LAND ROVER might have moved onto the all-new Defender, but the restomod industry certainly hasn’t let go of the original, producing increasingly creative renditions of the iconic off-roader.
The latest creation from UK-based Land Rover restomod specialist, Arkonik, the Reef D90, eschews the “adventure-ready weathering-the-elements outdoorsy” archetype for a “beach-ready” aesthetic.
Built for a Floridian couple, the Reef is finished in a disarmingly charming sky blue paintjob with silver exterior trim, 16-inch white steel wheels, and a tan soft top hood.
As for the interior, the Defender’s seats and door panels are all reupholstered in cracked Aniline leather, complemented by polished wooden flooring and panels for the rear deck, and finished with a quaint wood-rimmed 15-inch steering wheel and alloy interior fittings.
Mechanically the Reef D90 is built off a 1992 Defender 90 chassis, which has been thoroughly restored with a full frame-off restoration.
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In the rebuild process, Arkonik primed and recoated its frame, reconditioned and rebuilt its 2.5-litre inline-four turbo-diesel and five-speed manual transmission, and replaced all of the Defender’s original wiring looms, brakes and suspension components.
All this work doesn’t come cheap. Arkonik quotes an estimate of USD$175,000 (AU250,000 approx.) for the Reef D90, which will vary depending on its final customer specification.
It isn’t cheap, but compared to the cliché adventure-ready 4x4 rigs, this unique take on the classic Defender is a stand-out from the rest.