How E.C.D. Automotive Design Is Preserving The Spirit Of The Defender Alive

Few fashions have had an influence on the world, fairly just like the Land Rover has. From the deserts of Sub-Saharan Africa, the tropical jungles of Central America, and the icy-cold plains of Northern Siberia, the Land Rover has conquered all of them. Initially designed as a leisure automobile in post-war Britain, the Sequence I Land Rover was a purpose-built, rugged off-roader and was the Rover Firm’s reply to the Willys Jeep. It first broke cowl again in 1948 and there was no wanting again.


The Land Rover would ultimately turn out to be the Defender and its form is actually iconic. With greater than seven many years of pedigree to fall again on, it definitely enjoys a lofty standing and continues to have an extremely passionate fanbase of off-road fanatics all over the world.

Sharing that very same ardour are the founders of E.C.D. Automotive Design; Scott Wallace, Thomas Humble, and Elliot Humble. I just lately had the prospect to meet up with Scott and Tom to seek out out their means of turning these reliable and utilitarian workhorses into extraordinarily fascinating {custom} luxurious off-roaders.

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The E.C.D. Story

E.C.D. Automotive Design Facility
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A shot of E.C.D. Automotive Design’s facility in Florida

The market demand for old-school Defenders is fairly substantial and good examples usually carry a premium within the used/collector automobile area. They continue to be extraordinarily sought-after autos and I started by asking how E.C.D went about tapping into this profitable market. Effectively, it began about 10 years in the past, when Tom moved to the States from the U.Ok.

We began out as hobbyists actually, Scott was a good friend of the household. We had the demand and other people had been asking us to deliver autos and modify them, however I wasn’t actually arrange for it on the time, however we type of threw ourselves into it anfd with slightly little bit of Scott’s route, I finally left my day job to do that full time -Tom

Except for working a full-time job, with assist from his brother Elliot, Tom was importing previous Defenders from England and reselling them in Florida, underneath the East Coast Defender identify. One factor that Tom famous early on was that individuals wished to customise their autos. But it surely wasn’t till he met Scott by means of some household associates, did the concept to go about making a enterprise round {custom} Defenders actually come about.

The Selection

E.C.D. Automotive Design Custom Defender
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A entrance 3/4 shot of E.C.D. Automotive Design’s Undertaking Alpaca

The mannequin that E.C.D. model was primarily constructed upon, after all, was the Land Rover Defender. Tom informed me that one of the vital difficult elements of the construct course of of those {custom} Defenders stays scouting for good donor autos. However with a decade’s value of experience underneath their belt, they’ve ironed issues out and now have an environment friendly course of in place.

It’s a troublesome factor to do, and thru our techniques and processes, we make it appear simple from the skin, however it’s a troublesome factor to seek out these autos. We don’t begin with rotten autos or issues crumbling away in a subject. We purchase good autos to begin with, and so they undergo the method right here which is near 2200 man-hours of rebuilding them to what you see on our web site – Tom

Defenders are available in quite a lot of sizes and shapes and the present alternative at E.C.D. is made up of the short-wheelbase two-door mannequin (ECD D90), or longer-wheelbase variants with safari home windows (ECD D110, ECD Sequence II A), and even one which presents a mattress (ECD D130). Primarily based in your necessities, you have got a number of potent powertrains to select from and together with the bonker LS3 engine. However E.C.D. goes a step additional as additionally they supply a variety of mechanical upgrades from fashionable brakes and suspension to including heavy-duty off-road {hardware} like a winch or an A-Bar.

E.C.D. Automotive Design Custom Defender
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A entrance 3/4 shot of Undertaking Mas (D130) by E.C.D. Automotive Design

The addition of contemporary tools and conveniences utterly transforms these autos. You’ll be able to’t actually do a lot on the security entrance, given the old-school platform, however Tom did add that they improve each construct to an all-disc brake setup, together with an exterior roll cage as normal.

RELATED: Land Rover Defender by ECD Auto Design

The Construct Course of -Taking Bespoke To The Subsequent Stage

The place E.C.D actually comes into its personal is with the extent of customization that they provide to their clientele. All of it begins with a clean piece of paper. The choices actually are infinite from {custom} wheels, paint decisions, and equipment like LED lighting, all the way down to the sew sample for the leather-based upholstery. The sky is just about the restrict.

You’ll be able to create one thing like a period-correct basic Sequence 1 Defender that will look proper at dwelling on a jungle safari to a blacked-out beast that appeals to a youthful crowd. Actually, a few of these builds actually wouldn’t look misplaced in a Bond or Indiana Jones movie.

You design the automobile and make all the alternatives you need, and all you’re doing is utilizing our sources when it comes to our talent ranges, our facility, our course of, and our techniques to then create a real luxurious journey for you – Scott

E.C.D. Automotive Design Production Line 1
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A shot of E.C.D. Automotive Design’s new manufacturing facility in Florida

The timeline for finalizing a one-of-one spec construct is round 4 to 5 months. You may as well bounce onto their on-line configurator and visualize your individual construct in actual time. Let your creativeness run wild with the 3D renderings which let you give you your individual model of the last word Defender. The eye to element and man hours put into creating these masterpieces will clearly incur a value. The everyday worth for a custom-built Defender from E.C.D. begins across the $220,000 mark.

The E.C.D Expertise And Model

E.C.D. Automotive Design Custom Defenders
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A shot of E.C.D. Automotive Design

In accordance with Scott, a method that E.C.D distinguishes itself from different gamers out there is that they put the client on the middle of the design course of.

That’s the distinction Khris, between us and different builders. There’s expertise all over the world to construct custom-restored Defenders, however I feel what E.C.D Automotive does very otherwise is I feel we put two issues collectively. We construct your one-of-one personalized restored Defender, Ranger Rover, or now E-Sort, however we additionally do what the automotive trade has didn’t do for a few years and that’s to place the shopper on the middle of the expertise – Scott

Scott additional added that this was precisely why they’ve so many repeat prospects, with a few of them on their fourth or fifth builds with E.C.D. The model goes past simply promoting you a {custom} automobile. Additionally they consider in prospects persevering with to have that very same expertise put up supply as nicely, be it with service or having them as a part of the E.C.D Drivers membership.

After we ship the automobile to the shopper, we contact base instantly. We’ve got a full-time guarantee supervisor right here, who introduces herself. It’s an ongoing factor actually with plenty of shoppers.- Tom

Tom provides that they’ve been taking a look at New York and California, that are massive markets for E.C.D, with a excessive focus of shoppers already. In an effort to higher serve these prospects, the model is establishing small amenities which might be an E.C.D constructing with their very personal skilled technician chargeable for servicing these autos.

RELATED: 2021 Land Rover Defender 130 “Undertaking Mule” by ECD Automotive Design

Past The Defender

E.C.D. Automotive Design Jaguar
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A shot of a restored Jaguar E-Sort at E.C.D. Automotive Design 

E.C.D has beforehand constructed a basic Vary Rover and just lately additionally added one other mannequin to its portfolio. The a lot revered and iconic Jaguar E-Sort, now accessible with Tesla energy as nicely. Similar to with the Defenders, you have got an enormous array of drivetrain decisions. So, within the case of the Defender, that will imply, 4×2 or 4×4. If you would like to take the EV route, you even have a alternative of single or twin electrical motors as nicely.

What E.C.D. is all about is a set of menu choices that you simply’re designing your individual automobile. So in case you method it and say, you wish to retain all of the basic facet of it, you need the unique V-12 restored, or need a flat-six, that’s only a alternative you’re making, and asking us to execute. Our place out there is to not debate what’s proper, flawed or topical, or political. It is simply to take heed to our shoppers and say – It is your automobile, you make the selections – Scott

I requested if the model probably had plans of including extra British sports activities automobiles, and Scott stated that it’s undoubtedly a chance, particularly since they don’t have to adapt to a company construction like most common automakers do. This makes their decision-making course of sooner and simpler to execute.

The New Facility

It’s onerous to consider, that what began out as an concept by Tom, Scott, and Elliot over a few beers has now turn out to be an entity that operates out of a 100,000 sqaure-foot facility with a crew of 70 robust. They solely broke floor on the brand new area in July this yr and given the demand for his or her autos, it was completely essential to scale up operations.

E.C.D. Automotive Design Defender
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A shot of Manufacturing Line 2 at E.C.D. Automotive Design, at its new facility in Florida

To present you an concept of this rising demand, E.C.D, accomplished over 200 builds by 2020. However in two years, they constructed 200 extra bespoke examples and wrapped up their four-hundredth construct. Scott informed me that they’re already beginning to discover a number of the advantages of shifting to this new facility.

For the second manufacturing line, we’re going to take plenty of learnings from the principle line, and begin to push the E-Sort by means of the tip of this yr and all of subsequent yr. We hope subsequent yr, that we produce 10 to 12 E-Varieties on that line, and we are going to scale that manufacturing in 2024. There’s additionally a giant marketplace for prospects that don’t wish to wait. We will design it for you and put the very best components and make it a superb and environment friendly day by day driving basic Defender. We may use the third line to supply that – Scott

This new area will enable them to construct as much as 150 autos a yr which now contains the E-Sort as nicely over two manufacturing traces. There’s sufficient room so as to add a 3rd line as nicely the place they’ll construct E.C.D configured Defenders to cater to the massive buyer base who don’t want to wait.

RELATED: 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 Trio By ECD Automotive Design

To Sum It Up

E.C.D. Automotive Design Series II Defender
E.C.D. Automotive Design

A entrance 3/4 shot of a {custom} Sequence II Defender by E.C.D. Automotive Design

Whereas E.C.D, is presently solely serving the U.S. market with their {custom} Defenders, because of social media and the superb work that the crew at E.C.D is placing, it in has allowed them to construct a worldwide fan base, with individuals so far as Dubai and Australia reaching out to them. Even people from the U.Ok. and Eire are becoming a member of within the dialog and expressing curiosity.

We didn’t wish to be a kind of pompous manufacturers both the place you can solely enter in case you had been going to purchase $300,000. We’ve at all times had an open door coverage as to if you’re a fan of E.C.D or whether or not it is a purchaser or shopper of E.C.D. Me and the fellows that they see on-line and on social content material, have a really loyal fanbase and now we have an obligation to allow them to see the product, whether or not they should purchase the product or not, they’re handled the identical – Scott

Talking with Scott and Thomas, I received a way of how pleasant and approachable they are surely. Scott provides that if the native Defenders Membership in Dallas, Arizona, or New York came visiting; why would E.C.D not need them to return to their facility and rejoice the Defender, and with that allow me go away you with this incredible movie, by King Rose Archives; which helps you to in on the importance of the Land Rover and what E.C.D as a model is making an attempt to protect.


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