2021 Land Rover Defender Corroded

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

2021 Land Rover Defender owners, are you unhappy with your SUV’s finish? Heritage Customs will give you corroded parts with real rust.

Based in the Netherlands, designer Niels van Roij co-founded Heritage Customs. While aluminum, brass, bronze, titanium, zinc, and gold finishes are available, it was rust that caught our attention.

Through his automotive design studio Niels van Roij Design, Niels focuses on automotive design. He develops hand-built cars that are based on existing chassis.

Land Rover owners, being the trendsetters that they are, will want Heritage’s metal-binding technology. van Roij can spray thin layers of metal onto any surface, which he says will adhere for 20 years.

After application, he can sand, polish, brush, or oxidize the metal to achieve the desired look. Why anyone would apply rust to a set of custom 22-inch wheels is beyond us but to each their own.

Far more in keeping with its heritage, van Roij offers rust-colored brown leather interiors. There are carbon fiber door inlays and dash trim. The dashboard, steering wheel center, and dash grab handles are color-matched.

The intent is to create a bold look, and seeing rusty panels on a new Land Rover would no doubt create controversy. Heritage Customs’ Valiance package for new Defenders includes all of this. With their Vintage program, they can do the same for classic Defenders. Let’s see how many owners of classic Defenders are okay with adding rusty parts.

[Images: Heritage Customs]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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2 of 22 comments
  • Macmcmacmac Macmcmacmac on May 13, 2021

    I remember referring to a sporty VW sports coupe as a Corroda once, which, being in Newfoundland at the time, was probably oddly appropriate. I still remember going to look at a lemon yellow '76 Dodge Aspen coupe my sister had won in a radio contest and thinking how rusty the leaf springs already were. I can guarantee the rust on my Chrysler will not last 20 years, so, progress?

  • Lostboy Lostboy on May 25, 2021

    OMG this just goes to show that rich people are also just as stupid as everyone else but in this case can be even stupider than the average joe - seriously?! paying more for a rusty look is like paying more for a more experienced escort to maybe have sex with - if the colour is the draw (and i'd be hard pressed to argue that having rust really is!) just get a can of spray paint and DIY or pay a shop to do it for you and keep the rust off! On a tangent - I've a really rusty old car that's apparently going to appreciate as it rots if this becomes a thing.

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.