in the vehicular world of SUVs, trucks, and assorted road-wagons. From Jeeps to Mercedes-Benz G-Wagons and a wide spectrum in between, there are many directions you can go when needing a new vehicle of a certain type. But with a custom designed Land Rover Defender built entirely from the ground up at East Coast Defender, you’re getting something more than just another anonymous car that can blend into the highway; you are getting a signature machine, rare and distinct. The difference in going with East Coast Defender is not trivial; these are highly-personalized, luxury vehicles that act as an extension of your personality and statement of your identity.

Not only that, but these are the boldest vehicles on or off the road. You won’t have to worry about a valet finding your Land Rover Defender standing proudly above the beige monotony in most parking lots. Stand out in a crowd on a drive to the next campsite. Defenders are not average vehicles; they are not mere cookie-cutter transportation devices designed to simply move you from one place to another; they are exceptional luxury vehicles made with your exact design specifications in mind.

As fine a car as something like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon is, over 250,000 have been delivered to customers since the first model was launched, over 20,000 of them were made last year alone; it would be difficult to see a number like this and think exclusive. East Coast Defender hand-built 36 Land Rover Defenders in 2016. Thirty-six. Each was designed, constructed, and tested with the care that this scarcity in production allows. We have months of design, building, and fine-tuning that go into every single one of our trucks, to the point that all our builds receives a project name and no two trucks leave in the same configuration.

Outside of just the general care that can go into something so exclusive and luxurious, one of the biggest signature aspects that East Coast Defender can offer is our custom modifications. They are, indeed, plentiful. We can configure your custom Land Rover Defender with a vast number of features and technical marvels we’ve painstakingly developed over the years highlighted by the following:

  • Engine upgrades including the Chevrolet LC9 and LS3, both backed by a 2-year/50,000 mile warranty from GM
  • Interior and exterior LED lighting packages that are captivating and eye-popping
  • Cutting-edge sound systems
  • Puma dash upgrades
  • Rims, paint, roof racks, and lift kits all to your exact specification
  • Hand-stitched leather interior
  • A variety of interchangeable seating layouts for large and small groups

That’s just a quick list of the many, many things we at East Coast Defender can do to make your Defender a truly exceptional piece. These Land Rover Defenders are not for the common driver, but for the driving elite. For more information on getting a build of your own, call us anytime at 407-483-4825.

Project Spotlight: Project Pedigree

Land Rover Defender for sale USA

It is a real treat when the Rover Dome has the opportunity to produce a project that perfectly balances both modern innovation with Defender heritage. Project Pedigree does just that. As we continue to push the envelope on what a Land Rover Defender made in the USA can and will be, we strive for the right combination of luxury, innovation, and a sense of the past. This _JCS7109custom green giant checks every box. The specs of this luxurious beast are jaw dropping:

  • 6.2-liter, 430-hp Chevrolet LS3 V-8 engine with two-year GM warranty
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • G4 Expedition roof rack with ladder
  • Warn winch
  • BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires

Highlighting Project Pedigree is a powerful 6.2-liter Chevrolet LS3 V-8 engine most commonly known for its use in the Corvette. This significantly boosts the power and handling from the common 3.9-liter V-8 included in stock Defenders. This truck was built and designed to amplify the concepts of both on-road and off-road power.

But, it’s not all about the raw power, and that’s what makes the builds at East Coast Defender so unique. Project Pedigree is a pinnacle in luxury, Pedigreesteeringwheelwith such opulent features as a Momo Indy woodgrain steering wheel and custom stitched leather seating throughout. Not only that, we have fully-integrated technological aspects with a premium sound system and all the accoutrements you’d expect out of a modern luxury car.

Project Pedigree was built to surprise and inspire. For all of the effort in pushing towards inovation at East Coast Defender, we must not forget the past and we didn’t here. Pedigree is a rebuilt homage to the original design of the Defender (hence the project name), with the stance being kept stock, as well as the wheels. In essence, looking at the truck and taking it in fully, with its classic white roof but outstanding, custom bronze-green color, you are seeing an exquisite Land Rover Defender built in the USA truly for the modern age. Classic meets a provocative version of luxury and power.

For more information on the project we can build for you, contact us anytime at 407-483-4825, or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com.

The Story Told by the Defender VIN Number

Land Rover Defender for sale USA

Land Rover Defenders are unique trucks due to their capabilities and design specifications, but another reason that they are extraordinary is a combination of how rare the vehicles actually are along with their lengthy history that dates back to World War II. Not only that, but Land Rover Defenders are now out of production, so to get your hands on one is truly a rare opportunity.

The Defender has a well-established community of admirers, and for them, any level of stock specification deserves categorization and recognition. By owning one, you become a part of this history, and knowing the background of your vehicle is particularly important when it is being built from the ground up. It could even impact future value, as enthusiasts have kept close track of the rarest variations of the Land Rover Defender over the years. To do so, you can better understand your Defender by simply understanding the particulars of its VIN number. We can help decode.

Start with very first three letters in the VIN, which are a straight-forward SAL (S for Europe, A for United Kingdom, L for Land Rover), and confirm that the truck is indeed made by Land Rover. The fourth and fifth digits of the VIN indicate the initial stock model code for the Defender. They are:

  • LB: Series III editions
  • LD: For a 90, 110, and 130 edition Defender (this LD will be found on every East Coast Defender build, as this is the exclusive category we create from).
  • LH: Generic Range Rover
  • LN: For a Freelander

Next, take note of the sixth digit, which signifies your wheelbase type. This runs from A to V for a variety of different series types, but A, S, and V will signify a 90 Defender (the S is for a 24-volt, the V an L/R wheelbase). B, H, and R signify the 110 (B equals a heavy duty model, R a 24-volt in this case), and C or K attribute themselves to a Defender 130.

The seventh and eighth number in the VIN stands for body type and original engine type. At East Coast Defender, we’ll be placing either a fully-rebuilt or new Chevrolet engine in your build, but the original stock types span the spectrum of a 2.25L, inline four-cylinder, petrol to a 4.0L GEMS V-8 engine. Researching the original engine type can be illuminating for the enthusiast.

Finally, one of the most crucial parts of the VIN comes in the identification of the model year and build location. Model year is pretty simple; look to the 10th digit, and if marked with an A, you have a 1979-84, and B indicates a 1984-86 model. From C to the number 9, simply add a year for each based on the next available letter or number (so C, equals 1986-87, K equals a 1992-93 build, 2 a 2001-2002 build, and so forth). For build location, use the following guide for the 11th digit.

  • A: Built at the factory in Solihull, England
  • F: Built worldwide
  • V: Built in South Africa

Just like that, the story of your fully customized and rebuilt Land Rover Defender comes more clearly into focus. For more information on how to start your own journey, contact East Coast Defender today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com.

Defender Lighting Options

Land Rover Defender for Sale

With the assortment of accessories to choose from when building your Land Rover Defender from the ground up, it can be easy to overlook a component that can really make you truck pop each and every night: exterior lighting. Defenders came stock with a very distinctive, boxy headlamp cluster with halogen lamps; it’s part of their charm and an object that, on its own, stands out. An East Coast Defender build comes with upgraded LED headlamps providing a clear path for daily driving. But, lighting can get further upgraded with options including roof and bumper light bars and pods, interior LEDs, puddle lighting, fading ambient lighting, and automatic on/off kits for the headlamps which take luxury and functionality to the next level.

Not only do you want a lighting package that’s exotic and illuminating in every aspect, but with a truck like the Defender, you should have the capability for off-road and inclement weather conditions that may arise. These lighting accessories can take on an array of forms, but some of the finest projects of the past show off what is possible.

Project Buffalo and Beast


These two explosive builds came with a lighting element that can run with the herd: a cutting-edge, roof rack-mounted Lazer light bar. Incorporating these helped make Project Buffalo and Beast fan favorites and shined a bright light on future ECD builds.

Project YellowJacket


The roof-mounted Hella quad-bulb spot lamps perfectly fit the profile of the aptly named Project YellowJacket. As a sporty convertible top Defender, having the ability to illuminate the campsite or a beach as the dusk grows around it was essential.

Project Tomb Raider


One of our absolute favorite builds also features one of the most innovative lighting designs ever placed on a Defender: the LED Expedition rack. Sleek and customized with integrated LED lighting, this ultra-powerful setup will overpower even the harshest conditions when turned on. It has the ability to light the road for hundreds of meters ahead and look cool while doing it.

These are but a few of the potential design concepts we can put into a custom built Land Rover Defender. East Coast Defender is always looking to push the envelope on inventive and pioneering technology while staying true to the history and roots of these epic trucks. That extends to even the lighting. For more information on the bold Defender we can build for you, call us at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com, and we’ll light the road ahead.


Building a Defender: Drivetrain

Land Rover Defender for sale USA

At East Coast Defender, every single one of our builds is from the ground up. We insert the engine, create a world-class, luxury interior, and add the eye-popping accessories on-site at our sprawling headquarters in Kissimmee, Florida. Our Land Rover Defenders are built in the USA with our client’s ideas and needs specifically in mind. What rolls out of our bay doors at the end of the process is part art, part legacy. Following the tear down, fab up, and paint process, our builds wouldn’t be possible without the most fundamental part of any truck, the drivetrain.

The drivetrain on any vehicle consists of everything that connects the engine to the wheels. Getting this assembled correctly, and at a high-functioning level, is vital to building an amazing vehicle. Because of this, it’s something that East Coast Defender takes very seriously during the build process with the following set of steps.

  • Every time one of our builds is on the move within The Rover Dome, it goes through a thorough inspection process.
  • The transmission and engine are completely rebuilt and upgraded before being placed under the hood – or upgraded to brand new units from Chevrolet.
  • We offer an assortment of engines to choose from and to base your drivetrain off of. The most epic of which is the 6.2L Chevrolet LS3 V-8 used in the Corvette that comes with a two-year, 50,000 mile warranty from GM
  • The transmission can be upgraded to a brand new six-speed automatic.
  • The transfer case is replaced with a new version.
  • Drive shafts are custom built based on measurements taken during the build process and are the highest quality available

One of the most major and innovative aspects of our rebuilt trucks is the drivetrain. In the end, they fit into the original Land Rover specifications to the exact millimeter. No Defender leaves our facility with a gear or a screw out of place, and we road test our builds for 500 miles before they are delivered to our clients. At East Coast Defender, we consider quality and reliability to be our absolute hallmarks, and we have a build staff whose number one priority is consistency and excellence in every build. For more information on becoming a part of the family that builds the finest Land Rover Defenders in the USA, call us at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com   

The Story of Project 13

Land Rover Defender for sale USA

Every Land Rover Defender has its own story. At East Coast Defender, many of our trucks we build have over 25 years of history woven into their core, whether that’s a past life spent serving a farm family or in the military. Project 13 is no exception. In this case, the truck had been owned for over 10 years by a family in Indiana, who we still keep in touch with through a variety of updates. Now, with new owners Servando Carrasco, Orlando City Midfielder, and his wife Alex Morgan, Olympic Gold Medalist, Project 13’s future is in their hands.

In 2016, we received a call, and, after a visit by Servando and Alex, he was ready to start custom building her Defender. Servando had always loved the Defender, and his interest was piqued once again after seeing a classic D90 at a Land Rover dealership. The rebuild process started with a soft-top Defender 90, and, piece by piece, Project 13, was custom built into the daily driver of her dreams.

This Defender is strong and powerful, but completes any task with grace.




The power of Project 13 starts on the inside. Servando hand picked a Chevrolet LC9 and a six-speed automatic transmission, making this Defender an ideal daily driver. The 18” wheels with BF Goodrich tires paired with high-performance LED lighting gives Project 13 an undeniably powerful ambiance. This is further enhanced by the classic-looking Zunsport grille and bold Masai roof rack.



Beyond the mechanics, Project 13 allows Servando’s personal style to shine through. The interior is trimmed in black leather and the exterior Keswick green color demands attention. The color was originally introduced by Land Rover in 1983 and is an homage to the heritage of the vehicle that also represents Servando’s subtle style. This daily driver is completed with all the modern technological conveniences you’d never expect to see in a classic Defender. We’ve installed Classic Instruments Moal Bomber gauges, a Momo steering wheel, a premium sound system, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, GPS, and Apple Car Play all to Servando’s specifications.

We have no doubt that Project 13 will prove to be an incredible daily driver for Servando, Alex, Blue (their adorable pup), and any teammates lucky enough to get a ride. At East Coast Defender, our team tallied over 2,000 hours working to achieve perfection, we look forward to watching the continuation of Project 13’s story. For more information on our custom Land Rover Defenders, contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com.



Premier US Off-Roading: Engineer Pass, Colorado

When making a list of the most challenging and jaw-dropping off-road excursions in the lower 48 states, one in particular seems to always come up: Engineer Pass in Colorado. And Land Rover Defenders were built for just sort of terrain. Colorado itself has a cornucopia of world-class, semi-vehicular terrain, so for one to stand out, as this piece of the infamous Alpine Loop does, takes a particular type of bold ruggedness. Conquering a road like the engineer pass requires more than just a truck, as anyone trying to complete the journey should be prepared for any and every event that may meet them along the way. But the rewards, some 12,800 feet up, are the very reason off-roading is and will always be a popular form of entertainment as well as a showcase for the mastery one has on their craft.

Deep in the San Juan Mountains, the Engineer Pass is connected to the Cinnamon Trail (itself a fearsome leg of road) to create the Alpine Loop. Part of its charm is how stubbornly resistant to change this loop has been over the years; along the way you’ll find ghost towns and long abandoned mines, along a vista that has been untouched for over a century. The Engineer Pass cuts across time as well as the actual continental divide itself.

It’s an exclusive club along this trail, one thats membership requires a sturdy set of tires underneath your truck. Entry to the pass is easily gained with the combative and luxurious scope of a Land Rover Defender, but it will take skill (and your breath away) to navigate the route in full. One of the biggest upsides of Engineer Pass is that although it is technically a very difficult road to drive, it’s also rather well-known because of its legendary status; over the years, landmark posts have been erected and gorgeous stopping points accumulated. But, the pass itself is still considered less greenhorn friendly than its sibling in the Cinnamon Trail.

Perfect for an early summer expedition, and miles above and beyond most any other off-road junction, this should be a bucket list item for any owner of a vehicle as audacious and refined as a Land Rover Defender. The pass just celebrated its 140th

birthday, so there’s no time better to head out west for a mountain view. To do so, you’ll need the truck, but also the gear and the accessories to roll through and over the pass in one piece. When it comes to Defenders built from the ground-up for the off-road experience while enjoying in-car luxury, no place is as close to the cutting edge as East Coast Defender. Contact us today at 407-483-4825 for more information on what type of truck we can build for your journeys this summer.

Stunning Defender for Soccer Superstar Couple

East Coast Defender Creates Stunning Dual-color Land Rover for Soccer Superstar Couple Servando Carrasco and Alex Morgan

The latest creation from East Coast Defender (ECD), the award-winning builder of premium Land Rover Defenders, is a tasteful dual-color D90. It was built to be an ultimate daily driver for professional Major Soccer League player Servando Carrasco and his Olympic soccer star wife, gold medalist Alex Morgan. Carrasco and Morgan had a hand in selecting every detail of their new ECD D90. The vehicle was named “Project 13” in homage to Morgan’s jersey number.

Carrasco and Morgan were fans of the Defender 90’s classic styling. “I’ve always liked the design and classic look of the Land Rover Defenders, but it wasn’t until I went to the shop that I fell in love with these awesome trucks,” Carrasco explains. He visited East Coast Defender’s “Rover Dome” about a year ago to investigate the possibilities. “Getting to see previous projects in person and handpicking every detail of Project 13 with the East Coast Defender team has been a really cool experience,” Carrasco says.

Carrasco’s and Morgan’s D90 received premium performance and bespoke styling befitting their pro-athlete status. “The truck is great, it’s unreal,” says Carrasco. “Such a smooth ride.” ECD handled all aspects of the build in-house at its 21,000 square-foot facility.

The base vehicle was a soft-top-equipped Defender 90, procured from a family in Indiana who followed the build online. Once the D90 arrived at the “Rover Dome,” ECD’s 29-person crew began the frame-up rebuild while Carrasco finalized his options and upgrades.

Like all ECD ground-up builds, the donor D90 was completely disassembled. The frame was meticulously cleaned and inspected, then ECD gaIvanizes the chassis to prevent corrosion. Next, the D90 was re-built to order over the course of about nine months — about 2,000 labor hours when into the build.

The first priority for ECD was replacing the 1960s-designed Rover engine with a 326-horsepower GM LC9 5.3L V-8 engine. This engine is backed by a 2-year/50,000-mile warranty. It represents a quantum leap in power and reliability over the original-equipment 3.9L Rover V-8.

ECD upgrades its vehicles to automatic transmissions to improve daily drivability (unless the customer specifically requests a manual transmission). In this case, the crate V-8 is paired to a GM 6L80E 6-speed automatic. Next on the list was an 18-inch tire/wheel package: Boost alloys inside LT285/65R18 BFGoodrich Radial All-Terrain KO2 tires. To stop the larger tires, ECD upgraded the D90’s brakes with high-performance rotors and calipers.

For the exterior, Carrasco and Morgan wanted to combine modern accessories with a retro flavor. They chose a heritage 1980s’ Land Rover color palette: Keswick Green with a black top. The top visually ties in to the D90’s bolt-on accessories. These include a Zunsport grille with KBX light surrounds and fender spats/vents, a Masai roof rack on an exo-cage, rocker guards, running boards and off-road bumpers.

Original-equipment British electrics are legendary for all the wrong reasons, so ECD guts the wiring on its ground-up builds. Carrasco and Morgan opted to go high-tech. The premium infotainment system is an Alpine touch-screen unit with Bluetooth and Apple Car Play compatibility as well as GPS and a back-up camera. The sound system is bolstered by an array of speakers and a booming subwoofer, mounted behind the custom console. Other upgrades include legible, dependable instrumentation: Classic Instruments Moal Bomber gauges.

Driver experience for the soccer stars was improved with a Momo steering wheel. The couple chose to retain the factory Rover seats. However, they selected black leather for a refresh by ECD’s in-house upholsterers.

All told, this Defender represents the current culmination of ECD founders Tom and Elliot Humbles’ more than 25 years of Land Rover expertise.

For additional information or to begin the custom Defender build process in time for 2017 delivery, please visit East Coast Defender at EastCoastDefender.com or call (407) 483-4825.

East Coast Defender Featured on CNBC’s Secret Lives of the Super Rich

Land Rover Defender for Sale

On the evening of February 23rd, we made our debut on CNBC’s Secret Lives of the Super Rich. Launched in 2013, the program takes viewers into the lifestyles of the ultra-wealthy and into homes that usually only the richest are able to witness. Secret Lives of the Super Rich is hosted by Robert Frank, an expert on wealth in America who joined CNBC in 2012. He is also a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist.


On the episode, our team invites viewers into our sprawling 21,000 square foot facility. One of our founders, Scott, explained how our Defenders are uniquely custom. Two of our favorite builds were highlighted.


Project Beast

Crafted with a growling Chevrolet LS3 with 430 horsepower, Project Beast is ready for anything. The sleek exterior is matched by the hand-crafted upholstery and Puma dashboard found inside.


Project XIII

This $200,000 project for Kevin Plank was featured just as it was getting started. The end product was phenomenal and features a Chevrolet LS3 powering this truck fitted with all digital gauges, an electronic push button shifter, and a premium, 15-speaker sound system with touch screen navigation.


Check out ECD and the satisfying sound of the LS3 for yourself.

For more information about our work featured on Secret Lives of the Super Rich, contact us today.