At Classic Overland, we love Africa, wildlife, and Land Rover Defenders! Our three loves go hand in hand, with all our Land Rover Defenders sourced and fully customized in Africa, and each one inspired and designed to mimic the look and characteristics of an African animal that roams the continent free.   

Our latest custom Land Rover Defender build was inspired by the African Sunbird. Considered one of South Africa’s most beautiful birds, the African Sunbird is hard to miss with its stunning display of purple, green, and black contour feathers. 

Read on to find out the process of customizing the African Sunbird, from start to finish. 


Before our workshop gets down and dirty with a client’s restoration build, there’s a lot of talking, a lot of planning, and a lot of designing that needs to happen first. 

The now proud owner of the African Sunbird wanted his rig to stay true to the Defender heritage, holding on to the traditional boxy structure of the iconic Defender. His request in style had our design team beaming, with pops of bold colors and plenty of custom design in the woodworks. 


All our clients know that our Defender builds take inspiration from Africa’s abundant wildlife, and it’s all part of the fun as our team helps our clients match their personalities, design aesthetics, and requested performance enhancements with one of Africa’s greats. Through this soulful match-making search, it’s almost as if our clients find their spirit animal and build on it in a Defender transformer. 

Once we’ve found said “spirit animal”, which in this case, is the African Sunbird, our design team puts pen to paper and draws up what our client envisions. 

Once the design is finalized, and the client gives their stamp of approval, its sleeves up and tools out at our South African workshop. 


The African Sunbird is a 50th Anniversary Heritage Edition Defender 110 that combines Classic Overland’s handcrafted workmanship and our client’s design aesthetic. 

Keeping to our clients’ design and performance enhancements, we sourced an A-list Defender 110 Station Wagon and turned it into an all-star pageant winner!

Fitted with Wolf Rims and Cooper A/T tires and powered by a GM LT1 petrol motor with 10-speed automatic transmission, this transformer bird is ready to soar and explore. 

The transformation doesn’t stop there. Other features include a NAS Spec w/ 2″ receiver rear bumper, a Puma bonnet, KBX air intakes, and LED-colored signal lights. Finished off in Heritage Grasmere Green and a white rooftop, this custom Defender 110 is hard not to miss. 


The signature builds interior is fashioned with saddle brown African leather, and, for a pop of color, finished off with a unique tartan plaid textile on the seats and door panels. Other interior features include an Alpine 7″ LCD with reverse camera viewing, a center console fully customized in leather with dual USB ports and cup holders, and the best in entertainment systems, JBL-6 way speakers with subwoofer. 


The African Sunbird is a result of collaboration with our client to deliver a signature Defender that speaks to their personality.

From the exterior to the interior and everything in-between, our clients are the designers of their vehicle — we merely facilitate, advise and offer guidance in the restoration and renovation of their dream Defender build. 

Ready to put your dream Defender into high gear? Start your own signature build with Classic Overland today.

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