Land Rover has the reputation of making the best 4x4s in the world. General Motors has a reputation for building the best engines and transmissions in the world (and its 4x4s are no shrinking violets either). Combine the two and what do you have? Icon, the fine Los Angeles-based company that does great things with old cars, may have an answer to that query.
Commissioned by a customer, this 1995 Land Rover Defender D90 was completely reworked with little left unturned. As the video below shows, it starts with a sketch to realize just what a D90 could be. Icon removed the diesel and stuffed a 430-horse LS3 aluminum small-block that’s been modified with plenty of techie items like powered metal connecting rods, aluminum pistons, investment-cast rocker arms, and custom cooling system.
All that good stuff is hooked up to a venerable four-speed automatic tranny with a CNC-machined Atlas II transfer case that directs power to a Dana 60 in the rear/Dana 44 up front. Stopping duties are handled with 6-piston caliper discs up front, four pistons in the rear. The firewall was reshaped to fit the HVAC unit; opposite to the firewall is a custom, hand-built dashboard that is light-years better than Rover ever fathomed.
In the building process, the entire Defender was pre-fit, then taken apart for powder-coating and welding, painting, and reupholstering, then put back together for the vehicle you see right here—watch below and see how Icon builds a brand-new old vehicle.