I don’t know about you, but ever since Ford unveiled its new Bronco I thought it had one serious advantage over the Land Rover Defender, it could be ordered without a roof. Now, coach builders in The Netherlands have finally leveled the playing field with a roof-less Defender.
The original Land Rover Series 1 didn’t have a roof when it premiered, and if you wanted one you had to go to coach builder Tickford to make a new body for the 1950s off-roader. So now, there’s a pleasing symmetry to the fact that if you want a new Defender without a rood, you have to go to coach builder Heritage Customs to cut yours off.
That’s right, when the latest Defender premiered, you could have a long roof or a short roof, but you had to have a roof. Gone was 50 years of tradition where farmers and off-road enthusiasts could feel the wind in their hair as they traipsed across the countryside.
Thankfully, Heritage Customs has put a stop to this madness with three bespoke, convertible Land Rover Defenders.
Called the Valiance Convertible, the drop-top Land Rover is based on the Defender 90 platform. The roof has been removed from the windshield, all the way back to the rear quarter panels. According to Motortrend, the car’s B pillar remains and is reinforced with a new crossbar to improve rigidity.
The Motortrend report said:
“Once the body strengthening is complete, the convertible conversion begins. The new retractable roof is powered, so you won’t need to get out and do it yourself save for the unlatching of the front section from the windshield frame. The only unfortunate part is that you’ll either have to enjoy it fully open or fully closed as there is no provision for just popping open the section above your head, as you can do in a Wrangler.”
Once the hard-top has been replaced with a retractable roof, Heritage Customs will get to work personalizing the interior of your Valiance Convertible.
Available in three different configurations, this will include bespoke alloy wheels, custom exterior paint options, a “classic” steering wheel, leather interior and metallic detailing throughout.
The cost of all this custom loveliness strapped to a roof-less off-roader? Well, it’s quite a lot.
Niels van Roij, co-owner of Heritage Customs, said: “We have now opened up the five slots for the 2022 Heritage Customs Valiance Convertible! The indicative price for the coach-built Convertible is €138,500 or $160,000 – excluding VAT and further taxes.”
I’m sure you’ll agree that paying at least $160,000 for a Land Rover Defender is a lot. For that price, you could have three, or more, roof-less Ford Broncos depending on your spec.
Of course, after dealer markups, you might actually be better opting for the one-of-five drop-top Defenders.