Being the King of custom, ECD’s customized Defenders have equally sublime interiors as the build’s individual exterior features. Exploring the interior options can be overwhelming since the interior design and material options are virtually limitless. Over the years, ECD has developed its in-house upholstery team that started with one individual and simple seat designs over the popular Corbeau Trailcat racing seats. The upholstery bay now has a team of 6 talented team members who transform the interiors of each of the company’s original Defenders.
The vehicle starts with the frame and a bit of chaotic wiring when it enters the bay for upholstery. But even as the build makes its way down the line, the Upholstery team is working on its removable interior finishes. This means things like door cards, seats, center consoles, dashboards, and the headliner land in the upholstery bay as soon as the body team preps them.
With the client’s mood board hanging up in the upholstery bay, the team notes every design detail as they head to the client’s section to pull their specially ordered materials to start working on the build’s interior finishes. The materials are laid out and cut to perfectly fit the designated hardware. The team pre-fits the leathers, ensuring the fit is snug and allows for pull where needed, and accounts for wear in high traffic areas such as resting arms on center consoles or the sitting portions of the seats. Once the leather design has been fitted to all the build’s hardware, the parts head back to the cosmetics bay to be installed.
Bespoke seat designs can range from vertical stitching to animal skinned materials. The possibilities with these builds are truly crazy, and the team has been lucky enough to see a bit of everything come through their design decks.
Working with premium materials makes a meticulous job a bit easier, but the team has to take a more careful approach with more complex leather designs. Take a look at Project Phantom, a custom Defender 110 designed to match the client’s Rolls Royce but with a Lamborghini orange leather throughout. What made this build so unique is that the team took the original Defender and designed it to match a modern-day vehicle, complete with various custom features, such as the honeycomb stitch design and custom front seat handles that lined the build’s front center console.
A look at Project Mule, Project New England Safari, or Project Huntress shows how the team works with various materials from fuzzy deerskin to sheep and cowhides, and even highly textured alligator skin. All leathers are custom ordered or made to finish the client’s dream design for their unique vehicle — years of experience and a passion for creating powers the upholstery team. With every bespoke request, the rest of the company bounces on their feet, waiting to see how the Upholstery team attacks and takes on every challenge.
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