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East Coast Defender’s Honey Badger Is a Corvette-Powered Stick Shift Land Rover

So many things we love, brought together in one place.

The maniacs at East Coast Defender are no stranger to building lustworthy Land Rover Defenders. The Florida-based company has been restoring and restomodding old Landies for years now—in particular, carving out a nice niche for itself dropping LS3 smallblock V8s usually found under the hood of Chevy Corvettes into the off-roader’s boxy nose. The company’s latest project, however, takes things a bit further: Not only did East Coast Defender drop a Corvette engine into a Land Rover, the team also outfitted it with a manual gearbox. 

The build is named ‘Project Honey Badger,’ presumably after the six-year-old Internet meme and not the compact suppressed firearm designed for American special forces. From the outside, only a true Land Rover buff would be able to distinguish this Honey Badger from any of the other Defender 90s roaming the world; apart from the LED lighting, the only thing that stands out is how new the vehicle looks in spite of its classic status. 

Inside, however, it’s a different story. The guts of this rock crawler are upholstered in white leather, with a pair of heated racing seats up front and a set of cowhide-wrapped jump seats astern. But the real story lies between those jump seats, mounted next to the four-wheel-drive selector lever: the long shifter for the Tremec T-56 six-speed manual gearbox. The stick shift is in charge of directing the power from the 430-horsepower 6.2-liter V8—still wearing Corvette logos—to the Land Rover’s wheels. According to East Coast Defender, that’s enough power to send this brute from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds.

More importantly, however, it sounds friggin’ heavenly. 

If you want one, however, it doesn’t come cheap. According to Motor1, taking home a Defender just like Project Honey Badger will cost you around $159,000. 

But still: Land Rover Defender. Corvette V8. Manual transmission.

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