To kick-off their new Ultimate Vehicle Concept division — a made-to-order SUV branch that will see only 10 productions each year — the team at Florida-based East Coast Defender today unveiled their latest creation: a Chevrolet LS3 V8-powered Defender 130 dubbed Project Viper.
With the goal to produce the most exclusive custom SUVs on the market, the $285,000 Project Viper was a project commissioned by a private client doctor last year and the first SUV to come out of this new division.
While the iconic Land Rover Defender has seen its last days rolling off the production line, the fanbase for this venerable off-roader is still huge. As Scott Wallace, co-owner at East Coast Defender, puts it, “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 Features
Making 430-hp, this one-off Defender gets the same LS3 6.2L V8 planted in the Chevy Corvette, paired to a 6-speed auto transmission. Traversing duties are covered by a fully customized suspension system with King Off-Road Racing shocks and steering damper, and 2-inch lifted Old Man Emu coil springs.
Inside, the cabin finds a long list of goods including a Puma dash upgrade; wireless phone charging; a Kenwood touchscreen infotainment system with GPS, backup camera, wifi, and Apple Car Play/Android Auto with a custom Morel amplified speaker system; and to keep that nostalgic vibe, classic gauges by Moal Bomber. Interior lighting includes LEDs with auto-on headlights, mood lighting, and puddle lighting.
The brawny look and attitude comes courtesy of those huge, badass 20-inch wheels by ADV.1, exclusive to East Coast Defender, wrapped in Nitto Mud Grappler tires with a custom-built swing away spare tire carrier. Tinted windows, a tubular winch bumper with WARN winch, front and rear LED spot/work lamps, and a custom-built diamond plated bed liner with toolboxes and seating all round out the styling of Project Viper, truly making this a customized, one-off machine by a group of builders who know what the Defender is all about.