Heritage Customs wants $90k and three months to build the Valiance Convertible.
Heritage Customs has unveiled its first completed Valiance Convertible, a custom-built drop-top SUV based on the Land Rover Defender 90.
Land Rover once offered the Defender as a convertible, and these models often swap hands for obscene amounts of money, owing to their desirability. The latest lineup, launched in 2020, has grown to accommodate a long-wheelbase 130 variant, but there's no sign of a factory-built convertible - for now, at least.
Heritage Customs is filling this niche segment. The British off-roader is well-suited to the conversion and looks great - particularly in the spec seen here. The metallic green paintwork works nicely with the brown soft-top and white steel wheels. While the wheels look similar to the "steelies" found on the stock Defender, they are custom made.
Customers work closely with Heritage Customs to design their ideal Valiance convertible, with endless customization options available. The Valiance is a true coach-built vehicle, with every example tailored to the exact tastes of the owner. Various exterior colors are available, along with unique interior materials and options, such as in-house designed sports seats.
Naturally, the roof is handmade and is power operated, folding away neatly at the rear. Buyers can choose from several soft-top color choices.
Because this is such a personal car, Heritage Customs holds no stock of the Valiance. If you want one, you'll have to commission it and wait for the vehicle to be built.
The bespoke company takes care of vehicle sourcing and, depending on the customer's wishes, a single vehicle can take up to three months to build.
Inside, the Defender retains the familiar dashboard and trim bits, which is no bad thing. But Heritage Customs takes things a bit further, covering nearly every surface of the fascia with leather and high-end materials. In the video above, you can see the interior boasts handmade "Magic Metal" trim elements applied to the door panels and center console. Of course, the vehicle retains its technology and luxury features, including the climate controls and touchscreen infotainment system.
"Every element of Valiance Convertible has been carefully and meticulously designed with [a] love for detail. From the use of 3D etched inlays and unique patterns for both the stitching and ventilation openings in the leather seats to our in-house designed sports seats with hand-embroidered quilting. Owners will find details and parts in their Valiance Convertible that have never been seen on a Defender before," said Niels van Roij, co-owner of the company.
Niels van Roij is also the genius behind the design house of the same name, a bespoke atelier responsible for stunning creations like the Ferrari Breadvan tribute.
As you'd expect, the conversion comes at a hefty price. The starting price of the Valiance Convertible is €82,500, which is exclusive of tax. That means American buyers will have to fork out at least $90,600 for the conversion, using a Defender 90 of their choice.
While the idea of a convertible SUV sounds peculiar, the design was once very popular. As mentioned, older Defender models were offered in this configuration, and Mercedes-Benz G-Class convertibles can be found - if you have enough cash to buy one in the first place. The Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco are the only off-roaders you can get from the factory with a soft top.
Let's not forget that Land Rover did experiment with the idea of a modern drop-top SUV, based on the Evoque. Unfortunately, it wasn't a success, and the automaker canned it after just a few years.
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