The first Land Rover Defenders began rolling off the production line in the early 1980s. Modeled after the Army jeeps used during World War II, these British offroaders were just as eye-catching then as they are today. Luckily, with a restored Land Rover Defender, you get to enjoy the beauty of a vintage Defender without having to settle for 1980s style or technology. Here’s a look at 10 modern styling options to consider for your restored Defender.
Whether you want a classic Defender look or want to get a little edgy with a bold custom paint color, your dreams can become a reality. Some of our most popular paint color options include:
You can look at all of these paint color options for yourself on our 3-D Build Simulator. However, if you’re looking for something a little bold, you can get inspiration from some of our recent Defender builds. Like Project Ainsworth, a custom D110 painted in Full Gloss Fiat Sky with silver accents all around, or Project Winston, a custom D110 finished in Full Gloss Aston Martin Metallic Green with black accents all around.
Along with selecting a one-of-a-kind paint color for your Defender build, you can also give your Land Rover a little extra style by upgrading to modern LED lighting. Not only are LED work lamps a stylish accessory, but they also produce an incredibly bright light using much less energy. Two of our recent Defender builds featuring stylish LED work lamps are Project Ironhorse and Project Punisher.
Often underlooked during the design process, additional style features to keep in mind during your Defender build are your wheels and tires. Some popular Defender tires and rims include the Alloy, Kahn, and Wolf options. However, ECD can also outfit your Defender with some special edition wheels if that’s the type of wheel package you’re after.
The seat configuration options with restored Defender builds are nearly endless. When it comes to forging a unique style for your Defender, you’ve got to keep seating top-of-mind. One of the coolest seating configurations you can choose for your Defender build is placing inward-facing jump seats in the cargo area. This maximizes seating capacity and adds a unique style feature to your Defender.
Project Desert Storm and Project CL are two D90 six-seater builds that feature four inward-facing jump seats in the cargo area. With the four-door D110, you have the option of reaching an impressive nine-seater capacity. Project Olsen is a Corris Grey D110 that seats nine and features two captain chairs, a three-seat middle row, and four foldable inward-facing jump seats in the rear.
Along with choosing the right seat configurations for your Defender build, you will also want to consider your seat style options. Some of our popular seat styles include:
However, choosing your seat style is just the beginning because you must also consider what color and stitch option suits your style best. Some of our most popular leather seat color options are red leather, brown leather, gray leather, black leather, and tan leather. Plus, we also offer a variety of custom leather color options.
Some of our clients also like a two-color leather option, as in Project Rainier, a D90 that features black leather seats with red leather vertical diamond inserts. When it comes to stitch pattern options, clients can choose from square, horizontal, diamond vertical, and diamond horizontal options. Regardless of how you envision your Defender seat styles shaping up, the ECD upholstery team can make it happen.
When it comes to exterior style, one area that can set your Defender apart is roof accessories. Two popular roof accessories for Defender builds are a roll cage or a roof rack with a sidebar. While a roll cage acts as a safety mechanism, it also brings a stylish look to restored vintage Defenders. It’s also a much-needed accessory if you’re looking to take your Defender offroading.
Of course, an alternative roof accessory is the classic roof rack with a sidebar. Project Blue Tide is a soft-top D110 with a full-size roof rack and a rear ladder. Not only does a roof rack add some additional style, but it also provides some great extra storage space. Adding roof accessories should definitely be a top consideration during Defender builds for both safety and style purposes.
Adding custom windows is another excellent styling option to set your Defender apart. Incorporating custom windows like panoramic Masai windows equips vintage Defenders with an almost futuristic look. Masai windows open up the cabin area of the Defender, providing passengers with a 360-degree view of the outside. Project Blackcomb, a custom D90 painted in Zermatt Silver, features stunning Masai panoramic glass.
While the traditional vintage Defender dash is plenty stylish in its own right, you can also incorporate a modern dash style into your Defender build. Two client-favorite contemporary dash styles are the TD5 Dash and the Puma Dash. If you’re looking for inspiration for your build, check out Project Alpine Yeti, a D110 that features the TD5 Dash, or Project Barge, a D130 with the Puma Dash.
Another cool feature that you can customize to add some additional style to your Defender build is custom-built gauges. Some popular gauge styles include the All-American series, AutoCross series, the Mole Bomber series, the Nostalgia VT series, the So-Cal series, and the Vintage series. Project Mass is a unique custom D110 build that features white gauges with hot pink accents.
A final key way to give your vintage Defender some modern flair is by incorporating modern tech upgrades. Features like a wireless charging station, backup cameras, keyless entry, push-button start, tire pressure monitoring systems, in-car GPS and Wi-Fi, and dashboard touch screens not only provide you with the best of what modern technology has to offer but add some modern style to your Defender too.
Hopefully, going over the top 10 modern styling options to consider for your restored Defender has inspired you to get started with your build. Remember, however you’re envisioning your restored vintage Defender, the dedicated team at ECD can help turn your Defender dreams into a reality. So, if you’re ready to create a vintage Defender with a unique modern style, be sure to contact us today to find out how to get started.
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© 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.