We love vintage off-roaders. Whether you’re summering on Martha’s Vineyard or cruising past California’s beaches, they are some of the chicest vehicles one can own.
The fashionable part, however, is the aesthetic, not the driving or ownership experience. Vintage off-roaders can be unpleasant to drive by modern (or really any) standards. Few want to deal with an old Land Rover Defender fresh from the farm with eccentric British electrical work, or a Ford Bronco with upholstery depressed by 50 years of butts.
What swanky customers truly want (and will pay well into the six figures for) is a restored and modified vintage off-roader that looks like the old one, but has been masterfully rebuilt from the ground up into the Platonic ideal of the old one. They want a ride where the materials and amenities are more luxurious, one with a more modern and forgiving suspension setup. Depending on one’s preference, one may even want to swap in a more-powerful, easier-to-manage crate engine.
Many companies are out there converting old Broncos, Defenders, Land Cruisers and Jeeps into genuine works of art. Below are 10 of our favorites that we’ve written about over the past year.
Arkonik SoCal D90 Land Rover Defender
Arkonik built what may be the ultimate custom beach cruiser.
Ball and Buck Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
Ball and Buck make the perfect vintage Jeep pickup to pair with their outdoor menswear. A bonus: it costs less than $100,000, which makes it something of a rarity on this list.
Commonwealth Classics Defender 110 Pickup
U.S.-based Commonwealth Classics partnered with Portuguese restorers Unique Masterpieces on this stunning single-cab pickup.
Coolnvintage Yellow Land Marine Nr86 Defender
Coolnvintage collaborated with Deus Ex Machina on this custom motorcycle carrier.
E.C.D. Automotive Design Project Invictus Defender
Land Rover Defender masters E.C.D. Automotive Design produced a resto-modded Defender that’s also an overlanding rig. Yes, we love it.
The FJ Company Signature G-45S Land Cruiser
This Cruiser is a tribute to the long-wheelbase FJ45 Troopy. (The “S” stands for supercharger.)
Icon 4×4 Shelby GT500-Powered Ford Bronco
Legacy Overland FJ40 Land Cruiser
Legacy Overland put thousands of man-hours to good use with this exquisite FJ40 Land Cruiser.
Overfinch Land Rover Defender 90
Overfinch produced what may be the most ridiculous Land Rover Defender resto-mod we’ve seen.
Himalaya Defender 110
This company’s Defender by Himalaya models hew closely to the original Land Rovers — albeit with some modern enhancements.
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