Witnessing a Transformation: Before and After

It is sometimes thought by the general public that all custom vehicles are created equal. Engines are tweaked, tires changed, and maybe the occasional new sound system installation; innovation seemingly is rare and not particularly sought after. At the sensational and vast East Coast Defender Rover Dome, nothing could be further from the truth. We work at the bleeding edge, pushing the limits of luxury and quality in Land Rover Defenders, some of the most iconic trucks on the planet. You could call our staff technicians, but our next level craftsmanship makes us stand apart from the field.

In order to truly understand what we do here at East Coast Defender, it’s vital to understand just how far out our transformations take Defenders. These are nowhere close to mere touch-ups; this is a rebuilt and fully-loaded truck, one that has the history of its predecessor under the skin and in the chassis, but with the bold power and grace of truck evolution at its core.

Look no further than three of our recent and revolutionary builds to grasp what the East Coast Defender facility is capable of:

Honey Badger: She rolled in as a fairly common D90 Defender and left as an exceptionally fun truck to drive or just gaze at. We dropped a powerful 430-HP LS3 V-8 and six-speed manual transmission into the Honey Badger, and outfitted it with every modern accessory we could think of: JBL surround speakers, interior LED lighting, ivory leather Corbeau seats, and a distinctive Quark steering wheel by MOMO. One of our newest builds, Honey Badger, has set an exceptionally high bar for decades to come.

Blackout: Rusty and faded, the Defender that became Blackout had a solid chassis, but an unexceptional exterior. We changed that in a hurry. This transformed, all-black Defender is now unmistakable. Upgrades that included Wi-Fi, cruise control, and ambient lighting features put this truck above the rest. Blackout’s LC9 with cylinder deactivation for optimum fuel efficiency when driving on the highway proves it’s an ultimate gem from our collection.

The Outdoorsmen: Few builds have had the amount of innovative customizations as the Outdoorsman. This new build included a fold-out fish cleaning station, rod holders, and an EBC performance braking system. Although it certainly didn’t arrive at the Rover Dome with much to hang its hat on, this project remains the very definition of transformation.

The question to ask becomes obvious: how can we transform that aging Land Rover Defender? What modifications would you want to add? What type of leather could the seats be? What would an engine originally built for a Corvette feel like under the hood? East Coast Defender has the answer to these questions, and we are always looking for the ones that have yet to be asked.

7 Unique Corbeau Seat Installations

Land Rover Defenders are considered epic vehicles for a lot of reasons, one of the most talked about being versatility. This can take a lot of forms that range from engine upgrades to the type of roof rack you choose for your truck. But for the everyday Defender driver, one of the biggest bonuses in the design flexibility is the seating arrangements. No other place can put you into a wider array of functional and luxurious setups than at East Coast Defender.

Beyond the on-site creation of some of the finest, hand-stitched upholstery you’ll ever see in a Land Rover Defender, our technicians can also arrange your seats in a purely innovative way. This can pay off for everyone, from the single athlete who needs space and no seats, to the large family who needs as much seating as possible for an upcoming road-trip. Either way, we’ve got you covered.

These are not generic car seats either: world-class Corbeau seats for the front, and leather covered jump seats for your family in the back. We have seven common seating layouts that are typically choosen from for the Defender 110 specifically, but other options are always on the table. Here are the pioneering designs you may look to choose from:

Layout One:

Two forward facing front seats, three middle seats, and four inward facing jump style back seats in the cargo area.

Layout Two:

Two forward facing front seats, three middle seats, and two forward facing back seats in the cargo area.

Layout Three:

Two forward facing front seats, three middle seats, and two jump style back seats, with a utility box.

Layout Four:

Two forward facing front seats, two middle seats, and no back seats (pure cargo).

Layout Five:

Two forward facing front seats, three middle seats, plus two inward facing rear benches (capable of seating four total).

Layout Six:

Two forward facing front seats and two sets of side by side inward facing rear benches (a perfect option for the night on the town).

Layout Seven:

Two forward facing front seats, two middle, and four rear seats positioned as inward facing jump seats (the family wagon).

When choosing from the above, it will mostly depend on what you’ll need out of your Land Rover Defender. In addition to that, some of our layouts depend on the type of truck you are looking to retrofit (a D90 will have different design capabilities from a D110, of course). But we are exceptionally adaptive and innovative in our Florida facility, and you never quite know what we can do to an aging Defender until you’ve spoken with the best in the business. Check out our configurator to see seat layout options as well as an array of other customization features.

The Wide Body Kit Debate

Land Rover Defenders are elite off-road machines for a wide variety of reasons. From the grueling roads of the legendary Camel Trophy race to something as common as severe weather in your neighborhood, having a Defender under your feet is a huge boost. A lot of that capability in Defenders comes from the very design of the chassis itself.

Wide-body Defenders take this legendary utility ability and simply enhance it visually. Although Defenders of the past have relied for so long on their original factory specifications, in 2017, we can elevate the iconic truck with wide body kits that allow the Defender to reach another level in aesthetic brilliance. Kahn wide-body kits can be fitted by East Coast Defender and can be seen prominently on Project Beast and Project Urban Assault.

What Role Does the Wide Body Kit Play?

Simply defined, a wide-body kit enhances the slim look of a truck; creating more room for accessories and an overall impressive façade. On a Land Rover Defender, this wide-body look redefines what can be easily recognized as the traditional truck. In our view though, this is an evolution for the best, and trucks such as Project Beast only add evidence.

The Wide Body Controversy

Although, this wide-body kit does come with some controversy. Defender traditionalists see the wide-body kits as outside the realm of what the truck should look like. And in a truck like the Defender, the classic nature of this vehicle is often what makes it beloved from admirers all over the world.

How East Coast Defender Implements Wide Body Kits

The idea of installing a Kahn wide-body kit is to take a Defender to another level of capability without completely abandoning the function and visual splendor of the original concept. Far from it: East Coast Defender accomplishes an aesthetic makeover to create something new and vibrant within the overall package of the truck itself.

Accomplishing this tough task takes a team of highly skilled Defender builders – which we happen to have in our Florida Rover Dome. Some of the East Coast Defender projects with a wide-body kit (and shown in our project gallery) include:

Adding your current Land Rover Defender to this growing list of upgraded wide-bodied trucks will put you in select company. And as word gets out about the prestige these Defender makeovers carry, we can expect the trend to continue. But at East Coast Defender, the choice between traditional and revolutionary is all yours. Our ability to create cutting-edge custom trucks knows no boundary. Contact us today to start creating a Defender only you could dream up.

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.

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.

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:


  • 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.

Choosing the Wheels on Which You Roll

It’s often said that your truck is only as good as the wheels that move it. When it comes to wheels and setups, we have quite a few options for our Land Rover Defenders for sale. We invite you to learn more about the importance of your Defender wheels and which wheels many of our Defenders leave the shop with.

At East Coast Defender, there are two primary wheel types that are very popular for our builds.

  • Sawtooth Wheels


These are commonly used on our builds, as Defenders benefit from their stability and toughness. The heavy-duty alloy rims do not damage easily and are a top choice for those looking to take a Defender into more exotic locales.

  • Kahn Wheels


Another tough alloy wheel type, Kahn wheels are similar to Sawtooth in both ability and strength. But, you’ll notice a distinctive difference in appearance, with the Kahn rims being a bit more rounded in overall design. In general, the overall design of our custom Defenders factor in heavily when deciding between the two (especially when it comes to look).

There are some other things to consider when thinking about wheel setups. The technical experts at East Coast Defender can walk you through these in intricate detail. When making customization and design choices for a build, factor in these considerations:

Why are Wheels Important?

Wheels, of course, are important on every vehicle. But on a Land Rover Defender, they are extra critical as these are performance trucks with distinctive handling characteristics. The Defender, due to it’s design and build, are vehicles that can take on very difficult road situations, and drivers often loathe to back down from a challenging path with the power and ability behind them. All the more reason to have a sturdy set of wheels at your base.

Why are Wheels Important to You?

As critical as wheel packages are in general, it’s key to understand how you’ll be driving your custom Defender. Will it be deployed for its luxury? Carry the kids to soccer practice? Exclusively tackle the toughest off-road venues? There are setups for each, and having an idea of where you’ll be driving the most will help us get you into the right setup.    

For more information on creating a custom Land Rover Defender, contact us anytime at 407-483-4825.






Build Process: Body Assembly & Electronics

buildprocess2Body assembly and electronic installation can be common when done to every other car, especially when they are robotically assembled in a factory, but we take these components to the highest levels of quality and craftsmanship by building everything completely by hand. These Land Rover Defenders for sale, built entirely from the chassis up, require an inordinate amount of attention and care in order to deliver a luxury truck of epic proportions. After tear down, fab up, paint, and drivetrain installation, next comes the body assembly and our custom installed electronics. Getting this part right is an absolute must.

Body Assembly

Body assembly follows paint and drivetrain installation. After pieces of the build are painted to the owners exact specifications, they are assembled with the utmost of care in order to not ruin the hard work that has already been put into the build. All body panels and doors are fit and measured to the millimeter ensuring a proper gap and flawless fit and finish. After the drivetrain is dropped in and the painted body is assembled, we’ve got the shell and bones of the build established, but from there, the electronics bring it all to life.


The electrical systems we put into these Land Rover Defenders can be very complex and can range from studio-grade sound systems to Wi-Fi hotspots ECD_2587and communications accessible from every seat in the truck. At this point, our clients have many choices to make regarding which products will be most practical for them. Electronics also include things like adding power windows and door locks, all of which must be carefully set and routed to the driver’s command center. Establishing this level of electronic excellence in a Defender that could be decades old takes lots of skill and precisions. The electronics build process also includes some aspects you might not think of:


  • Full drivetrain inspection and a sign-off from our quality control manager prior to these steps ensuring we’re ready to proceed. Each drivetrain is wired into the engine harness, and each job is done custom to ensure a perfect fit and to accommodate the engine type.
  • Body harnesses down the center of the vehicle hold and power everything from window controls to air-conditioning units and custom gauges.
  • New wiring must also be installed for the horn, lights, windshield wipers, locks, and any additional accessories.
  • Dashboard components are vital for the whole system, so these are installed and checked very thoroughly.
  • Finally, we install a custom infotainment system you may be looking to add to your specifications. They may not have had fully integrated sound systems and LED lighting when Defenders first roamed the English countryside in the mid 20th century, but they sure do now. Installing the popular Puma dash as a standard option at East Coast Defender take these builds to the next level.

Everything described in our body and electronics assembly can be customized to your tastes and aspirations. We build our Land Rover Defenders for sale from the ground up, and our clients drive these vehicles into the 21st century. Contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at info@eastcoastdefender.com for more information on how you can get behind the wheel of your own custom Land Rover Defender from East Coast Defender.