updated - September 20, 2021 Monday EDT
As a premium builder of fully customized Land Rover Defenders, E.C.D. Automotive Design has developed the knowledge, skill, and relationships since its creation in 2013 for creating the most unique rebuilds of these vehicles. Here's a walk-through of how E.C.D. rebuilds their custom on-of-one Defenders in their facility based in Kissimmee, FL.
The process begins by sourcing the ideal base vehicle. This vehicle must already be legally imported into the U.S. or follow the correct 25-year import laws to be brought here from another country. Often, the vehicles E.C.D. rebuilds are heritage vehicles that barely run, intending to rebuild them to exceed their former glory. Once the perfect base vehicle is found, it is shipped to the brand's facility in sunny Florida.
At the same time that a base vehicle is being sourced, the Defender's new owner is invited to the shop for their initial design meeting and a tour of the facility. The new owner sits down with the E.C.D. concierge and design team to design their custom build right there on-site and the design options are truly limitless. From upholstery materials and custom paint colors to modern engines and recreational features, every aspect of the build is hand-selected. A basic version of this design software is available on the company's website for Defender enthusiasts and future clients alike to take a look at some of their dream Defender's ideal options.
As the design process begins, the base vehicle should have arrived at the facility, and it lands in the first bay of the shop. While the fastest bay of the entire process, tear-down is one of the most crucial points in rebuilding a custom Defender. Every part of the vehicle is carefully dissected and taken apart; some parts are saved to be reused at the new owner's request, while others are kept to be refinished for the final build.
With tear-down complete, the vehicle is fully repaired from the chassis up. The new rolling chassis then is test fitted for its engine, sent to the electrics bay to wire all of its new, more modern components, and then sent to the cosmetics bay where it once again begins to look like a Defender. The shop has a state of the art custom paint facility, where the custom Defenders body panels and doors are painted as it goes through the remaining bays. The body panels are refitted, and the additional custom finishes such as seats, stereos, and any other custom touches are installed. The upholstery team does an amazing job of refinishing the vehicle's seats and interior with the clients desired materials, whether it be cowhide, alligator skin, or simple leather.
The vehicle is double-checked for quality at every point, and its final exterior features are installed before it is test-driven several hundred miles for quality assessment. The entire process takes 12-14 months overall, but the result is a fully customized Defender that, quite literally, no one else in the world will have. As much of this process can be done on one's own, for a quality rebuild like no other, E.C.D. Auto design is the place to start for creating your own custom Defender.
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