How Long Does it Take to Build a Classic Defender

The procedure of producing a custom Land Rover Defender begins with deciding on a builder. While choosing a builder may appear difficult, if you've selected ECD as your defender builder, you're on the right track (in our humble opinion). Here's how we put together a custom classic Defender using our in-house restoration team:

The process of building a custom Defender can begin with choosing a builder. Though choosing an ECD defender builder may seem daunting or you may be unsure where to begin, we believe that you're on the right track (to our modest viewpoint). Here is a list of steps involved in restoring your personal classic Defender:

Prior to building your custom Defender, we begin with design. If you have chosen the model Defender or have one in mind, we request your design specifications. After you sign your contract with ECD, you will receive a welcome package with paint samples, materials, and options for your custom build. You may choose to visit our design studio to meet with Sales and Design Director John in person or virtually if you choose to do so. You will get to see our custom Defenders in person, feel the materials, see them up close, and, most importantly, take a test drive!

You can select any paint colour from our state-of-the-art in-house paint facility, even if it's from a different company or swatch. We work with premium interior upholstery materials suppliers to provide the highest quality materials, and everything from animal skins to unique colours are sewn in-house. Your design is entirely up to you, from the colour of the stitch to the colour.

Once you've decided on colours, accessories, and materials, we use our detailed 3D design software to create a 3D render of your custom Defender on site. With this, you can visualize your custom build and make adjustments on the spot. The design process may take several months, but once the final design is accepted, the journey to creating your custom Defender begins.

The first step in recreating your restored Defender's life is to locate a base vehicle. We begin that process by sourcing an original Defender, usually from the late 1980s to the 1990s, with a history and story behind it. We look around the world for these vehicles, but our U.K. Logistics office provides us with base cars that are permitted for import to the United States. Once we're certain the vehicle can clear import and customs checks, it is packed and shipped to our 100,000-square-foot facility in Florida. It may take some time for shipping and receiving, since conditions for importing a vehicle from abroad to the United States are not always favourable.

Once the vehicle has been delivered on-site, we take it apart from the chassis up. Every bolt, wire, and door is removed from the vehicle until we have a bare chassis that is ready for repair and rebuilding. Any salvaged vehicle components such as body panels, roofs, and doors are set aside for repair. The tear-down process happens quickly; our Tear-down technicians can take as few as a few days to take a vehicle from the chassis down.

Everything from wiring to the dashboard and beyond is rebuilt from scratch, and that consumes most of the build's man-hours.

Once the chassis has been refinished, it is turned into a 'rolling chassis'. The rust is repaired, welded, and resealed for longevity and security. The chassis moves from bay to bay on four wheels, slowly becoming the dream car you imagined.

The procedure begins with standard wiring and engine fitting and continues with additional wiring. The engine is removed and other construction components are put in as the line moves along. While the body panels and seats are transformed in our other structures, the doors and body panels are sanded and repaired in our state-of-the-art paint booth. The upholstery team works to bring every detail from your custom design to the interior of your build as the new seats are delivered.

The vehicle's body parts are assembled as the build progresses, starting with the bulkhead, roof, and wiring. Dynamat and soundproofing are applied once the body panels are in place. The engine is then placed back in, and your seats, dashboards, centre consoles, and other interior components are installed and assembled.

Once your build is fully put back together, we start it up for the first time to ensure everything is working properly. During its last few months at our facility, it will undergo a rigorous testing and quality inspection phase. In the inspection bays, we perform a 200-point inspection process and test to ensure drive quality, proper wiring, and that every bolt is properly in its place.

Prior to releasing a vehicle, our founders usually drive it for a defined number of miles to verify its quality performance. The best part of this process is that your dedicated portal will be updated twice monthly with pictures of your vehicle as it progresses through each phase of the manufacturing process, allowing you to keep track of its location at all times. The build typically takes approximately 13 to 15 months after signing the contract.

This year, ECD launched a new line of Special Edition Land Rovers. The Special Editions have different qualities and characteristics, and are limited to 3,000 models. Air suspension, a 565 horsepower LS3 V8 engine, a roll cage with a front light bar and a rear working light, 20 inch alloy black wheels, and Special Edition emblems are all standard features. You may still design your own vehicle using colour and material options from the list.

The 12-month build time is the greatest advantage of choosing a Special Edition since we already have the materials ready to go. This choice is ideal for individuals who want to get their Defender project off the ground quickly and have a simplified original design in mind.

Interested in starting your journey and purchasing a Land Rover Defender classic? Please contact us at

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