It has been about 18 months since the exclusive Dutch coachbuilder Heritage Customs announced its latest renovation project based on a Land Rover Defender 90, and it’s finally in production mode. Priced at £100,000 (roughly $127,000), only five of the Valiance Defender will be built.
As reported by Autocar, the Valiance Defenders will retain their original powertrain and basic boxy shape, and Heritage is tailoring the rest of the vehicle from the inside out. Most noticeably, the shop is chopping off the roof of each SUV and replacing it with a power-operated soft top.
Finished in Sunbeam Yellow with black exterior contrast, the Valiance Defenders are fitted with black quilted upholstery, yellow stitching, and aluminum panels. And Heritage added a sixth seat in the center of the front row.
Heritage co-founders Jan-Pieter Kroezen and Niels van Roij are master craftsmen. They have a thing for shooting brakes, transforming a Tesla Model S and a Rolls-Royce Wraith into elongated-roof customs before turning their attention to Land Rover.
The overall design was custom fit for the two-door, two-row L663-generation Defender 90 that first launched in 2020. At the time, the reborn Defender was a bit of a shock to the community; the previous Defender from 1997 was a safari-style boxy beast. To sum it up, an Edmunds review deemed it “about as comfortable as acupuncture and luxurious as a Geo Metro.” Ouch.
In contrast, the newest generation of Defenders retains the off-road capabilities of its ancestors, but with a giant leap forward in technology and comfort. Today, a new Defender 90 starts at just under $58,000 and jets up past $120,00 for a 110 P525 V8 Carpathian edition.
Each of the five examples of the Valiance Defender has been sold, so look out for them on the auction circuit at some future point, likely with a markup.
Kroezen and van Roij have more surprises to come. They say another drop-top conversion is in the works and will be revealed in the next few months.
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