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.
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.
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.
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.
Your choice of color is "Skies the limit"
British Racing Green
Hot Pepper Red
Smoke Quartz Blue
Piano Key Black
*Generally solid colors show better than the metallics on the Defender's large flat body panels.
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.
We also Cero/powder-coat many of the high wear components like bumpers and roll cages for extra ding protection.
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.
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.
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.
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.