ECD Automotive has only been around for five years, but already the company is building some of the best custom Land Rover Defenders in the world.
Back in 2012 Tom Humble and his wife Emily upped sticks and moved across the Atlantic to Central Florida. From then on the pair put their modified off-roaders on eBay, but they were unsure of the response from an American crowd.
As it turned out, the cars proved hugely popular and orders started arriving faster than ECD could make them. Two full suitcases of parts, a bike case full of tools, and Humble's brother Elliott soon arrived, and the family got to work establishing ECD as a business.
Following the investment from Scott Wallace, an investor with a Blue Chip corporate background, the company quadrupled in size, staff, and even sales.
"Until our Luxury Build Experience was introduced, the custom car buyer’s voice was largely ignored by the industry," said Wallace. "In large part, luxury vehicle buyers were relegated to a standard list of accessories and options. Our Luxury Build Experience, however, begins by stripping a Defender or Range Rover Classic down to its chassis and letting the customer decide how it will be built. Each new build we complete is a brilliant example of the success of this process where a client is empowered to orchestrate the build of a vehicle that is tailored-made for their specific needs and lifestyle."
Buying an ECD Land Rover is an experience akin to purchasing one of the world's top supercars. The journey begins with a special welcome package that includes paint samples, as well as interior and wheel examples. There's also a number of performance and engine options to chose from.
Following an initial meeting, the customer car see digital renderings of their future car before final sign-off. Those designs are sent in a leather-bound booklet, and on a 1:10 scale model of the car. Next a donor vehicle is sourced and one of its door hinges removed – another keepsake for the owner. Don't worry, that of course gets replaced, along with many of the other parts in the car.
"The Luxury Build Experience has been an overwhelming success," said Tom Humble. "From a custom builder’s perspective, it’s incredibly important to be immersed with input from our clients. That simply can’t happen alone via a phone call or through email. We’ve created a true, hands-on experience that engages the client at every level and has redefined the custom car buying journey."
ECD is now looking to continue its growth, building tailor-made custom cars with a British feel way into the future.