Even though Land Rover has reintroduced a new modern Defender for 2020, it is still possible to buy a brand new classic version. Yorkshire-UK based Twisted Automotive are building made-to-order Defenders in all the original body styles ranging from the compact 2-door up to a 4-door plus cargo bed model. One of their prototype models drove from their US headquarters in Virginia and made a stop in NYC at the Classic Car Club Manhattan.
The NA-V8 90 Station Wagon is Twisted’s take on a hybrid utility/luxury Defender. Each are hand built from the chassis up, these aren’t restored and modded old Defenders. The exterior retains much of the original Defender’s function-first design. There are some subtle tweaks to the front grille and headlights.
The interior however is pretty unrecognizable from the original Defender. Twisted have wrapped the dash and door panels in leather and fitted seats that provide for harness belts. The side facing rear fold down seats are gone for safety issues and replaces with more traditional forward facing seats that can flip down.
Twisted uses the GM LT1 engine (same as in the Corvette) for all their petrol powered models. The also build their own EV models and offers to do electric conversions for existing Defender owners. The range isn’t the best at only 200+ miles but the switch does retain all of the Defender’s off-road capabilities.
It was interesting to compare Twisted’s Defender with the 1994 Defender in CCC’s collection. Also in the garage was their ’69 Ford Bronco, also making a stunning modern comeback as a 2021 model.
Photos and Text: Dave Pinter