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.


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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 Defender By ECD
Project Viper Defender By ECD
Project Viper Defender By ECD
Project Viper Defender By ECD


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

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