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Land Rover Shape, Jeep Underpinnings, Heart of Chevy: Introducing Legend Motor Co.

Salt Lake City's Legend Motor Co. has taken the looks of the Land Rover Defender and combined them with Jeep bones, GM power, and some of the best aftermarket off-road parts around. The result is a 4x4 that looks too nice to take off road.

Legend Motor Co Signature Series 001(Photo/Legend Motor)
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The Legend Motor Signature Series 001 uses Defender styling, a Jeep chassis, and GM V8 power. Forget about a restomod, this is something more bespoke, more capable, and well, more cool.

Legend Motor has built what it calls “a ground-up reimagination of the Defender 110.” Instead of fixing the things that the company’s founders think Land Rover did wrong, though, they took only what they thought was right. Mostly, that means the looks.

Custom Land Rover-Inspired Body

Legend Motor Co Signature Series 001
(Photo/Legend Motor)

If you’re thinking it doesn’t quite look like a factory Landie, you’re correct. Those new panels didn’t come from Land Rover. Instead, they’re Legend’s own construction. The panels are aluminum-backed with a proprietary Kevlar liner for added protection, sound deadening, and even insulation from the hot and cold. There are Kevlar-lined panels underneath, too, for even more protection. Even the bits underneath are color-matched for the perfectionist out there.

Jeep Frame, Big-Name Off-Road Parts

Legend Motor Co Signature Series 001
(Photo/Legend Motor)

For the frame, Legend went to Jeep. The chassis comes from a four-door Jeep Wrangler JK.

Fully adjustable 2.5-inch Fox Shocks with remote reservoirs keep the 37-inch BFG KM3 tires stuck to the planet. If that’s not enough, you can have Falcon 3.3 fast-adjust piggyback shocks installed instead.

The Signature Series has a coil spring multi-link suspension at all four corners. The brakes come from Wilwood, and Legend calls them oversized discs.

Ultimate Dana 60 axles — the ones its maker calls “the biggest, strongest axles out there” — handle the truck’s power. They get 4.88:1 gear ratios and have ARB air lockers installed at both axles.

An all-aluminum Atlas II transfer case with a 3.8:1 low-range multiplies torque, and PSC heavy-duty power steering makes sure you can turn the big tires and beefy front brakes and hubs.

Two High-Power GM V8 Options

Legend Motor Co Signature Series 001
(Photo/Legend Motor)

Legend is offering two engine choices. The standard plant is a 6.2L LT1 V8 from General Motors. It makes 455 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque and has direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. The upgraded engine is a supercharged 6.2L LT4. That one makes 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.

Those are the hardware bits that get the glory, but Legend hasn’t ignored the cabin. Signature Series 001 has full-aniline open-grain leather seats. That’s marketing for swanky, and the front chairs, rear bench, and way back jump seats are all covered in hide.

Legend Motor Co Signature Series 001
(Photo/Legend Motor)

The Signature Series 001 gets heating and air con from Resto-Mod Air, and Legend has added its own set of custom gauges. The SUV gets a removable stereo from Soundboks, and it has a tilt steering column.

“It’s every car builder’s dream to build a vehicle from the ground up. We’ve done that here with the first Signature Series — no expense was spared. We’ve built a truck that is uncompromisingly the vision of Legend Motor Co.”

— Nick Panos, Co-Founder Legend Motor Co.

Legend Motor Co. Signature Series From $250K

Legend Motor Co Signature Series 001
(Photo/Legend Motor)

All of this custom work doesn’t come cheap. Legend says it will run you $250,000 for a copy of the “Defender-inspired” SUV, which it is building in Salt Lake City. Legend Motor says it is taking orders now, and buyers can pick from a wide range of options (including hard or soft tops) as well as colors.

If the Signature Series is a bit much, the company is also working on what it calls the Classic Series. That one starts from $189,000, and is almost as bespoke, but has fewer of the really high-end bits.

Classic Patina, Modern 4x4: New Legend 'Runner'

Automaker New Legend 4x4 takes classic off-roaders and turns them into incredible modern machines. Its latest “Runner” series aims to keep that classic patina while offering a contemporary driving experience. Read more…

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