Himalaya, the South Carolina-based Land Rover retrofitter, has put together a unique take on the utility vehicle inspired by a James Bond movie.
This latest creation channels the hallmark 4×4 Land Rover Defender SVX driven by the villain in Spectre.
Himalaya is one of several companies specializing in retrofitting iconic vehicles. It does custom Land Rover Defender builds and restoration. The retrofitting process aims to maintain the vehicle’s unique heritage while integrating modern components to improve drivability.
The Defender is a popular model for retrofitting because of its history and configuration. The original Defender, built from 1983 to 2016, is a rugged utilitarian vehicle with a notoriously boxy design and few amenities. It has live front and rear axles. Depending on the year, it can have a leaf spring or coil spring suspension mated to a body-on-frame chassis. Power from a range of torquey engines traveled through a four- or five-speed manual transmission.
The SUV gained a reputation for its ability to traverse any terrain in the worst conditions. It became beloved by adventurers, explorers and Queen Elizabeth II. Land Rover built armored versions of the Defender for the British Army. Car collectors especially covet the vintage models built between 1993 and 1997. After a production hiatus, Jaguar Land Rover will release the newest Defender next year.
The special-edition Spectre Defender from Himalaya is a unique combination of American mechanicals and British styling, starring a rare Crew Cab pickup configuration. Himalaya built the vehicle on a galvanized Richards chassis frame and swapped out the 1961-designed stock engine for a Chevy 6.2-liter LS376/525 V-8 engine. Other engine options include a Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel and an LS3 with a Whipple supercharger.
The team paired the LS3 with a GM 6L80E six-speed automatic transmission and a Rover all-wheel-drive transfer case. Engine modifications consist of a Holley electronic fuel injection system, Hooker headers, and a full stainless steel exhaust system. On the Spectre 2.0 models, Himalaya plans to swap out the stock transfer case with an aftermarket Atlas to allow for 2WD urban travel.
The LS3 boasts 525 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque to propel the oversized 37-inch Toyo mud-terrain tires across rugged landscapes. Himalaya outfitted the Spectre with 4-inch lifted custom coils and Fox Racing remote-reservoir shocks to compliment the classic Land Rover factory long-travel suspension.
The lift was necessary to fit such colossal tires — combined with 1.5-inch wheel spacers. To compensate for added axle stress, Himalaya integrated chromoly axle shafts, trussed rear housing, and upgraded hubs and bearings. A Jeep Wrangler JK steering box replaces the stock option for improved steering while Wilwood disc brakes and a Brembo braking system enhance the vehicle’s braking capability.
Himalaya’s custom bodywork includes a perfectly square precision-manufactured frame. Fortified door sealing and Dynmat sound-deadening application makes for a quieter cabin ride. There are custom billet door handles, latches, and catches to offset the added door weight.
The Spectre’s off-road-ready exterior features a Safety Devices exo-cage and Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters roof rack, giving it a slant-back effect highlighted by the custom bed-mounted spare tire rack. A front A-bar-style winch bumper compliments a Warn Zeon 10S winch. Other body protection components include a radiator skidplate and Amp Research Power Step sideboards. It has a customized rear bumper with a receiver hitch. High Beam Offroad exterior LED lighting allows for confident nighttime driving.
The predominate Ruskin leather interior generates a luxurious look complimented by Puma-level quilted-upholstery trim and an Alcantara headliner. Recaro seats, Dakota Digital gauges, and a Safety Devices roll cage complete the trail-ready package. For $250,000 you can buy the Spectre Defender and recreate your favorite scenes from the film.