The Huntress

East Coast Defender’s ‘The Huntress’

A year in the making, East Coast Defender (ECD) is finally ready to unveil its creation, dubbed The Huntress.

The Orlando, Florida-based builder of premium Land Rover Defenders was commissioned by a multi-sensory installation artist to create The Huntress, designed from the top down to be a rolling tribute to her fearlessness, according to ECD.

The client also works on a ranch in Wyoming, so she wanted something that was going to be rugged and able to handle the terrain and daily work she performs there. Powered by a 6.2-liter, 430-horsepower Chevrolet LS3 V8 engine capable of zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, this build features a six-speed automatic transmission, Wilwood brakes with six-piston front race calipers, four-piston rear race calipers with vented and drilled rotors all around, a 2-inch lift kit, Boost 18-inch wheels with BFGoodrich tires, Safety Devices front roll cage, Custom-built swing away spare tire carrier, Tubular winch bumper with WARN winch and a backup camera.

Visually, the client had a unique vision for this project. What she dubbed a collected look, the vehicle includes front Corbeau seats finished in chocolate brown alligator hide and coordinated leather throughout.

“Her vision with the gator skin was for it to be like a beauty mark on the interior,” said Drew Gerhart, head of marketing, noting that instead of having an untouchable, pristine clean look, it will get better with age and build character through adventures and lots of tough use.

To add to this theme, ECD installed a Puma dash upgrade, Classic Instruments gauges, Kenwood touchscreen infotainment system with GPS, wifi, and Apple Car Play with a custom Morel amplified speaker system and tinted Masai windows.

Gerhart offered THE SHOP insight on how ECD creates custom builds that reflect each client. Ultimately, transparency is key.

“For all of our builds, our clients are involved from start to finish,” he explained. “We have an on-site concierge team that reaches out to the client via our online portal and they give them bi-weekly updates with photos, videos and texts.

“Not everything is decided from the very start. The client can weigh in on paint colors and things like that throughout the build.

“They really get to be involved in the whole journey.”

The shop will continue the strategy in its next project, called Viper.