The now-discontinued Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle, but East Coast Defender has made its name by sullying those classic lines for well-to-do buyers. Its latest creation takes an old-fashioned approach to interior luxury, and blends it with a reworked powertrain for an off-road experience like no other.
Some East Coast Defender projects are undertaken with little regard for maintaining the essential Defender-ness of the original Land Rover design, but Project Ironhorse isn’t one of them. Rather than shoehorning a GM V8 into the car’s engine bay, the team has fitted a reworked Land Rover V8 and four-speed ZF automatic gearbox. The engine breathes through a stainless steel exhaust, but don’t expect it to be a firecracker – originality comes before outright performance here.
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That focus on historical accuracy hasn’t been replicated inside, where the Ironhorse looks more like a modern luxury SUV than an old British workhorse. Quilted leather has been lavished upon the (heated) seats, dashboard and headliner, while the ropey old interior lighting system has been turfed in favor of a full-LED setup.
The blocky center console now houses a Kenwood infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. It contrasts with the simple woodgrain steering wheel and Velocity gauges, both of which are delightful throwbacks to a time before Virtual Cockpit technology turned the instrument binnacle into another screen.
Speaking of throwbacks, the inward-facing rear jump seats are a nod to when the Defender was, first and foremost, a military vehicle. We’re not sure how well muddy military boots would blend with the modern leather trim, but there’s no doubt the kids will appreciate being ferried around like they’re in the army. Plus, the nine-seat Ironhorse looks much cooler than any minivan ever will.
Outside, the Ironhorse rides on Sawtooth wheels shod in BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 tires. There’s a Lara Croft-style roof rack on top, complete with LED spotlights and a ladder on the rear. The bottom of the doors are trimmed in stainless steel, but the overall shape of the car is much simpler (and subtler) than some of the other cars to come out of the East Coast Defender garage.
Pricing hasn’t been revealed for this one-off custom Defender, but we don’t imagine it will be cheap.
Source: East Coast Defender
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