Created by the custom shop Himalaya, this Defender is a Land Rover like you've never seen before—complete with a Chevy V8 and a Jeep steering box.
The OG Land Rover V8 originally debuted in 1961 under the hood of a Buick. So, by the time it found a home in the Defender—the 3.9-liter was a little dated. Himalaya ditches these modest 182 hp Land Rover engines and squeezes (it’s a tight fit) a Chevy LS3 V8 crate engine with approximately 500 horsepower backed by a GM 6L80E six-speed automatic.
The team modified the engines with a Holley electronic fuel injection system, Hooker headers, and a full stainless steel exhaust system. Himalaya keeps the big V8 cool with three electric fans and a high flow aluminum radiator. This burly American V8 and six-speed feel strong here and sounds amazing, too. The truck we drove was the company’s very first Spectre. It’s a truck they consider “generation one.”
The Spectre 2.0 models will include numerous upgrades over this one, including replacement of the stock all-wheel drive Land Rover transfer case (which this truck had) with an aftermarket Atlas transfer case. The Atlas uses a deeper low range gearset and will allow these Defenders to drive on the street in 2WD.