Since its inception, the Land Rover Defender has been an iconic SUV that’s been called into service throughout the world. As a result, it has a deep, storied heritage and a loyal following of fans who appreciate its uncompromised ability to tackle the toughest terrain.
Which celebrity owns Defender?
The British manufacturer has a long history of customizing the Defender, and there are a number of U.S.-based outfits that specialize in rebuilding classic Land Rovers to give them a modern facelift, boost their performance and enhance their off-road abilities. The best of these builders have crafted one-of-a-kind Defenders that are not only beautiful, but also highly collectible.
Some American defender builders focus on a la carte upgrades to traditional build levels, while others offer full-fledged frame-up custom rebuilds, or even entire European Defenders that are sent to the United States and upgraded with new GM V8 engines, electric motors and more. Among the most well-known Defender builders is Florida-based E.C.D Automotive Design, which specializes in building custom defenders and Range Rover Classics that boast beefed-up, ultra-luxe builds like the Project Invictus, which incorporates a Tesla power train and air suspension with an overlanding-ready body.
Other reputable Defender builders include Chicago-based HHH Heritage, which specializes in bringing Europe-sourced Defenders up to the standards of American drivers with light refreshes and frame-up custom rebuilds. Osprey Custom Cars in North Carolina has been known for its cutting-edge Defender 90/110/130 build that uses galvanized chassis and LS-swapped V-8s. And, in Mells, England, veteran Defender-restoration outfit Arkonik produces faithful reproductions using stock Land Rover engines.