At E.C.D., we strive to bring creativity, innovation, and individuality to every custom Defender we build. A common saying here at E.C.D. is, “If you can dream it, we can build it,” meaning the upgrade options for your custom Land Rover Defender are truly endless. If you’re looking to start your custom Defender build with E.C.D., here are some of our most unique custom features.
Project New England Safari, a custom Defender 110, comes in at number 1 for the most unique upholstery feature we’ve had in a Defender. The build’s Corbeau Trailcat front seats, it’s middle row seats, and it’s rear inward-facing bench seating are all wrapped in Torino Bark leather, and Whitetail Deer hide. Taking the hide and delicately wrapping it into custom panels for all of the seats is what brings this build in at #1. Not only does the deer hide add to the build’s namesake, but it also adds texture to the build’s interior, begging for whoever sees it to take a feel of the soft hide for themselves. To take the theme a step further, the build has custom tri-color deer-heads monogrammed into the headrests.
Coming in at a close second for our Founders, was the custom alligator skin seats in our Project Huntress, a fully geared custom Defender 130. The difficulty with that interior is that the client, who is an artist, wanted a particular type of alligator, color, and thinness. E.C.D. had to search far and wide for a dealer that provided the extensive service of thinning and dyeing the alligator skin to meet the client’s expectations. The client also only wanted the skins to wrap just the front of the build’s Corbeau front seats, with a similarly colored leather to match for the rest of its interior. The result of this build was nonetheless beautiful.
At E.C.D., we often have several builds that feature accents, from hydro-dipped wood-look to bronze or chrome. This build, in particular coming in at #1 for E.C.D., took both the metal accents and real-wood accents to the next level. Project Barge, a custom U.V.C. Defender 130 painted in White Diamond Pearl, not only had its hinges copper-plated, but its handles, gauges, brake pedals, and various other accents copper plated as well. In addition to the copper-plated accents throughout, its bed is fully lined in custom cut Teak Wood. The gorgeous custom Brazilian Teak wood is a brilliant complement to the build’s white color and was the first vehicle of E.C.D.’s to feature wood in the rear tub. With the gorgeous result from Project Barge, E.C.D. is looking forward to more requests for custom Defenders with Brazilian Teak wood features.
Custom Cabinet Boxes
One thing E.C.D. usually does for most of our builds is add in some sort of storage box, whether it’s a custom hidden storage box or one that replaces rear bench seating. However, we always have one or two clients who request that their storage box is a little more than standard. Landing at #1 is Project Peacemaker, a custom Defender 110 with a 2.8L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine that opted for custom Front Runner Gullwing storage boxes with aluminum hatches in place of rear windows. These storage boxes were built to meet the build’s purpose of being a fully capable outdoor vehicle, so as expected, it features items such as an ax, rope, hitches, tools, and a slew of other items. In the rear of Project Peacemaker is an additional Front Runner pullout drawer with a 110V power outlet for powering high-voltage equipment, making it capable of taking on the wilderness with modern convenience.
Coming in an extremely close second is our recently popular build Project Rowdy, a custom D110 with a custom Ski rack in the rear at the height of luxury convenience. Project Rowdy’s custom Thewlis Gregson rear storage cabinet is by far one of the most expensive E.C.D. has introduced to date. The Holland & Holland series cabinet also has a bit of an odd purpose, to hold both a shotgun and its accessories, and the ultimate collection of picnic gear, including wine glasses. The storage cabinet features custom cutouts to hold the clients preferred style of wine glass, wine, and typical other picnic items such as utensils, plates, and napkins. With the middle row seats pushed back for additional legroom, it’s fair to say that Project Rowdy was built for a pure good time.
Needless to say, we can’t wait for the next custom Defender storage box request to come through.
Custom Roof Features
As E.C.D. has taken on challenges to blend modern vehicle features with an age-old classic, we’ve found ourselves wondering how we can add even more features that clients and enthusiasts would typically see on 2020 luxury vehicle models. Making any changes to a Defender’s roof has proven difficult — like any vehicle, there’s the fear of leakage and ugly results. Well, we kicked that challenge’s ass, simply put. The build in our #1 spot for custom roofs is one we have yet to release to the press or the public. That being said, we’ll release a sneak peek in this blog and drop a few hints as to what it will look like. Imagine the panoramic roof you typically see on brands like Tesla. We’ve taken that concept and introduced it to the Land Rover Defender, a build that is a first of a kind for E.C.D. That’s all we’ll say, for now, you’ll just have to stick around for a bit until the build has had its final, very beautiful, very rare touches.
But, speaking of panoramic roofs, we won’t leave you hanging too much. Coming in at #2 would have to be Project Prevail, a custom Defender 110 with the attitude of a D130. Project Prevail has a stunning Loire Blue color and a Spinneybeck Volo Toast; Volo Black dual-toned interior only made better by its fully removable canvas soft-top. From the front seats to the four rear inward-facing jumbo seats, the removable soft top offers views of pure blue sky. The full Safety Devices D110 Soft-top Multi-point roll cage adds to the sense of adventure when riding with the top off. The convertible style and seating for 9 make this build a ‘best’ for road-trips or scenic drives.
Custom Exterior Accessories
E.C.D. has quite the portfolio of builds with fully custom exteriors, but some exterior features prove to be the true stand-outs amongst our gallery. Starting with E.C.D.’s first-ever camper build, Project Invictus, a 1991 Defender 110 in Nara Bronze and a Cascadia Vehicle Tents (CVT) Mt. Shasta Summit roof-top tent with Awning. The Front Runner full-length roof-rack holds not only the two-person tent, but also two-five gallon water reservoirs, a 42-inch off-road jack, and a pair of traction mats, all ready for this build’s treks through the wilderness. Quite a sight when it’s all set-up, it all packs away neatly back onto the roof for when the client is off to their next adventure. Ideal for off-ground sleeping arrangements, if you have to go camping, this is undoubtedly one of the best ways to do it.
The second spot for custom Defender exterior features here at E.C.D. would have to be Project Soho, a custom D110 inspired by the look of a supercar. Fully fitted in several Kahn exterior accessories, Project Soho features a Kahn X-lander Slimline bumper, 20” Kahn Mondial wheels, Borla Performance with Kahn Crosshair tips, and a Kahn Wide-body Kit. All of which look, quite frankly, pretty badass on a Defender. The build’s Quantum Grey in an eggshell finish is complemented by a bonnet and roof painted in black, truly finishing off its look.
Honorable mention goes to Project Family Vacation and Project Viking. Project Family Vacation, a gorgeously outfitted D90 with all the right external accessories, from a tire on the bonnet to a full tubular winch bumper.
The accessory that makes it stand out the most is its easily removable N.A.S. doors that can be easily swapped out for specialty Tubular Beach Doors, which is perfect for driving in that “wind in your hair” weather. Project Viking, is a 7’4″ mammoth of a vehicle that acquired its height from the utilization of Icelandic-style wheel arches and 37-inch Maxxis Trepador mud-terrain tires. The wheels alone have made this build one of E.C.D.’s most popular across all of our social channels.
With over 250 vehicles under our belt, we’re proud to say this was a difficult list to put together. With All-Electric Tesla powered Defenders and innovations on the horizon, we are like kids in a candy store with every new custom request. Ready to build your “anything is possible” dream Defender? Get in touch with our team at [email protected].
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