KISSIMMEE, FLA. – SEPT. 21, 2017 – Award-winning East Coast Defender (E.C.D.) has redefined how clients engage in the conceptualization, planning and build of the ultimate Land Rover Defender or Range Rover Classic custom SUV with its national “Luxury Build Experience” program. “Project KSD”, a hand-crafted Malibu Edition Defender 110, is the first E.C.D. custom vehicle completed in the Design Studio as part of the Luxury Build Experience. The design process was spearheaded by Richard Filpo, Head of Automotive Design, at the Rover Dome, the company’s headquarters in Kissimmee, Florida.
“Until our Luxury Build Experience was introduced, the custom car buyer’s voice was largely ignored by the industry,” said Scott Wallace, East Coast Defender Co-Owner. “In large part, luxury vehicle buyers were left out of the build process and relegated to a standard list of accessories and options. Our Luxury Build Experience, however, begins by stripping a Defender or Range Rover Classic down to its chassis and letting the customer decide how it will be built. ‘Project KSD’ is a brilliant example of the success of this process where a client is empowered to orchestrate the build of a vehicle that is tailored-made for their specific needs and lifestyle.”
The Luxury Build Experience is a robust journey that embraces the client throughout the design, build and delivery of their custom E.C.D. Defender or Range Rover Classic. It begins with a special welcome packet that features paint and interior samples, as well as accessory and engine options. Following an initial client meeting, digital renderings are created and presented to the client by Filpo. Once the design is signed off, East Coast Defender presents the client with a 1/10 scale model featuring true-to-life paint colors and styling of their final design.
Once a donor vehicle is located, a door hinge from the original vehicle is also encased and presented to the client as a keepsake. Throughout the build process, bi-weekly build updates with photos are presented to the client through E.C.D.’s concierge portal. The delivery of each vehicle is customized to each client’s needs, location and schedule.
“The Luxury Build Experience has been an overwhelming success,” said Tom Humble, East Coast Defender Co-owner. “From a custom builder’s perspective, it’s incredibly important to be immersed with input from our clients. That simply can’t happen alone via a phone call or through email. We’ve created a true, hands-on experience that engages the client at every level and has redefined the custom car buying journey.”
East Coast Defender’s Design Studio at the Rover Dome is spearheaded by Richard Filpo, Head of Automotive Design. Richard joined E.C.D. in May 2017, and steps into design after the initial welcome phase. Filpo accommodates each client’s need by facilitating the one-on-one meetings at the Rover Dome, the Malibu Design Studio, or will travel to a different location determined by the client. Prior to joining the E.C.D. team, Richard was a successful freelance designer who owned his own business.
“Project KSD”, the first custom SUV created in the Design Studio as part of the Luxury Build Experience, is a Malibu Edition built on a North American Specification Defender 110. It is powered by a 6.2L, 430 horsepower Chevrolet E-Rod V-8 engine mated to an automatic transmission. As part of the Design Studio phase, the client requested push button start with keyless entry, Spinneybeck premium weaved leather, stainless steel interior trim components, V8 Red Steelie Series Classic Instruments Gauges and carbon fiber console trim, among many other features that have never been featured in an E.C.D. custom SUV.
“We’ve called this our Luxury Build Experience because it best represents how we want to collaborate with our clients,” said Elliot Humble, East Coast Defender Co-owner. “This is not a one-time meeting followed by months of silence. From the initial design meetings to the scale Defender paint sample and the delivery of the vehicle, our teams stays engaged with each client on a personal level. We’ve kicked open the door to the creative process by connecting our clients to their vehicle in a way no other luxury builder does. The client’s ideas combined with Richard’s design expertise and the incredible talent of our techs, is a perfect team for building the ultimate, hand-built custom Defender or Range Rover Classic.”
About East Coast Defender
Headquartered in Kissimmee, Florida, East Coast Defender (E.C.D.) is an award-winning builder of premium Land Rover Defenders and Range Rover Classics. The company was founded in 2013 by three self-prescribed “British petrol heads,” brothers Tom and Elliot Humble, and Scott Wallace. Today, E.C.D.is known for its commitment to perfection, dedication to build quality and ability to maintain the heritage of their vehicles while bringing them up to 21st Century luxury. E.C.D. is home to 36 full-time employees in its 21,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Florida, known as the Rover Dome, and its West Coast Design Studio in Malibu, California.
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