What started as a trend in the ’80s has quickly become competition for restoration shops today as the technology boom pushes vehicles forward. Initially set out in the pace of fast and muscle cars alike, the restomod movement is changing the landscape of how collectors envision their dream vehicles.
The biggest difference between a restored vehicle and a “restomod” is that when a vehicle is fully restored, it is built and refurbished to look exactly as it came off the production line, in complete working condition, with most near original parts. Alternatively, a restomod may have that brand new car smell, but the details and performance may be all-modern. More contemporary colors, a new crate engine from the 21st century, and perhaps some technology on the inside to make sure the vehicle meets the needs of today’s modern conveniences such as an infotainment system, AC, or power locks and windows.
A clear definition of a restomod is a classic car that has been restored but with a modern twist, hence the combo of “resto” and “mod.” Some of the most popular restomods kicked off in the 90s were Ford, and Chevy muscle cars were built for show with the speed of a Corvette. Essentially, what you’d imagine when you think of the term “hot-rod,” anything you’d see on ‘Dukes of Hazzard’, or those cars most likely seen in a hot-wheels toy car kit.
A staple for most restomods seems to be a newer Chevy small block engine. This engine, combined with an upgraded radio, new paint, and a full restoration, takes any classic into restomod territory. Still, the restomod will only score as high as its overall performance takes it. During the 2000s, the highlight on car cities/states such as Detroit, Atlanta, and California hit an all-time peak, especially with the kick-off of the Fast and Furious series. The movie franchise featured some of the coolest restomods with the most updated modern aspects, that was the entire premise, that and racing your restomod against others to prove not only your rebuilding skill but you’re driving skills. However, the implementation of Nitro boosting in restomods is not as likely an aspect of today’s restomods as technological abilities have overtaken a restomod’s need for speed (see what we did there?).
Today, taking any classic car from any point in time and restoring it with modern parts is a detailed and painstaking talent that not only takes time but tremendous skill and effort. Simply ordering parts and managing how they work with the vehicle is a months-long process in itself that requires detailed planning and many nights in the garage for individual restorers. It can still take months for those in the restoration process, but if you have an entire team of skilled individuals, what usually would take years of restoration can happen in only a year or two.
Today, EV and electric upgrades have completely transformed the restomod landscape, taking older classics and making them chargeable at the local Target, the peak of modern convenience. Thinking of “classics,” most Americans and even Defender enthusiasts couldn’t imagine the vehicle being something like a daily driver that also does 4×4. It’s not exactly easy to imagine the 4,000 lb road dominator as a vehicle you’d drive the kids to practice in. But it’s now 2022, and companies like ECD are taking on the challenge of adding every single modern convenience to the go-anywhere vehicle for today’s car collector.
Today’s restomod Defender has both classic and outrageous color combos, from British Racing Green to all black with bright red accents. The restomod Defender from ECD not only features a Chevy small block, they feature a lineup of some of Chevy’s most powerful small block engines, including the LS3+, the LT1, and the LT4 (which kicks in at 650HP btw), while also having a line up of modern diesel AND a Tesla Direct EV option. This year, we announced that not only one but two of our 2022 restomod Defenders would feature our Tesla Direct Drivetrain engine, making them possibly the only EV classic Defenders in North America.
Not only are the builds powered by EV, the entirety of their performance has been upgraded and rebuilt from shocks to differentials and all, not to mention the all-new interior. The atmosphere that ECD has always put behind its builds is that the options for your restomod Defender are truly limitless. If you think of any modern feature you want in your vehicle, the passion team at ECD will engineer a way to make it happen. This is what sets ECD apart from other builders, the level of customization and modern features for those looking to have a Defender completely rebuilt from the ground up.
If you’re ready to see where ECD can take your restomod Defender, shoot us an email at [email protected]
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