East Coast Defender says it costs $285,000, so in your dreams it will most likely stay.
With a name like Project Viper, you were probably expecting to see something low and sinister with a snake badge and a thumping V10 engine. While we’ve no doubts there are plenty of aptly-named efforts that do focus on that other Viper, this one combines a Chevrolet LS3 V8 with a radical off-roader that draws its design and inspiration from the Land Rover Defender.
The machine in question is called Project Viper, and it comes from the Ultimate Vehicle Concept (UVC) division of East Coast Defenders, a niche builder based in Kissimmee, Florida that creates custom Land Rover Defenders. In this instance, the company started from scratch to build the ultimate sport-utility vehicle not limited by “creative blocks” or budget, which for Project Viper adds up to whopping $285,000 dollars.
“Project Viper is our first custom SUV to emerge from the new UVC division,” said Scott Wallace, co-owner of East Coast Defender, in a press release. “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.”
Project Viper’s stats certainly live up to the vision Wallace describes. Beneath the chunky hood is a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 rated at 430 horsepower, which sends its power through a six-speed automatic to either the rear or all four 20-inch wheels wrapped with Nitto Mud Grappler tires. It rides on a custom suspension that features off-road spec everything, and should you get into trouble there are LED lamps front and rear, and a WARN winch on the front bumper. If things really go bad, the whole truck is protected by an external roll cage.
Inside, customers receive luxury bits in the form of a touchscreen infotainment system with GPS and a reverse camera, air conditioning, power windows, remote locking with an alarm, mood lighting, and leather heated Corbeau seats. The custom-built truck bed features a diamond plate liner with built-in toolboxes and seating.
With a price approaching $300,000 Project Viper could well be an extremely capable off-roader, though we can’t help but wonder how many customers would actually go off road with such an investment. East Coast Defender will only build 10 of the custom Defenders, so even if one does get muddy, you’ll probably never see it.
But hey, we can still dream about it.
Source: East Coast Defender
Gallery: Project Viper By East Coast Defender
EAST COAST DEFENDER UNVEILS ITS MOST CAPABLE SUV WITH LAUNCH OF ULTIMATE VEHICLE CONCEPT DIVISION
KISSIMMEE, FLA. – May 31, 2017 – 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 www.EastCoastDefender.com for more information and to learn how you can own a handcrafted, custom engineered UVC Defender.