Land Rover Defender 110 “Project Sweet Pea” Restomod Packs LT4 Supercharged V8 Muscle

E.C.D. Automotive Design, the world’s largest Land Rover restoration company, has finished yet another fantastic-looking restomod. An older 110 served as the canvas for this build, which is rocking an eight-speed automatic and a supercharged V8 powerplant of General Motors origin.

The coil-sprung Defender was introduced in 1983 as the Land Rover One Ten, followed by the Ninety in 1984, with these numbers spelled in full. The replacement for the Land Rover series would be renamed for the 1991 model year Defender, which came in short-wheelbase 90 and long-wheelbase 110 flavors. North America received the 110 for the 1993 model year, whereas the 90 was offered from 1994 through model year 1997.

Extensively modified to comply with U.S. regulations, the Defender 110 was originally equipped with a Buick 215-based Rover V8 engine, LT-77 five-speed manual transmission, and LT230 transfer case. The subsequent Land Rover Defender 90 that replaced the 110 stateside was canned over airbag and side-impact requirements introduced for 1998.

500 units of the NAS Defender 110 were delivered stateside, plus 25 to Canadian customers, making it the most valuable of North American-spec vehicles. Even after the European 110 became eligible for importation, the NAS Defender 110 continued to be revered by off-road enthusiasts.

Project Sweet Pea isn’t a NAS Defender 110, but a 1995 model that was imported under the 25-year rule. A one-off commission finished in Ford Brittany Blue Metallic, the Landy pictured in the gallery features white wing top checkers, wing top air intakes, and side steps. The 16-inch alloy wheels are mounted with BFGoodrich all-terrain rubber boots, as you would expect from an off-road vehicle. Up front, you’ll notice the original grille gone in favor of the Kahn X-Lander from British outfit Project Kahn.

Finished in white and yellow, said grille is complemented by an ARB bull bar that promises extensive front-end protection. It further integrates a remote-controlled winch supplied by Warn. The 2+2+4 interior flaunts Recaro Sportster Cross front seats with custom-embroidered headrests.

The middle-row seats are also featured, whereas the load area boasts four inward-facing jump seats. The Caressa Porcelain leather upholstery benefits from Chatham Navy accents and alligator inserts. The wood grain steering wheel frames Esquire instrumentation, and on-board entertainment comes courtesy of a Kenwood eXcelon head unit connected to Infinity Kappa speakers and a subwoofer. Lacquered teakwood flooring in the cargo area and four mid-section cupholders pretty much seal the deal.

E.C.D. Automotive Design didn’t mention what kind of numbers that LT4 generates at the crankshaft, but we do know that Chevrolet sells an LT4 crate engine with 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet (854 Nm) of torque on deck. Essentially an LT1 with a blower on top, the LT4 produces these figures thanks to an Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger that spins at up to 20,000 revolutions per minute, generating more than 9 pounds of boost.

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Article Credits: Mircea Panait
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Custom Land Rover Defender Pair by GAS and Undefeated Offers Posh Overlanding

When the new Land Rover Defender launched in 2020, the main complaint most people had was that it had lost the ruggedness and simplicity of the original. To put it in other words, it had become too posh.

But then again, “posh” seems like a perfectly normal adjective for something coming from the United Kingdom, doesn’t it? Don’t they all drink tea all day and say “dear me” over there anyway? If someone was to make a posh SUV, certainly it would have to be a British brand.

Well, the thing with the new Defender is that it’s only truly luxurious when you compare it to the older model. Next to any other premium machine on the market, the best way you could describe its interior is smart-functional (you can blame the fashion industry for this type of fancy compound words if you don’t like them).

Ironically enough, the SUV built in Slovakia (where Jaguar Land Rover owns a plant) had to travel all the way to Los Angeles to get what could very well be the poshest makeover so far. The transformation came courtesy of Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) and Undefeated, two brands local in the City of Angels that had never worked together until this project.

Their work has already been on display at last year’s L.A. Auto Show, so if this feels familiar, stick around for some more details as well as the high-quality photos – about as high as the effort put into making these two vehicles. If you go through the list of modifications – which we’ll do in a second – you’ll see it’s not about quantity, but rather the attention to detail and the careful choosing of the right design, accessory, or material.

So, we’re looking at two 2021 Defenders, one of the 90 variety, with its shorter wheelbase, and one of the longer 110 (soon to become medium once the 130 gets out) type. Both use the P400 hybrid powertrain which is by far the best option for this model mating a small electric motor to a butter-smooth straight-six twin-turbo engine. This setup mixes massive amounts of power (395 hp and 406 lb-ft / 550 Nm, the latter available from as low as 2,000 rpm) and almost perfectly silent running, something a diesel could never do.

When it comes to starting trim levels, the stubbier SUV gets slightly ahead since it’s a “First Edition” whereas the 110 one is just a SE. Not that any of it matters now after the two American companies – one specializing in car customization and the other in stylish apparel – have had their way with them.

The first thing you’ll notice is the wheels, both vehicles sporting sets of Forgiato Custom “Steelies” with a 19-inch diameter finished in a creamy Ivory paint. They’re not exactly what people refer to when they talk about steel rims, but they sure make the two custom paint jobs stand out. The 90 Defender gets a fresh coat of Galpin Auto Sports’ custom “Jaguar Green” while the 110 one sports its blue equivalent (“Jaguar Blue”). Both SUVs’ roofs were painted to match the wheels.

On the inside, the two vehicles get GAS’ beige Parchment leather upholstery with either “navy houndstooth” or “beach towel” inserts, both of which look equally cool. We’re not so sure about the houndstooth one but the beach towel certainly makes a lot of sense since the 90 Defender has a clear surfing theme (something it definitely had to travel to California for).

The “Jaguar Green” short wheelbase SUV also has an intricate shelving system in the trunk that includes a biometric safe (to leave your important stuff in while you enjoy the waves), as well as a roof rack with surfboard attachment, an awning for shade during those hot summer days, and a road shower to get the sand off your feet before climbing in.

Over on the “Jaguar Blue” side, the 110 Defender has been kitted as a premium overlanding vehicle, sporting a slide-out kitchen with stove and sink, a refrigerator, a rooftop tent, and a roof-mounted 270-degree awning.

Neither of these two custom builds is particularly practical, but they do serve their purpose of drawing attention toward the pair of companies involved in the conversion, if not toward the third one that actually built the SUVs they’re based on as well. It’s something to whet your appetite and get you in the mood for customizing your car. Or buying a Defender. Or going surfing. Or cooking in nature. It depends, I guess.

Article Credit: Vlad Mitrache
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This 1981 Land Rover 6×6 Pickup Truck Is Old-School Awesome

Six-wheeled military and commercial vehicles have been around for ages, but six-wheel passenger vehicles are relatively new. The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 single-handedly made six-wheel drive cool eight years ago when it launched, and since then, the aftermarket has caught notice.

We could talk all day about 6×6 trucks from Hennessey, but did you know that a relatively small British company offered 6×6 conversions of the Land Rover back in the 1980s? Townley Cross-Country Vehicles is the name of that company, and the pickup before your eyes is one of their creations.

Listed for sale by the Land Rover Centre in Huddersfield, the 1981 Land Rover 109 Series 3 Stage 1 V8 was registered for road use in May 1986. One-of-two Townley 6×6 conversions, the sport utility truck was first owned by a gentleman who used it for towing a concrete pump and carrying pipes.

The second owner acquired it sometime in 1995, sold it, then repurchased the SUT in 2005. From 2016 to 2018, the pickup underwent a restoration that saw almost everything rebuilt or replaced, including the bulkhead and rear wings. Now riding on a galvanized chassis, the Landy features 30 more inches of wheelbase over the standard 109 inches (76.2 and 276.8 centimeters).

Rated at 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds) in terms of payload capacity, the Townley 6×6 can be switched from 4×6 to 6×6 on the fly. This capable workhorse is rocking an OHV aluminum V8 with 3.5 liters of displacement, the venerable Rover V8 with 91 horsepower and 166 pound-feet (225 Nm).

Fed by twin Zenith-Stromberg carburetors and an electric fuel pump, the motor is connected to a four-speed manual transmission. A pair of transfer boxes, 3.54 gearing for all three axles, and servo-assisted drum brakes on all six corners also need to be mentioned, along with a ground clearance of 8.25 inches (20.95 centimeters). For reference, the all-new Defender with air suspension and a unibody chassis offers 11.5 inches (29.21 centimeters).

If you intend to make this six-wheeled blast from the past your own, prepare to pony up 39,995 pounds sterling or $55,340 at current exchange rates.


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Article Credit: Mircea Panait
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