A brand new Land Rover Defender will debut this year but that does not seem to affect the market for custom classic Defenders considering the prices these things are advertised for.
Sure, the transactions are likely made for sums that are well below the advertised prices but even so, paying/charging $170,000 for a custom Defender seems rather excessive, doesn’t it?
Well, it always depends on the quality of the build and the features fitted to the vehicle. Take, for instance, this 1989 Land Rover Defender 90 built by specialist company Arkonik.
Someone actually paid $170,000 to have it built exactly like this and the project’s name says a lot about its purpose. “So-Cal” will be used mainly to hit the beaches of Southern California and is well configured to do so.
It features a Tan soft-top that reveals the Camden Woven interior trim when it’s removed. The heated Puma style seats upfront and tip-seats in the rear have been trimmed in Camden Supersoft leather by Ruskin Design, and include woven detailing throughout.
The cabin also features a cool Evander wood-rimmed steering wheel and a Pioneer sound system obligatory for beach parties. Since this vehicle is not intended to be a period-correct build, the stereo features a touchscreen display compatible with Apple CarPlay and a reversing camera.
In the unpleasant event that a stranger likes the So-Cal too much, there is also a GPS-based “Defender Defender” security system onboard that provides “pinpoint tracking accuracy and automated alert notifications straight to your phone.”
On the outside, the So-Cal Defender features a clean classic look with silver details such as the Heritage grille, bumper and frame offsetting the gleaming Java Black paintwork. The off-roader rides on 16-inch steelies painted Chawton White shod with BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 tires. Other features worth noting include the Arkonik Cellular Dynamic shock absorbers, WIPAC xenon headlights, LED DRLs, individual folding side steps, and much more.
The 4×4 is powered by the stock 180 hp (182 PS) 3.5-liter V8 gasoline engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission — both fully reconditioned and rebuilt. Besides the frame and powertrain, pretty much all the other components of the donor vehicle are new. Now you know where the $170,000 went.