Land Rover may be ready to launch an all-new Defender this September, but some still prefer the old, rugged model.
The trouble is Land Rover stopped making the classic Defender back in January 2016 so finding a new one is practically impossible.
Enter Poland’s Land Serwis, a company that couldn’t accept the fact that the good old Defender was gone. Using knowledge gained during the last 25 years, specialized technical facilities and access to “an inexhaustible database of spare parts,” the Krakow-based company started the “Defender Factory” project.
It’s old, but also new
As the name suggests, it deals with building Defender models from scratch, using existing or brand new parts. The first “new build” vehicle is a Defender Crew Cab Pickup in the exclusive Heritage version.
“Our intention was to build the car from scratch using new, tuned or used parts, but all subject to comprehensive refurbishment. The result is a car that, with its equipment and capabilities, leaves new factory version models standing. This particular vehicle is the demonstrator of our capabilities,” Piotr Kowal, head of Land Serwis, explains.
The company’s main advantage over other competitors is the fact that it’s a manufacturer of Defender chassis — one of only four builders in the world and the only one outside the UK. As a result, it can develop custom chassis versions tailored to each customer’s wishes. For example, Land Serwis can add a stronger suspension, different engines, or supplementary fuel tanks. It can also attach a mechanical winch, crane or a lift to the chassis.
Making the original even better
The Polish specialists say that the standard frame is much thicker and stronger than the original and it is hot-dip galvanized — therefore being more durable. Moreover, it has stocks of new chassis for Defender models in 90-, 110- and 130-inch wheelbase configurations in its warehouse.
Back to the company’s first build. The Defender Crew Cab Pickup is based on a 2010 model equipped with a 2.4-liter Puma turbo diesel engine. The customer decided to use the original frame which was cleaned, refurbished and painted.
The engine was also refurbished, as was the drive system. Land Serwis added new coolers and rubber elements, a stainless steel exhaust system, as well as new driveshafts and axle differentials. The off-roader also received a 2-inch (51-mm) lift kit via a SuperGaz suspension, new brakes, and reinforced steel Wolf rims shod with Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires.
What price a custom build?
Exterior styling highlights include the Grasmere Green paint, Alaska White roof, silver front bumper, classic radiator grille, body color fender extensions, as well as original emblems and stickers from the Defender Heritage Edition.
Inside, the pickup features eco leather upholstery, new carpeting, additional soundproofing, power windows, and a Webasto Air Top 2000 ST parking heater, among other things. Prices for a similar build start at €59,900 (around $67,000 at today’s exchange rates).