Dutch coachbuilder makes the convertible Defender that Land Rover won't
Land Rover hasn't offered a convertible since the roof-less Range Rover Evoque retired in 2018, and nothing suggests that a drop-top is in the company's pipeline. Dutch coachbuilder Heritage Customs stepped in to fill this void by giving the Defender 90 unlimited headroom.
Known as the Valiance Convertible, the off-roader looks a lot like a run-of-the-mill Defender from the tip of the front bumper to the front edge of the roofline. Beyond that, the sheetmetal gets replaced by a hand-made folding soft top that's available in several different colors. Buyers who want to keep the factory look can even order a white top. It's power-operated, though the latches need to be released manually,
While only the short-wheelbase 90 is eligible to receive a power-folding soft top, it sounds like Heritage Customs is willing to chop up any example regardless of what's in the engine bay. And, every convertible it builds gets a roll cage for improved safety and structural rigidity.
Heritage Customs stresses that the Valiance Convertible is a made-to-order model; the brand won't keep a single example in its inventory. That's partly because every unit built will be designed jointly with the person ordering it to ensure a high degree of customization. Buyers can choose from a wide palette of paint colors, mix and match different exterior trim options, and select the wheel design that best suits their taste. Inside, the coachbuilder offers numerous upholstery types and colors, different interior trim options, and even front sport seats.
The trade-off is that turning a Defender into a Valiance Convertible takes at least three months depending on how it's configured, and pricing starts at €82,500 (about $90,600 at the current conversion rate) excluding taxes and the cost of the donor car. The cheapest Defender 90 costs $57,875 including a $1,475 destination charge. Get the roof removed, and the total is going to be nearly $150,000.