Take Full Control with Project Honey Badger

Honey badgers in the wild are known for a number of attributes: ferocity, fearlessness, and strength. In fact, the honey badger has been voted by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most fearless creature. We’ve taken our cue from the wild honey badger as we built our latest project that bears its namesake. Project Honey Badger is the ultimate vessel of strength, and with a Chevrolet LS3 and a six-speed T56 manual transmission, this is a Land Rover Defender that allows the driver to have ultimate control.

Off-Road Capability

The capability of this vehicle was top of mind throughout the entire build process. In the end, Project Honey Badger has the tools it needs to conquer any road: whether it is paved or not.

The above-mentioned engine and transmission combination gives the driver both power and control.

honeybadgerengine

An upgraded transfer case with a limited-slip differential ensures that there is control over the amount of power being allocated to the wheels.

The full roll cage ensures safety and increases the reliability of the overall build.

honeybadgerrollcage

18” Sawtooth wheels with BF Goodrich All Terrain KO2 tires help Project Honey Badger to navigate any terrain with ease.

honeybadgerwheels

The Borla exhaust contributes to the Honey Badger’s legendary sound, and it helps improve engine power.

honeybadgerexhaust

Unique Passenger Experience

The off-road experience with Project Honey Badger is second to none, but on the road, passengers are going to have an experience like no other as well.

All passengers ride in comfort in their Ivory leather Corbeau seats with black accent stitching.

honeybadgerseating

Project Honey Badger has a unique seating arrangement. In the back, four seats face inward.

honeybadgerbackseats

A Kenwood infotainment center with a backup camera and Wi-Fi adds modern technological flair and practicality.

With JBL speakers and a subwoofer, we ensured the inside of this build sounds just as impressive as the exhaust outside.

For ultimate drivability, we also updated the dash area. Project Honey Badger sports Classic Instruments Moal Bomber gauges and a Quark steering wheel by MOMO.

honeybadgersteering

All of these features are wrapped up in Porsche Dunkelolive Metallic paint. At the end of the day, Project Honey Badger is a Land Rover Defender suited perfectly for the client that commissioned the project. It’s a project that combines capability, control, and striking aesthetics. Take a look at the whole project in our video tour.

 

Are you interested in seeing what your dream build could look like? Start by mapping out your build on our configurator, or contact us. To learn more about our most recent Defender builds, follow us on our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“Honey Badger” Showcase

“Honey Badger” Showcases East Coast Defender’s New, Powerful LS3 Manual Transmission Option

East Coast Defender has once again set the standard for custom Defender builds with its latest project, “Honey Badger,” a handcrafted Defender 90 featuring a powerful LS3 V-8 engine with a new manual transmission option. Built to withstand rugged, off-road abuse, the Honey Badger’s six-speed manual transmission is the most capable available and reflects the high-quality craftsmanship and engineering prowess of the ECD team.

“Our team has earned a reputation for pushing the envelope with each custom Defender that rolls out of The Rover Dome,” said Scott Wallace, East Coast Defender Co-Owner. “The latest project, ‘Honey Badger’ is a testament to our commitment to building the most capable civilian SUV’s in the world. This new drivetrain option mated to a powerful LS3 V-8, makes it as competent on the rocks of Moab as it is the streets of Miami.”

Each East Coast Defender SUV is a pure, handcrafted vehicle. Like its namesake implies, this “Honey Badger” is an aggressive vehicle that’s incredibly tough and capable of taking on the harshest terrain.

“Land Rover initially offered the V-8 Defender with a four-speed manual transmission,” said Tom Humble, East Coast Defender Co-owner. “The ‘Honey Badger’ commission was particularly exciting as it gave us a chance to build a D90 with a six-speed manual transmission hooked to a V-8, which gives the SUV some real bite. This is the ultimate salute to the origins of the Defender, but with a very contemporary edge.”

Each SUV is purpose-built to a client’s needs and specifications. This is the second Defender commissioned for this particular client, which speaks volumes about the design process and quality.

“The beauty of a manual transmission is the control that it gives a driver when navigating really difficult terrain,” said Elliot Humble, East Coast Defender Co-owner. “Serious off roaders want the ability to slowly work an SUV over rocks and loose gravel. Coupling the massive torque of the 6.2-liter V-8 to the six-speed manual will give the owner of Honey Badger the most flexible and engaging SUV possible for tough overland treks.”

Project Honey Badger performance specs include:

  • 6.2-liter, 430-hp Chevrolet LS3 V-8 engine
  • Six-speed Chevrolet T56 manual transmission
  • Upgraded transfer case with limited slip differential
  • Borla Exhaust
  • Ron Davis Radiator
  • Stainless brake and fuel lines

Project Honey Badger interior and convenience specs include:

  • Classic Instruments Moal Bomber gauges
  • Kenwood infotainment center with Backup camera and wifi
  • JBL speakers with subwoofer
  • Full LED lighting
  • Ivory leather Corbeau seats with black accent stitching
  • Quark steering wheel by MOMO

Project Honey Badger exterior and styling specs include:

  • Porsche Dunkelolive Metallic paint
  • 18-inchSawtooth wheels with BF Goodrich All Terrain KO2 tires.
  • Full roll cage

East Coast Defender was founded by three self-prescribed “British petrol heads,” brothers Tom and Elliot Humble, and Scott Wallace. Growing up in England, near the famous Lode Lane factory where the Defenders were produced, the three found themselves surrounded by Defenders throughout their childhood. East Coast Defender officially opened its facility in 2013 and has been building the world’s most celebrated, handcrafted Defenders since that time. Today, the company is based in Kissimmee, Florida, where every ECD custom Defender SUV is built by hand in the company’s 21,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, called the Rover Dome.

Visit www.EastCoastDefender.com for more information and to learn how to own a handcrafted, custom engineered Defender.

The Defender’s Many Big-Screen Appearances

The Land Rover Defender, without doubt, cuts a certain figure. Distinctive and bold, Hollywood figured out a long time ago that this formidable truck shows up rather well on the big screen. Some cars just appear on screen as backdrops and extras that are not easy to identify. The Defender never blends into the scenery. Because of this, over the years, versions of the truck have shown up in hundreds of movies.

In recent times, Land Rover’s biggest starring role was in Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond and the movie Spectre. Land Rover actually created a custom 110 Defender for the 2015 picture, outfitting it with everything from an exterior roll cage to a super-charged roof rack, and rope-infused front grill (it is a Bond car after all). This wasn’t actually the first Bond movie to feature a Defender, or a Land Rover, as the trucks have made multiple appearances in the British film series over the years. Additionally, the iconic appearances of Defenders in top-rated film doesn’t stop there. East Coast Defender provided the original NAS 110 that appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.

That’s certainly not the only screen time Defenders or Series trucks have had:

What makes these trucks so attractive for Hollywood is not just their unique design, but the ability to contort and alter them in a variety of ways. Land Rover Defenders can look equally at home scaling a mountain as they can when being parked by Hugh Grant after a fancy (and delightfully clumsy) date. In many ways, the things that make Defenders sought after for the silver screen are the very same that attract legions of fans and dedicated drivers in the “real world.”

6 Classic Land Rover Defender Paint Colors

Land Rover Defenders are exclusive and iconic vehicles in a variety of ways. Considered elite off-road drivers, what makes a Defender iconic is often difficult to isolate in one simple attribute. Owning one puts you in a club of drivers who take pride in even the smallest innovative detail in car manufacturing.

This even extends to something that most people just casually decide when getting a truck: paint color. The color options of Defenders, and all Land Rovers for that matter, are an important and deeply thought about portion of the overall car design. From more recent modern day color schemes to historic mixes, there is a gamut of choices you can choose from.

By having an on-site paint and body shop, we can accommodate any type of color you are looking for. And if unsure, let this handy list explain just a few of the many options.

 

  • Keswick Green: One of the more recognizable colors of any Land Rover, its name comes from the rustic hills of the heavily forested town of Keswick in England.
  • Bournville: This color is named after another town in England, but it is seen on car as black with a brown hue.
  • AA Yellow: In the U.K., the venerable Automobile Association is well known: hence, AA yellow. For those looking for a bold and distinctive edge to their Defender, this is a bright yellow.
  • Beluga Black:This esoteric name comes from the caviar derived from the Beluga sturgeon and is a deep distinctive black.
  • Alpine White: A straightforward and unfussy name, Alpine White is exactly the color of pure arctic snow as you would imagine it to be.
  • Calama Copper: Calama is a city in Chile and considered one of the copper mining capitals of the world. This is the perfect name for a distinct glowing copper paint color.

 

 

The color of your Land Rover Defender is just one more cosmetic touch that makes these legendary trucks a reflection of your personality. Scan through some of our past builds to see just what’s possible or push the envelope even further and select your own color from any inspiration you choose. As always, feel free to contact us to learn more about the options we can offer you.

The Land Rover Defender & the Camel Trophy

There is just something about the Land Rover Defender 110 that attracts specialization. Aficionados rank the best Defenders not just by year produced, but by the specific reason that this truck was created. Near the top of many of those lists is the version of the Defender created in various years of the  Camel Trophy history from 1980-2000.

The original Camel Trophy off-road race took place along the Trans-Amazonian highway in 1980. From there, the highly popular and incredibly grueling adventure swung around the globe to places like Papua New Guinea, Zaire, Borneo, Madagascar, Australia, and Sumatra. Eventually, it returned to its roots in the Amazon in 1989, and for two decades, it was pointed to as an off-road challenge that was the very vanguard of such a concept. Part endurance challenge, part adventure, part swashbuckling global competition, the Camel Trophy perfectly encapsulated the ethos of Land Rover Defenders 110s in a singular race.

Land Rover was not only the sponsor of these worldwide events, but the supplier of highly-modified versions of their trucks sent to tackle some of the most difficult courses ever attempted. In the 1980s, only versions of the Land Rover Defender were used, with Land Rover Discovery 200tdi’s taking over in the 90s (including a 1996 Camel Trophy when the island of Kalimantan was crossed for the first time).

  • 1985 featured the 90 series in Borneo.
  • 1988’s epic Sulawesi race ran with the 110 series.
  • Zaire in 1983 used the Land Rover Series III 88″ (first and only time this edition was run).
  • The Amazon in 1989, truly one of the Camel Trophy’s most infamous versions, was run with Defender 110s.

The Camel Trophy held it’s final edition in the year 2000, as Land Rover no longer felt the event signified what the original concept had set out to showcase (later races of the 1990s had begun to incorporate everything from kayaking to alpine skiing).

But the epic races of the 1980s and early 90s still hold the imagination of Land Rover Defender 110 fans worldwide. The trucks that were built for it are considered the holy grail of Defender design by some. All were made with an eye-popping sand glow yellow paint coating, prominent Camel Trophy insignia (if you could see it through the mud), snorkels, huge steel front grills, and so many roof-rack accessories it made the trucks look feet taller. These 90 and 110 series Defenders tackled the off-road courses of the planet, and the feats they accomplished will never be forgotten.

Building a Defender: Quality Check

Absolutely nothing stands in higher regard around the build bays of East Coast Defender than quality: plain and simple. As much as we care for innovation and history, if the quality isn’t there, it’s all for nothing. If you are looking for a quality Land Rover Defender for sale, East Coast Defender is the place to shop.

In that pursuit of quality, we’ve established a thorough process for vetting and checking every part of our Defenders throughout the build. Our process is completed by two Defender pros, Sergei, our Quality Control Lead, and Glenn, our Workshop Manager. So, just how thorough are Glenn, Sergei, and our quality control checks at East Coast Defender? Here’s a brief overview:

  • It always begins with the engine; each engine is dropped into our Defenders based on custom specs. We check every fluid level and ensure the engine idles smoothly. A close check of the suspension and chassis components along with hand torquing every bolt.
  • Once approved bumper to bumper with a 125-point inspection, we begin our road testing. We test each vehicle over the course of 500 miles, and if any issues arise, we return to the Rover Dome and fix the issue. We continue to test and retest, and until the vehicle passes inspection and we’ve achieved perfection.

Following the final check and when everything is perfect, Sergei fits each build with a signed inspection plaque that signifies the completion of the vehicle. If you spot a Land Rover Defender with an East Coast Defender inspection plaque, you can be sure it’s a genuine, quality build.

That is how important quality is to East Coast Defender. It’s not just a word, but a process and ethos that inhabits every inch of the Rover Dome. It’s painted on our walls and ingrained in all of ECD’s owners. After our builds roll out of the Rover Dome, they are the finest Land Rover Defenders you will find on the road: from luxury to off-road capability and, of course, quality. For more information about our Land Rover Defenders for sale, contact us today.

Building a Defender: Cosmetics

Accessories can take a Land Rover Defender for sale and transform it into an extraordinary off-road machine. When we talk about cosmetic changes, this is not simply lip service about non-functional style adjustments or outlandish tools; it’s about transforming a Defender into a highly versatile everyday truck that will turn heads both on the trail and in the parking lot of the finest restaurant in town. Our Land Rover Defenders are works of art, but it takes a lot to get them there.

We start with structure: a solid chassis, wheels, and an exceptional engine. Most of our customers choose between a Chevrolet V-8 LS3 or LC9, the very same engine dropped into a Corvette. But, after we get the basics of the truck set, it’s on to the fun stuff: custom Land Rover Defender accessories for the 21st century.

Here’s a quick list of what we put into your build and how we do it:

  • Front end items are installed including critical components such as brushguards, illuminating headlights, and winches.
  • Seats and headliners are placed securely into position. There is a wide variety of seating layouts for you to choose from depending on the size of your family and the ambitions of your future journeys.
  • Doors are assembled by hand: panels, hinges, and other components go in, door seals are applied, and all aspects are checked and rechecked.
  • The spare tire is mounted into place.
  • Leather upholstery is hand stitched and fitted.
  • Inspections then take part on every inch of the Defender. We leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of quality and perfection, and if something is a millimeter out of place, we’ll make the necessary adjustments.
  • Finally, we add custom accessories like roof racks, sound systems, LED light bars, a snorkel (because you never know), and much more.

At East Coast Defender, we’ve been working with Land Rover Defenders for years, allowing us to combine the values of experience and innovative construction. Drive up to our sunny Florida Rover Dome to see for yourself. If you are interested in a Land Rover Defender for sale, contact us today.

Off Road Spotlight: The Trans-America Trail

Some roads are simply impassable for all, except for the finest trucks. This rings true for the iconic and breathtaking Trans-America Trail (TAT). Calling it a road would be putting it nicely; the Trans-America Trail is almost entirely unpaved over the course of its astonishing 5,000 miles. To complete a journey over that length of road, with the kinds of conditions that the TAT will throw at anyone, it takes planning, guts, and a truck with skill and power. At East Coast Defender, we take Land Rover Defenders for sale and transform them into off-roading machines that can conquer this trail with little to no issues.

It took 12 full years to map the trail across the American continent, with its designer, Sam Correro, spearheading efforts the entire way. It was a wild idea to go from coast-to-coast off-road, and the initial route itself was, and still is, considered mostly a track for motorcycles and smaller motorized vehicles. But Land Rover decided to take a crack at it with a more vigorous vehicle: a full trip on the Trans-America Trail from North Carolina to Oregon using one of their commanding trucks.

The idea was hatched in 2012, and Land Rover sent one of their expert consultants, Tom Collins, to tackle the expanse of America. Of course, Tom Collins is no random consultant; he placed second in the absolutely grueling and infamous 1987 Camel Trophy, in Madagascar, and coached off-road teams for many years. He’s a living legend, and combined with Land Rover, they proved to be a rare combination that could tackle the Trans-America Trail.

For the team involved in the quest, every aspect of the truck’s off-road ability proved useful:

  • Roof racks for the excessive gear they carried.
  • Each Land Rover in the convoy had a minimum of three spare tires.
  • World-class handling via a chassis designed for such a challenge.

Over a demanding six weeks and a multitude of conditions, the team completed their mission. They had conquered the TAT in a street-legal Land Rover and are thought to have become the first to do so.

Rivers were passed, hills were overtaken, mud was churned through, and yet still the truck kept moving. This is the type of exceptional otherworldly quality that is understood to be the powering force of the mythic Land Rover: a combination of luxury and off-road capability not found in many other vehicles. At East Coast Defender, we transform Land Rover Defenders for sale of this very heritage into and jaw-dropping, off-road machines. For more information on these transformations, contact us today.

 

Build Process: Breathtaking Upholstery

East Coast Defender is a custom Defender creator. We outsource no aspect of the build process, and we pride ourselves on the attention to detail that we bring to each project. When offering such a limited number of Land Rover Defenders for sale, our product is luxurious and rare. The accessories and parts that we put into our builds reflect an exceptional level of class and sophistication not replicated in any other factories around the world.

Our build process has many parts: chassis assembly, custom on-site paint work, lighting accessories, and some truly technically-innovative engines and drivetrain installations. But, one thing we never overlook is a part of the car you will come in contact with on a daily basis: the interior.

The interiors of our Land Rover Defenders are a talking point themselves; your friends and neighbors will note the level of sophistication that goes into them the moment they open the door. We break the upholstery build process into two basic concepts:

Lining

  • Our fabric liners are exotic but functional.
  • The fat mat is placed down with a layer of jute underneath, all of which acts as terrific sound insulation managing both the sounds coming out of your truck (from our thumping digital surround sound systems) and coming in. Your ride will always be quiet and smooth unless you choose to turn up the noise.
  • Full marine-grade waterproof carpet is installed if the client chooses
  • Engine bays are coated with an insulated coating from Eastwood that reduces external noise and heat.

Custom Stitching

  • Our motto on stitching is similar to that of the entire build itself: only the finest, and to the specification of the customer. Every piece of upholstery is hand-stitched and custom fitted for your truck.
  • Custom stitching can cover the steering wheel, headliners, door cards, seats, dashboard, and more. The materials we use are world-class, and stitching and leathers can be done in the design and colors of your choice and with the help of our vehicle designer who will work with you during the build process.

To find out more about the custom builds we are creating and our Land Rover Defenders for sale, contact us anytime at 407-483-4825 or info@eastcoastdefender.com. We are constantly striving for perfection and innovation, and that all starts with the details like custom interiors.