Mercifully only five of these abominations will be made.
Right now, the only way to get into a new open-air Land Rover comes in the form of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, which was discontinued back in 2019. But late last year, Heritage Customs, a Netherlands-based design studio, said they were going to give five customers the chance to experience the new Defender sans the roof. All they needed was the fixed-roof Defenders to chop up and a sizeable check. As of this month, the first roof has been chopped, setting the process in motion.
The design firm calls it the Valiance Convertible. Heritage Customs will build every one of the five units to a customer's spec, from paint to interior furnishings and everything in between. Jan-Pieter Korezen, co-founder of the design firm, calls it the "ultimate expression of our customers."
As for the un-roofing of the car itself, the initial stages appear to be pretty straightforward.
HC does not detail the process, but from what we see in the provided photos, the customer-provided Defender 90 is almost totally stripped down. Then, anything that can be taken off the back of the car is, including windows and trim pieces. Then, out comes the Sawzall.
Once completed, Heritage Customs says the new soft tops will be semi-electric. In all likelihood, that means the roof will be power operated up to the point of latching. Thankfully, the base Defender's B-pillar remains intact, and that means much of the car's rigidity will too. Chopping off a car's roof tends to harm that quite a lot, as you might imagine.
Each of the Valiance Convertibles will come with Heritage Custom's Magic Metal packages both inside and out. In effect, Heritage Customs sprays a thin layer of metal of customers' choosing onto various accent points on the car. For example, the Defender's hood accents and steering wheel trim can be redone in brass, bronze, aluminum, or other metals. Cars will also be delivered with Heritage Customs badging on the sides and rear.
Depending on customer preference, most Valiance Convertibles will come with similar additional changes. These include painted front and rear bumper inserts, 22-inch "Space Cowboy" wheels, sports seats, Spinneybeck leather, and a painted A-pillar. The conversion pricing starts at $91,000 USD after the cost of the donor car. Additionally, Heritage Customs still has a few build slots left. It's not cheap, but hopefully, for that kind of money, owners will be able to recapture some of that old-school Defender magic.