Project Viper by East Coast Defenders turns your dream Land Rover Defender into reality

Article by Christian A., on June 10, 2017

For the previous years, East Coast Defender has been dishing out irresistible Land Rover Defender set-ups. It does seem like the company has been stocking up on ideas since the SUV was introduced to the automotive world in 1948. ECD has gifted us with beauties like the Corvette-powered Project XIII and the Beast. Only recently, it has conceived a Defender so potent that the company made a whole new division only for it. The Project Viper provides the common V8 upgrade and up to date tech, but is also geared to swallow obstacles with a single bite while slithering its way in and out of distant roads.

With a cool name like Project Viper, one is probably imagining a low and sinister build paired with a snake badge and a robust V10 engine. But we hate to burst your bubble as we are not talking about the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR, instead we will set our sights on a macho build as ECD combined a Chevrolet LS3 V8 with a revolutionary off-roader that’s highly based its design and inspiration from the Land Rover Defender.

The vehicle in question is dubbed the "Project Viper", and is the brainchild of Ultimate Vehicle Concept division of East Coast Defenders, a niche builder located in Kissimmee, Florida that creates custom-built Land Rover Defenders. In this case, the American company built from the ground up the potent sports-utility vehicle that is not hindered by creative blocks or finance.

In fact, the Project Viper cost a cool $285,000 to complete. Scott Wallace, co-owner of East Coast Defender, said in a press release that Project Viper is their first custom SUV to come from the new UVC division, and they came up with the UVC in response to the overwhelming demand from various clients who are looking for a pure, handcrafted SUV that is not bound by a specific bill of materials or budget.

He further added that with one-of-one custom builds like the Viper, the team is pushing the creative envelope with larger, more competent trucks that marks their heritage with added daily comfort and dependability. The exquisite Project Viper's goodies directly embody what Wallace specifically describes. The custom-built Land Rover is equipped with a 6.2 L LS3 V8 that produces 430 hp that is delivered through a 6-speed automatic transmission to either the rear or all four 20-inch wheels covered with Nitto Mud Grappler tires.

The vehicle also has a custom suspension that has off-road specs, LED lamps at the front and rear and a WARN winch located on the front bumper. For extra safety, the whole SUV is fitted with an external roll cage. Inside, drivers will enjoy luxurious novelties like the touchscreen infotainment system with a GPS and reverse camera, power windows, air conditioning, remote locking with an alarm, mood lighting and leather heated premium Corbeau seats. The Project Viper's truck bed also flaunts a diamond plate liner with built in toolboxes and seating.

If you are interested in getting your own custom built Project Viper, you can purchase it for a cool $300,000. ECD will only spawn 10 of the custom Defenders, so you must be quick before it is sold out.

Press Release


East Coast Defender unveiled “Project Viper” today, its most capable SUV and the first made-to-order vehicle built by the company’s new Ultimate Vehicle Concept (UVC) division. The flagship $285,000, Chevrolet LS3 V-8 powered Defender was commissioned by a renowned doctor in 2016 and previewed by select media today at the Classic Car Club Manhattan in New York City. Only ten custom SUVs will be built on demand by the UVC division each year, making them the most exclusive custom SUVs available.

“Project Viper is our first custom SUV to emerge from the new UVC division,” said Scott Wallace, East Coast Defender Co-Owner. “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.”

Each UVC Defender is designed by the client and built in a separate production area at The Rover Dome in Kissimmee, Florida. East Coast Defender vehicles are designed to be capable drivers across a multitude of situations, including daily commutes. UVC vehicles will push the boundaries and be designed specifically for how the client will use the truck. Each UVC Defender will represent a no-budget, no-creative block that is built from scratch and represents a one-of-one Defender. The result will be a true, signature SUV that is purpose-built for the most extreme off-road and weather conditions, yet does not compromise ECD’s work on their other custom builds.

“Our UVC Design Studio will provide a luxury buying experience unlike anything in the world,” said 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.”

East Coast Defender was founded by three self-prescribed “British petrol heads”; brothers Tom and Elliot Humble, as well as their close friend Scott Wallace. Growing up near the famous Lode Lane factory in England, the brothers found themselves surrounded by Defenders throughout their childhood. They officially opened the East Coast Defender workshop in 2013 and it has been building the world’s most celebrated, handcrafted Defenders since.

Scott, a private investor with a Blue Chip corporate background and a passion for cars that began with a Porsche mug at 10 years old, later joined the company. It was his drive and a trip to the local Wawa convenience store that started a pivotal moment for East Coast Defender.

That is when the three determined that for the company to become the best Land Rover Defender builders on the planet, they needed complete control. Today, the company is based in Kissimmee, Florida, where every East Coast Defender is built by hand and completely in house at its 21,000 sq. ft. facility, named the “Rover Dome.”

“Build options available to UVC clients include custom built axles, shock absorbers, air intakes for snorkels, lighting options and off-road protection, as well as hand-built wheels,” said Elliot Humble, East Coast Defender Co-Owner. “Approximately 95 percent of the custom work is done by hand by skilled craftsmen and engineers. The build process is time intensive and includes countless hours of design, build, fit, re-design and re-fit until the vehicle exceeds UVC’s standards for design and performance.”

Project Viper performance specs include:

2-liter, 430-hp Chevrolet LS3 V-8 engine
Six-speed automatic transmission
Hand built in the USA custom aluminum radiator
Hand built in the USA Ricks Tanks full stainless steel fuel cell with dual point fuel pick ups
Braided stainless steel fuel lines
Stainless steel brake lines
Wilwood brakes with 6-piston front race calipers and 4-piston rear race calipers with vented and drilled rotors all around
KAM custom heavy duty axles with electronic locking differentials
Heavy duty steering arms
Fully custom suspension system
King Off-Road Racing shocks and steering damper
2” lifted Old Man Emu coil springs

Project Viper interior and convenience specs include:

Puma dash upgrade
Air conditioning
Classic Instruments Moal Bomber series gauges
Kenwood touchscreen infotainment system with GPS, backup camera, wifi, and Apple Car Play/Android Auto with a custom Morel amplified speaker system
Wireless phone charging
Black Corbeau heated leather seats with white accent stitching
LED lighting throughout with auto-on headlights, mood lighting, and puddle lighting
Power windows
Remote locking and alarm system

Project Viper exterior and styling specs include:

Custom ECD Edition 20” wheels by ADV.1 with Nitto Mud Grappler tires
Tinted factory windows
Tubular winch bumper with WARN winch
Custom-built swing away spare tire carrier
Full Safety Devices external roll cage
Front LED spot lamps
Rear LED work lamps
Custom built diamond plated bed liner with toolboxes and seating

Visit for more information and to learn how you can own a handcrafted, custom engineered UVC Defender.

Source: East Coast Defender

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