• 2021 Land Rover Defender 130 "Project Mule" by ECD Automotive Design

This yesteryear Defender 130 comes with a unique interior and performance upgrades looks ranch-ready!

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E.C.D. Automotive Design is known for Land Rover rebuilds. The company has worked on many unique projects in the past and is here with another one based on the Defender 130 pickup truck. Called the Project Mule, it comes with a plethora of changes inside out. It features a Chevy LS3 engine under the hood, an off-road suspension with a lift kit, teakwood bed, sheepskin and cowhide interior, and so on.

2021 Land Rover Defender 130 "Project Mule" by ECD Automotive Design Exterior
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The Project Mule retains the classic Defender looks as it is, but with quite a few changes and add-ons. It is painted in an Audi Suzuka Grey exterior shade with a full gloss finish. Up front, it wears a Bowler lightweight bumper with a winch. It also houses a couple of Baja auxiliary lights and a pair of LED round lights. The black mesh grille in the middle looks period-specific.

It rides on 18-inch Sawtooth wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich all-terrain T/A tires with black lettering. There a six-point roll cage present, too. While these are the standard things, the Project Mule also features several custom options, like teakwood used on the bed, wheel carrier mounted by rear window, a bench-style unit with a lid for custom storage, manual sliding rear window, mud flaps, etc.

2021 Land Rover Defender 130 "Project Mule" by ECD Automotive Design Interior
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The Project Mule’s cabin is absolutely one-of-a-kind. It comes with Recaro heated seats at the front and simple bench seats at the rear. They are wrapped in various materials, like Vintage Oak, Capelli Natural Light Brown and white leather, and Woodhue Ironed Sheepskin, also known as Garrett leather. They feature a vertical diamond stitch design.

The doors feature Sheepskin inserts, whereas the lower panels are wrapped in cowhide. You can even see vintage oak leather wrapped around the door handles. E.C.D has made use of leather on the dash and sheepskin on the glovebox. As for the headliner, you can see Garrett leather in Capelli Natural Light Brown and White shades. The simplest part inside the cabin are the black carpets.

2021 Land Rover Defender 130 "Project Mule" by ECD Automotive Design Interior
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Coming to the cockpit, the Project Mule features a wooden steering wheel (no, not just wood inserts) along with Nostalgia VT gauges behind it. The gauges are surrounded by vintage oak leather. The center console is also customized and comes wrapped in the same vintage oak leather, but with sheepskin on the lid.

It can further be customized with:

  • Vintage Oak leather sun visors
  • Sandalwood hydro-dipped console and gear shifter
  • Rubber mats
  • Brown seatbelts
  • Analog dash clock with cowhide and metal pin

As for the feature list, this vehicle comes with:

  • Sony Head Unit Speakers and Infinity Kappa Subwoofer
  • Rear AC
  • Wi-Fi
  • Automatic headlights
  • Wireless charging
  • Back up camera and sensor
  • Bluetooth audio
  • Remote start
  • Blind-spot assistant
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Hella ADV horns

How Much Power Does It Make?

2021 Land Rover Defender 130 "Project Mule" by ECD Automotive Design Drivetrain
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E.C.D. has plonked in Chevy’s LS3 V-8 engine under the hood. It is one of the most popular crate engines and even powered the fifth-gen Camaro SS and the C6 Corvette.

Displacing 6.2 liters, the mill makes 430 horses and 425 pound-feet of torque.

Power is sent to the wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. It features a FOX off-road suspension system with a two-inch lift kit. E.C.D says it has strengthened the axles for added rigidity and has extended the fuel tank, too. The braking duties are taken over by Brembo.

Land Rover Defender 130 "Project Mule" by ECD Automotive Design specifications
Engine 6.2-liters V-8
Horsepower 430 HP
Torque 425 LB-FT
Transmission six-speed automatic

Final Thoughts

2021 Land Rover Defender 130 "Project Mule" by ECD Automotive Design Exterior
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At a time when companies are making use of sustainable products, this product by E.C.D. is the complete opposite. It makes use of cowhide, sheepskin, and other “non-vegan” materials. The aftermarket company did not reveal the price of the product, but we expect it to be well into the six figures given how unique this build is.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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