After being told he needed a license to sell his personal Land Rover Defender 90 to friends, Matthew Perlman decided to go all in for his passion. His company, West Coast Defender, brings 21st century updates — refinished exteriors, heated seats, power locking and other modern amenities — to classic machines. Sourcing Defenders from all over the world and backed by a staff of former Land Rover mechanics, Perlman’s leading the charge toward the rebirth of the iconic British SUV right here in the U.S. We jumped at the chance to fire up the cameras and chat with him about his passion, why these cars are so special, and how one handles being held at the Turkish border for no reason.
The Man Bringing an Icon Back, One Defender at a Time
It’s pretty clear that our staff is passionate about gear, and as we strive to bring you the best of the best, we also want to take the time to share our own personal favorites. These are the goods we personally own: our essentials. Over the next few months, we’ll bring you each of our writers’ 10 personal favorites. By the look of things, the selection will run a wide gamut, from heirloom pieces to the most practical of gear that can be easily procured — a gear fingerprint, of sorts. Last but not least, each will share one “holy grail” item that still remains the stuff of dreams, out of reach, but hopefully only temporarily so. This week, we check out the goods of Bradley Hasemeyer, GP’s Auto Correspondent and Behind The Wheel host.