Since first coming to the United States, the Land Rover Defender has always been a rare commodity. Over the years, restoration shops and car fanatics have tackled taking on restoring the British beauties to their original heritage. Brands such as E.C.D. have made their mark as one of the top custom Defender restoration facilities in the United States, and other prominent British brands such as Twisted Automotive and Arkonik, who are extremely well known in the U.K., sell vehicles for the U.S. market. We often get asked how we are different from other Defender builders, so here are the facts.
Like many other popular U.K. Defender restoration brands, the main downside to ordering a vehicle from there is that unless they have a full manufacturing facility here in the U.S., your build is often built by two different companies. They typically work with the restoration or subcontracted shops we mentioned earlier to add details such as A.C., an upgraded dashboard, and other modern conveniences that wouldn’t allow the vehicle to be imported into the U.S. as one of the upgraded vehicles they initially present.
This is also true for Twisted and Arkonik, who must adhere to the 25-year old vehicle import law that states that classic vehicles must be the original stock to be imported. Once the Twisted Defenders arrive here in the United States, they are licensed to another shop or facility for final touches before they arrive at your home.
Being based here in Florida, E.C.D. has mastered fully rebuilding their custom Defenders from the ground up, allowing clients to easily visit their handcrafted vehicle on-site at the Rover Dome. Clients receive a hands-on experience from being able to touch and see materials for their custom Defender to being able to get behind the wheel and experience the power of one of our vehicles. This also means you know exactly where to go and how to get in touch should your vehicle ever need servicing; as an added bonus, all of our G.M. drivetrain vehicles are serviceable at any local G.M. dealer.
Twisted Automotive offers both a V8 (the LT1) and electric engine (Twisted E.V.) option, a range of models from the D90 to the D130, and specific color customizations. There are two models they offer for those here in the U.S., and if you’re honestly comparing your options with Twisted, they are limited.
The Twisted Defender models for the U.S., the Twisted NA-V8, and the NAS-E are limited in terms of variety for a custom build. These vehicles are a similar experience to being “off the line” with standard features that are included without the opportunity of being upgraded or swapped for your desired preference. You’ll notice these vehicles tend to lack the full scope of customizations from color to performance options.
With these limits, your dream build from Twisted is also most likely to only come with Twisted Automotive branded finishes and parts as the company does not use exterior brands. Performance options like Brembo brakes, FOX suspension, or Borla exhaust wouldn’t be offered. The same goes for exterior and interior accessories such as Kahn, Nardi, or Hella; these are also options you wouldn’t get to select from. Although the Twisted finishes are nice looking and of good quality, it does limit the customization of the build. You are more likely to see vehicles that look the same rolling off the line as opposed to E.C.D, where no two vehicles are ever the same.
Being built by E.C.D. guarantees every single aspect of the build is hand-selected by you, regardless of your brand or finish choice. The same goes for your exterior and interior color options, which are virtually limitless. This is largely the most significant difference between a “custom” Twisted Defender and a fully-rebuilt custom Defender from E.C.D. We offer clients a full range of options that ensure the end result is their dream Defender, nothing less.
Ultimately, E.C.D. offers a more one-of-one bespoke build for each individual client. Here’s a side by side comparison of some additional options to consider when in the market for your own custom Land Rover Defender.
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.