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Hero image of Paint section. Painter painting Classic Defender bed

Body & Paint

The Trophy body/paint commitment is both a visual experience and a critical foundation separating our product from the rest of the industry. And it’s both art and science. 

 

Puma hood close up of a Classic Defender 90
Rover Trophy Classic Land Rover Defender 90 front end Atlantic green
Rover trophy client place

DEFENDER BODY

We discuss the chassis here but we typically start by taking the donor apart  the old frame goes away. Getting your name on a new frame is a big deal in our build process with you as our customer. From there the new frame mechanicals gets built up…including having our customer David inspecting the process. 

old Land Rover Defender
old land rover chassis
client visiting the shop and seeing his frame

Then we assemble the new body. New tubs ready to be prepped for the  Trophy • SS and ISLA models. 

classic Land rover defender fenders
classic Defender assembly with new parts
classic defender assembly with new parts

First phase fitting of all new body panels on a Trophy • SS D90 softtop. Every panel in this picture is new and assembled on the D90 prior to prep, primer and paint. This is typically an exciting customer moment where they can really visualize what the finished car will look like. 

galvanized Classic Defender
Paint pallets

PAINT

Picking a color is part of the game plan and then picking accent colors in this case a rim color. You’ll come to the shop or get paddles like these mailed to you. 

TROPHY COLORS

Your choice of color is "Skies the limit"

British Racing Green

British Racing Green

Eruption Green

Eruption Green

Coinstan Green

Coinstan Green

Keswick Green

Keswick Green

Boxwood Green

Boxwood Green

Grasmere Green

Grasmere Green

Atlantic Green

Atlantic Green

Hot Pepper Red

Hot Pepper Red

Poppy Red

Poppy Red

Pastel Green

Pastel Green

Mustard Yellow

Mustard Yellow

Cyber Orange

Cyber Orange

Arles Blue

Arles Blue

Smoke Quartz Blue

Smoke Quartz Blue

Marine Blue

Marine Blue

Gray Black

Gray Black

Area 51

Area 51

Nara Bronze

Nara Bronze

Piano Key Black

Piano Key Black

Oslo Blue

Oslo Blue

Wimbledon White

Wimbledon White

Oxford White

Oxford White

Corris Grey

Corris Grey

Ceramic Grey

Ceramic Grey

*Generally solid colors show better than the metallics on the Defender's large flat body panels.

CLASSIC COLORS

Alpine White

Alpine White

Monza Red

Monza Red

AA Yellow

AA Yellow

Charleston Green

Charleston Green

Beluga Black

Beluga Black

Once you’ve selected your color choices we begin the process. We prepare the panels. Fix any blemish caused by shipping, then all panels are primed both sides. Then for undercarriage parts, that will interact with the elements, we use an undercoat finish. Finally we paint 2 Stage base coat(2-3coats depending on color) and clear coat (3 coats) to add layers of protection. 

paint pallets
paint pallets
Classic Defender Bulkhead being painted
classic defender fender being painted
 Classic Land rover defender parts being painted in the paint booth

We also Cero/powder-coat many of the high wear components like bumpers and roll cages for extra ding protection. 

new roll cage in bags for a classic defender

Problem areas in your typical restoration

The major body parts on the Defender are aluminum. Some have a steel framework. The metals interact over time and create ‘tin rot’. This is why a lot of “for sale” land rovers take pictures that look like this 

The final product is a signature Trophy finish visible on all our Collection builds.

samples of a bad Classic defender
 close up of a bad Classic defender

 

The industry norm (bad practice) is to clean these areas and put filler to cover these degraded bits and then paint it. This filler only masks the rust that continues underneath. This tin rot comes from the metal reaction so it will begin to come back through the filler in 3-6 months. This example is particularly bad but you can see the filler and the problem that’s still underneath. 

samples of a bad Classic defender

As you look more closely, with better pictures, you will see as an example telltale bubbles along the bottom of the doors on many defenders. 

 rust samples of a bad Classic defender

Your typical shop build just cleans/reuses almost all the original parts (that were rusty) and a lot of cheap replacement hardware. Steel Nuts and bolts which are not automotive quality and inexpensive to buy. These start rusting the week they go on the car. Don’t be fooled by the pretty face- this is a place to really do your homework and compare restoration shops. 

 

The Trophy way is to replace all or most of the major panels on the truck including purchasing a new bulkhead, new tub, new doors, new wings(fenders), new bonnet(hood) AND all new hardware meaning we replace every nut and bolt on the entire car. We use high grade stainless hardware that doesn’t rust. 

 

So, to be clear, we do not save these parts. We replace them all. 

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