The NAS Defender is a limited run of the classic Land Rover Defender that was explicitly built to be sold in North America. These vehicles had some pretty significant differences from its other classic Land Rover counterparts, so that they followed the safety guidelines for the U.S. The vehicle still came in the D90 and D110 editions, although the NAS 110s had a much more limited release due to the lack of demand for their size. In total, only 7,059 of these stunning vehicles were produced from 1993-1997 for the US market, and each one has a numbered tag on the rear panel.
As a world premium custom Defender restomod builder, we specialize in both the original NAS Defender’s acquisition and restoration. Sometimes clients come to us seeking a custom NAS vehicle, and other times, through much research, they were able to obtain their own and want us to rebuild it to be a more modern daily driver. Either way, each original NAS Defender that leaves the Rover Dome is completely rebuilt by hand.
In rebuilding the NAS Defender, E.C.D. carefully removing all the parts that are specific to NAS builds, such as the full external and internal roll cages. These parts are cleaned, repaired, and repainted to be added back to the vehicle throughout the build process. The classic Defender also features a front brush guard, a rear ladder, and a basket added to the top of the external roll cages. These elements help identify a classic NAS Defender but were also the main features that made the vehicles safer for the US. Another feature that those looking to buy a NAS Defender are after are the colored steel wheels painted to match the body of the vehicle for a clean package. In order to keep the originality of these custom NAS Defenders, many rare parts that are no longer available need to be finely removed, repaired, and replaced, all of which takes a level of specialty and experience.
Originally including the 3.9 Rover V8 engine, E.C.D. does offer to include a range of newer GM V8 (LS3, LS3+, LT4, LT1), Cummins Diesel, and Tesla Electric Drive engines to those looking to modernize the power of their classic NAS Defender. Once the chassis is repaired, the new wiring and engine are carefully installed by our experienced techs. While wiring is happening, the body of the vehicle is at various build stages, being stripped and prep for newer paint to match the client’s design. The custom NAS Defender build then makes its way through each stage of our meticulous build process as it is rebuilt, and each part is hand-crafted to be like new again. Custom upholstery, accents, interior colors, and upgrades are some of the newer features we add to our NAS builds, but most owners opt to keep the look of the vehicle as ‘classic Defender’ as possible.
Once fully rebuilt, the vehicle goes through our 400-point inspection and is test-driven to completion. We also get each vehicle fully detailed before it is delivered to its new home. Of course, since every vehicle we hand-build is custom for each client, special features and options are also available to be added during the initial design phase. With the original NAS Defenders being so rare, they are a true treasure to work on in the shop. Several of our techs pride themselves on identifying and maintaining what makes these Defenders so unique. While the process is thorough and requires attention to detail and experience, being able to return these original NAS Defenders to the roads is something we as a company pride ourselves on as a whole.
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