Only ten of these bad boys will be built each year.
As we discovered earlier this year, East Coast Defenders is a company based out of Orlando, Florida, committed to transforming old Defenders into incredible custom creations. Project Viper is the firm’s latest project – and its first made-to-order vehicle built under its new Ultimate Vehicle Concept (UVC) division. Commissioned by a renowned doctor in 2016, the custom Defender comes powered by a Chevy-sourced LS3 V8 and costs a cool $285,000. Only ten bespoke SUVs will be built by UVC each year in order to preserve their exclusivity.
Speaking at the car’s unveiling in New York, East Coast Defender Co-Owner, Scott Wallace, said “We created UVC in response to the overwhelming demand from clients who want a pure, handcrafted SUV that is not limited by a specific Bill of Materials or budget. With one-of-one builds, like the Viper, we’re pushing the creative envelope with bigger, more capable trucks that celebrate our heritage with added daily comfort and reliability.” Essentially, each UVC Defender will be built from scratch where money is no object, resulting in a true one-off purpose-built for extreme offroading and weather conditions.
Exterior mods made to the Project Viper include a set of 20-inch ADV.1 wheels, tinted windows, a tubular winch bumper, a bespoke swing-away spare tire carrier, external roll cage, front and rear LED lamps and a diamond plated bed liner with toolboxes and seating. The Project Viper is motivated by a 2.0-liter V8 sending 430-hp to the wheels via a six-speed automatic. The Defender’s chassis has been extensively modified with a hand-built custom aluminum radiator and full stainless-steel fuel cell with dual point fuel pick ups, Wilwood brakes, stainless-steel brake and fuel lines, KAM custom heavy duty axles with electronic locking differentials, a fully custom suspension with King Off-Road Racing shocks and two-inch lifted Old Man Emu coil springs.
Inside, there’s a Puma dash upgrade, air conditioning, Moal Bomber series gauges, a Kenwood touchscreen infotainment system, wireless phone charging, heated black leather seats, and LED lighting throughout. Tom Humble, East Coast Defender Co-Owner. “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. We’re taking the Defender to a whole new level and the Viper is the pinnacle of what a true adventure-lifestyle SUV should be.”