Topless Retro Land Rover Defender

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager

British Formula 1 driver Lando Norris is turning heads on the French Riviera this summer with his latest purchase: a bespoke, topless, retro-styled Land Rover Defender. Delivered to him in Monaco, this custom vehicle blends rugged Land Rover Defender 90 aesthetics with personalised, luxury features that reflect Lando’s unique style.

A Bold New Look for the Classic Defender

The most striking modification to this Defender is the complete removal of its roof—a first for Retro Automotive, the specialist restorers behind this unique vehicle. The topless design, paired with a distinctive McLaren-inspired colour scheme, sets this vehicle apart from any other on the road. The car’s Nardo Grey exterior, a custom pearlescent mix created exclusively for Lando, is complemented by luxurious Muirhead Egyptian Blue leather, giving the vehicle a cool Mediterranean vibe.

Ben Davies, director at Retro Automotive said “When we consulted with Lando about his customisation project, he was clear that he wanted the car to be completely topless, without any form of roof or sticks. We’ve never had that request before. Customers normally want some form of roof on it, so this really enhanced the individuality of the creation.”

Personalised Details and Superior Craftsmanship

This bespoke Defender is more than just something nice to look at. It features 3D-printed metal ‘Lando Norris’ iconography throughout, including on the hand-finished leather steering wheel. Designed with both comfort and usability in mind, the restoration was built up from bare metal and took over 1,000 hours to complete. The result is a vehicle perfectly suited to the Monaco lifestyle.

Ben Davies pointed out “Monaco is perhaps one of the most head-turning locations in the whole of Europe, so our creation for Lando will certainly be in good company. I’m sure eagle-eyed visitors to the area will be photographing the car for social media, which is exactly how Lando’s interest came about.”

“Lando had been sitting around the dinner table with some fellow F1 drivers and they were all chatting about how they loved the car and what the brand stood for. After he sent us a DM, we explained a little more about our philosophy, craftsmanship and attention to detail, and we then set about consulting with him to create his own bespoke retro-styled Defender that will sit proudly alongside his existing collection of other head-turning supercars.

Built for Performance and Comfort

The Defender’s adjustable air suspension ensures it can adapt to the varied terrain of the Riviera, from low and sleek in the city to beach-ready at the flick of a switch. The extended rear bench seats mean Lando can bring his friends with him, while the Pioneer head unit with Apple CarPlay and a removable Marshall Kilburn II cubby speaker system ensures high-end entertainment both in and out of the car.

Exclusive Creations from Retro Defenders

Retro Defenders, known for producing only 15 vehicles per year, ensure each creation is a unique masterpiece. The process from consultation to delivery typically takes at least six months, with customers kept updated via a personalised build portal app. Factory visits and a final VIP vehicle handover at the luxurious Swinton Estate in Yorkshire add to the exclusive experience.

Having delivered Lando’s custom Defender to Monaco, Retro Defenders continues to work on other high-profile projects. So, if you spot an eye-catching Defender on your travels, it may well be another creation from the Yorkshire-based company, driven by yet another celebrity.


RestorationFull, bare frame, nut & bolt rebuild
TransmissionManual R380 rebuilt Hobsons Industries
FrameShot blasted back to bare metal, primed & painted in Raptor
Driver SideLeft hand drive
Steering BoxFully reconditioned
BrakesRetro big brake kit with new conifer brake lines
Chassis CareDinitrol
Transfer BoxLT230 rebuilt by Hobsons Industries
Sound ProofingSeat box & bulkhead
EngineRover 3.9 EFi V8

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