E.C.D. Automotive Design has been around since 2013, and boy have we learned some things. In our drive to be the best custom Land Rover builder in the U.S., the term “shortcut” just isn’t in our vocabulary. While some Defender and Landy enthusiasts think a simple “restoration” shop is the way to go for their vehicle, a Defender looking primped and pretty from afar doesn’t necessarily have what it takes to honor the heritage or quality of a Land Rover Defender.
Attention to Detail
As a bespoke vehicle builder, we pride ourselves on attention to detail. We’ve beat our tech’s over the head with the concept, and they don’t shy away from anything that others would overlook. Things like improper body alignment, doors off the frame, and body kits not matching up are some of the details that we pay more attention to as a custom vehicle builder. We use all of the correct hardware to ensure our Land Rover Defenders look like they’ve just come off the line at the factory. Everyone in the shop, regardless of their bay, title, or position, has the opportunity to pick the details of a build apart. Seriously, they circle the build like sharks, looking at every detail for mistakes or room for improvements. We execute a high-level of “Mise en Place” in the shop to get the details right, and that extends to all of the build’s finishes. Every bolt or stitch has a proper place and should be correctly fitted in that place, no excuses.
The Power of Paint
When E.C.D. first began expanding, we added a few bays to allow for more vehicles to come through our line properly. Our founders, the crazy lads they are, decided to take this expansion a step further after local paint shops just weren’t producing paint quality up to our standards. So what did they propose as a solution? Building our own 4,000 square foot paint facility (affectionately called the Lab, see images and you’ll see why) custom-designed by Global Finishing. The booth, which also comes fitted with internal speakers to ensure love and good vibes go into every paint pass, was designed with airflow movement specifically for Defenders. In other words, this wasn’t an off-the-shelf paint booth kit.
You can call us extra; we would say we’re dedicated. When done improperly, a bad paint job can cause rust damage, lifting, chipping, and a lot of other issues that can ruin a build. We meticulously spend hours prepping each part and body panel to be painted. The Lab is where the magic happens for a lot of clients as they see their custom dream color coat their one-of-a-kind Land Rover Defender. Through our paint facility, the color options are endless, and we can easily test colors and concepts for future builds.
If something isn’t up to our standards, we can easily send it three doors down to our paint shop until it meets E.C.D.’s standard of quality.
If we get a build in that needs to be overhauled after seeing a “restoration” shop, our techs often find themselves wondering if anyone working on the vehicle previously was even certified to begin with. Installation of non-OEM certified after-market parts and cutting corners by installing the incorrect hardware are some of the things we’ve seen. Improper bolting, recessed lighting installation, and hardware in the wrong locations are all things that can cause problems ranging from rust and water damage to aspects of the build falling apart. We use Defender specific parts that follow the O.E.M. standard for each build and are proud of our A.S.E. Certified electricians.
Just because you can’t see the wiring or bolts, doesn’t mean their improper fitting should be swept under the rug and covered up. At E.C.D., it had better be sparkling clean under that rug.
Two Words: Quality Control
While E.C.D. has two bays and phases dedicated to quality control, every stage of the build is QC’d (that’s quality control checked) before the vehicle leaves to the next bay. This is our process for ensuring that nothing gets missed and all of our techs are held accountable — and trust us; they are all the type to put on a white glove to check for dust! One bolt out of place means it’s all getting ripped off until everything is fitted correctly.
Our Head of QC, a quiet and concentrated fellow by the name of Sergei, is known for his brutal scrutiny when builds come through the Quality Control bays. He does not mince words and runs a tight ship in the E.C.D. shop — if Sergs doesn’t like it, he sends it back! At the end of each build cycle, our Q.C. process allows us to comfortably and confidently deliver Land Rover builds that meet both his and E.C.D. standards.
Everything is Custom Fitted
One of the most monumental aspects of what sets E.C.D. apart from other “restoration” shops is that we have years of Land Rover specific experience, from the Defender to the Range Rover Classic and the Series 2A. This means we know what they’re supposed to look and feel like, down to the last detail. We have welders, an upholstery team, and vendors that ensure each builds’ needs are met with authentic parts and custom pieces of the highest quality.
Our design process is extensive and for good reason! Things like headliners, light style, seating layout, even the color of the stitching are all hand-selected by our clients through their design and concierge journey. All of these aspects are custom-fitted to each and every build until they look like that’s how they were meant to come off the line on Lode Lane. Crafting every detail to fit both the build and the client’s dream sets E.C.D. light-years apart from any other shops. Our clients get a vehicle that no one else in the world would ever be able to say they have one “like it;” there will never be one like it. We simply do custom best — and that’s not us tooting our own horn
(but feel free to follow us on social media and do some tooting of your own). We are some of our own harshest critics, and that means we’re continually pushing, prodding, and innovating to be better, create better, and build the best.
If that doesn’t help you see what sets us apart, shoot an email to our team at [email protected], and we’ll even send you a quality checklist to ensure your choice of shop exceeds basic restoration and makes your build worthy of its Land Rover Heritage.
Unit 107 – 4930 Industrial Lane Kissimmee, FL 34758
UK logistics Center
Unit 5 Crown Industrial Estate
© 2022 ECD Automotive Design. All images are the property of ECD Auto Design and cannot be used without our consent. E.C.D. Automotive Design is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Jaguar Land Rover Limited, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, including Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. DEFENDER and RANGE ROVER are registered trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited. We build restored defenders, range rover classic’s, and jaguar etypes.