Based on a 70-year-old model, this is one seriously impressive restomod.
You probably have never heard of the HUE 166, but you're certainly familiar with its successor, the Land Rover Defender. Charleston, S.C., Defender restorer Himalaya is continuing its work of putting Corvette engines into old trucks, and today we have the most extreme version yet, based on the earliest version of the iconic Defender.
The Himalaya Hue 166 is a fully restored, custom version of the original, painted in the same Grasmere Green. That's the same color as the original HUE 166, which rolled out of Land Rover's Solihull manufacturing plant in 1948. We're guessing this one is a little more reliable, and a lot more powerful.
"Vintage Defenders are some of the most beautiful pieces of transportation ever made, but seventy-year-old trucks are difficult to drive these days. Himalaya gives vintage Defenders new life. The HUE 166 is our answer to enthusiasts looking for modern drivability and comfort in a classically cool vintage truck," says Himalaya President Greg Shondel.
"Four years in the making, our new HUE 166 is a truck without sacrifices. This really is our company's blueprint moving forward. The level of attention to detail and quality is always sky high for everything that we do, and this HUE 166 build really pushed us to perfect what a hand-built custom Defender has to be for our clients."
The new Hue 166 is powered by GM's LT4 V8 with an eight-speed automatic transmission making 650 horsepower. It also gets handling improvements with a four-link coilover suspension, Dynatrac axles and Brembo disc brakes. Himalaya says it's the "smoothest driving rendition of a classic Defender to date."
Other modern additions include custom fender flares, rock sliders and power running boards. It features a Jeep power steering box, dual climate control, a "state-of-the-art" audio system and hand-stitched interior. But it didn't throw everything at the SUV.
"Keeping the heritage of the HUE 166 in mind, we really wanted to keep it as classic as possible and didn't opt for any big winch packages or roof racks. Everything is classic in feel. We even designed the wheels to replicate the classic steel wheel look, but with Brembo disc brakes tucked underneath," said Shondel.
Himalaya says the Hue 166 is priced at $300,000, which for some insane reason, doesn't surprise us. And it says it will be commissioning similar builds based on the Land Rover's new Defender.