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This Land Rover Defender Is No Ordinary Art Car

Art Car / Comments

The form follows function, but not the frame.

Typically when an artist undertakes an "art car" project (like the kind for which BMW is arguably most famous), the bulk of their attention is focused on the exterior bodywork, and you can see the results from a mile away. But not this one.

The work of up-and-coming Portuguese artist Vasco Costa, this 1983 Land Rover Defender 110 has had its chassis repainted – not its body panels. Those remain in run-of-the-mill silver. But you can see the result of over 2,000 hours of work that Costa put into it, peering out from underneath.

The colorful treatment is certainly unique, spray painted in the Pop Art style. But the modifications didn't stop there. Costa collaborated on the project with Lisbon-based customizer CoolNVintage, which worked over the V8 engine, fitted an upgraded Fox suspension (not unlike what you might find on a Ford F-150 Raptor), and affixed a mohair soft top to the long-wheelbase, two-door convertible form.

Underneath, CoolNVintage upholstered the interior with black Connolly leather and mounted a Marshall wireless sound system. It also equipped it with power steering, a new A/C system, and mounted the whole thing on BF Goodrich all-terrain tires.

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It even has an authentic Alentejo wool blanket inside for guarding passengers against the cold, as well as a handmade saddle-leather tool kit, and a build plate and keychain made of brass.

"At the start of this project, some people said, 'this is a stupid idea.' Which only cemented our resolve to do it," said CoolNVintage founder Ricardo Pessoa. "We call that mindset – the ability to hear one's own inner voice and one acting in consonance with it – 'live the signal, lose the noise.' It is the CoolNVintage way."