East Coast Defender is known for incredible Land Rover Defender builds that beef up old and new versions of the classic overlander. If you want a lifted mall-cruiser or a new-age Camel Trophy runer, ECD is where you want to go. But its latest commission, Project Viper, isn’t just a regular build — it’s the first custom Defender to come from ECD’s Ultimate Vehicle Concept division (UVC).
Every Defender that goes through the UVC will be designed by the client and assembled in a separate facility. And while that sounds like the floodgates opening up on hideous and tasteless commissions that destroy the sole purpose of the Defender, ECD insists on quality: “While staying true to Land Rover heritage, our clients
will be able to completely redesign their Defender. Each SUV that rolls out of our facility will be ready to cross continents or tackle the most demanding conditions in a Baja race. The result will be a true, signature SUV that is purpose-built for the most extreme off-road and weather conditions, yet does not compromise ECD’s work on their other custom builds.” A very bold statement, but at least the parts list does a decent job of backing it up.
What customers will get are unique, one-off SUVs much like Project Viper, which is based on a 130, powered by a 430 horsepower 6.2-liter LS3 V8 from the Corvette, and comes with a “Handbuilt-in-the-USA custom aluminum radiator, braided stainless steel fuel lines and brake lines, Wilwood race brakes, KAM custom heavy-duty axles with electronic locking differentials and King Off-Road Racing shocks and steering damper with a two-inch lift.” On the inside, you’ll get just as much tech, including a Kenwood touchscreen infotainment system with GPS, backup camera, wi-fi, and Apple Car Play/Android Auto with a custom Morel amplified speaker system.
If Project Viper is only the beginning of East Coast Defender’s UVC division, where do they go from here?