East Coast Defender's resto-modded Range Rover with Cadillac power
East Coast Defender borrows part of its name from one of Land Rover's best-known off-roaders, but that doesn't mean it turns away enthusiasts commissioning a resto-modded Range Rover. Project Gunn, a long-wheelbase first-generation model with an unmistakably American heart, demonstrates what it's capable of delivering.
Designed and built for a client, this classic off-roader boasts a list of standard features you'd expect belongs to a 2020 model. It has an adjustable air suspension that was custom-made for it, a two-tone paint job applied with original Land Rover colors, plus red leather upholstery with black stitching and piping. East Coast Defender also added automatic LED headlights, and it replaced the analog instrument cluster with a set of digital gauges.
18-inch alloy wheels sourced from British tuner Kahn add a finishing touch to the look while hinting at the changes lurking underneath the sheet metal. Drop this Range Rover on its original alloys, and it would look like a stock example proudly wearing a recent paint job. All doubts go silent when the engine starts, however.
East Coast Defender pulled out the original 178-horsepower, 4.0-liter V8 and prepared the engine bay to receive a 6.2-liter L92 V8 that started its life under the hood of a third-generation Cadillac Escalade. Also known as the Vortec 6200, it delivers 403 horsepower to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, and it exhales through a Borla exhaust. Performance figures haven't been released yet, but we bet it's downright quick. The Land Rover weighs 4,400 pounds, while the Cadillac tips the scale at approximately 1,000 pounds more.
Autoblog learned Project Gunn took about 2,200 hours to complete. There's no word on who owns it, or whether commissioning a one-off Range Rover costs more than a new example (it likely does), but we hope it gets driven properly rather than stored in a heated garage as an investment that provides occasional entertainment.