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I was fortunate to have purchased new a NAS Defender 90 in 1995. My experience with this vehicle instilled in me the desire to once again own another of these truly unique trucks.
As I researched my options I came across Arkonik. Initially, I was taken aback at the long lead time but based upon all I read and discovered in conversations with owners of Arkonik’s products I made the decision to move forward. What an amazing journey it has been!
I began the process discussing my options with Tom Parry. Tom was the consummate professional. His un-pressured guidance and wealth of knowledge regarding his product helped me create the ideal combination of accessories and visions of what was to be the perfect, Defender 90 that married my experiences with my original D90 and what would ultimately become my dream creation. Tom also extended the invitation to visit the Arkonik facility in the UK. This is a great idea for those who are considering an Arkonik vehicle of their own. The trip was so worthwhile and informative.
Upon my arrival in Bath, I was greeted by Andy Stacy who shuttled me to the Land Rover Driving Experience at Eastnor Castle. We were paired with a Driving Instructor and spent the entire afternoon on the trails of the Castle. The insights of the Instructor coupled with the knowledge that Andy shared really reinforces the capabilities of these vehicles.
The following morning Andy collected me and took me to the Arkonik facility where I met Tom formally and began the personalized journey through the process of creating my vehicle. It becomes immediately obvious why the finished product is what it is. The dedication, commitment, and most importantly the pride that goes into every step of the construction process is so very apparent. The teams willingness to add, delete, and adjust the pieces of the puzzle to enable you to create the perfect personalized end result was nothing short of amazing.
As the actual production of my vehicle began, Sam Pearce set up my “Portal” to allow me to see pictures of the process. I found myself waiting anxiously for the latest updates of photos as the journey of my truck progressed.
As the D90 neared completion Tom handed me over to Scott McCabe who walked me through the delivery steps. He was so thoroughly prepared to provide information on the journey down to tracking the location of the ship carrying the truck across the pond. One more example of the level of professionalism that the entire team exhibits.
On the day of delivery, Eric Yohe, reached out to me to coordinate the “Hand Over” plan. As I had come to expect, Eric is another great example of how things are done the “right way” with Arkonik. Eric’s knowledge of the mechanics of the Land Rover products and his persona made me feel like my big brother was handing down his personal pride and joy.
Overall, the Experience with Arkonik has been one of the most professional, well thought out, and perfectly orchestrated experiences I could have imagined. I was in very capable, experienced, professional, caring hands from start to finish. Most importantly, the finished product is amazing.
Mr J. George | Colorado, USA
The Arkonik experience, from start to finish, is a journey, and one worth taking if you are considering a custom-built Defender. Taking the initial leap with nothing more than phone calls and online diligence was a big hurdle, but ultimately a leap that I am glad I took. Tom at Arkonik was there for me every step of the way, from answering every last question I had over the phone, accommodating two site visits before and during the build process, and even taking me and my family off-roading at Eastnor for a true Land Rover Defender Experience.
With a hand made custom built product, every vehicle is unique and you need a little patience to get what you want, the way you want it, at Arkonik’s standards. And it’s worth it. I’ve had my D110 for about a month and coming up on 600 miles as I break in the engine and I can feel the performance improving along the way.
I also have to commend Grant, Scott and the Support team for their help with the registration paperwork, assistance with post-delivery questions and help finding a suitable repair shop for ongoing maintenance. Arkonik is still there for you even after your vehicle is delivered. Truly kept their word and have been top notch.
If you are considering Arkonik I cannot recommend them enough.
Mr J. Wagner | New York, USA
I am only a few weeks into having my D90 but at this point I am ready to leave a review. To start I want to be clear on a few things: This is a TRUCK. If you know you want a Defender, and you know what having a Defender is like (or understand it), AND you want a white glove build and that level of service, then I would definitely recommend Arkonik.
I went with Arkonik partially because of their process, in that there is one. Unlike many custom build shops there is a pipeline and they work vehicles through it consistently. This was very appealing to me when shopping for this truck because I did not want to be in some unknown state with unknown blockers coming in throughout.
There aren’t guessing games about parts or countless missed deadlines. This process was as much for me a selling point as the products they deliver. I did not want to ever be without understanding of where I was in the process and what was expected next and Arkonik was great at this. Very transparent and very solid on dates.
Sales and Ordering:
There was no pressure here and no attempts to upsell. The team is knowledgable, accessible, and had great comms. I recommend spending a few hours going through their previous builds and making your list of Need/Want/No. I think I looked at every photo on every build they have posted and came in with my lists ready to go. Tom was incredibly easy to work with on the selections, had some very good input and did a wonderful job circling back on decisions. The entire front end team was a pleasure to work with.
This is when the fun really started and after approving the final design I got the login to my portal and my build photos. Seeing the team in action and the build in process is just cool. Being able to share those photos with friends and family so they could see the progress as well was great. Importantly at this point, the communications and photos keep coming and seeing the progress was amazing. It was like seeing the end-of-show build montage on any of your high end car restoration shows but it was MY TRUCK!!
Import and Delivery:
All the onerous paperwork is fully covered by Arkonik and aside from reading status updates from them, I did nothing. So many thanks here!! I can’t imagine trying to even be part of this process.
The final handoff with Eric went very smoothly and he clearly knows his way around these trucks. The walk through was very thorough and it is clear to me that he is available going forward to answer question I may have. Follow-up with the whole team has been great, questions I have had answered, and where I have things I will be doing on the truck, I have videos to help with the process. Really I could not ask for more on the service here.
I could not recommend the Arkonik team more if this is the truck you are looking for. Top notch service and communication and the final product is stunning.
Mr M. Qwreigh | Seattle, USA
I purchased a 1992 D110 200Tdi with performance upgrade. The entire process, from choosing my vehicle specs, to talking with current clients in the US prior to placing a deposit, visiting the Arkonik facility in the UK, watching with bated breath as my client portal was periodically updated, to finally receiving my rebuilt Defender last week and experiencing the handover process with Eric has been first class.
Mr K. Reddy | Wisconsin, USA
First off, one must understand that buying and importing to the U.S. a “vintage” automobile that is procured specially for the customer, rebuilt from chassis up, and customized to the tiniest detail is going to take time. It will be time well spent with Arkonik. From start to finish they have really been superb. Every detail is covered.
My first interaction with them by telephone, which served as my “interview” of them, was amazing. I sat at my phone with a list of 30 questions and without me having to ask a single one of those questions, they answered every one as if they could read my mind. They also brought up issues that I never would have thought to ask about. They are incredibly transparent. They give a realistic time frame for the build “start to finish” and they are upfront about costs.
All too often with these kinds of projects, they end up taking twice as long and being twice as costly as originally planned. Not with Arkonik. Communication is great. They keep you posted along the journey from procuring the vehicle to be rebuilt and customized through the entire build process. Along the way, they allow for modifications to the original order and inform you of any additional items they have added to their repertoire of stuff that they can offer. No hard sell, just options they let you choose from if you wish.
They even allowed me to “hypercustomize” a few little things on my build and were eager to do so. It is a costly endeavor but well worth it. They make the intimidating prospect of having an older, rebuilt and modified automobile imported to the U.S. as smooth and “hands free” as one could hope for. I really cannot say enough great things about Arkonik. I’m a fan for life.
Owner | California, USA
It must have been a very special alignment of the planets the day I discovered Arkonik. At first I was somewhat surprised by the lead time of 16-18 months as anything you buy online nowadays is to be delivered ASAP. In the end it took 17 months from the moment of ordering my Defender 110 to its handover. The more I waited to receive my D110 the more I started to appreciate the “slowness”.
The long process of building an imaginary Defender; choosing configurations, accessories, colors, patterns, the leather for the seats, etc was undertaken with unparalleled excitement. Once the actual build started I received images of the progress on my customer portal each week. Seeing images of a chassis mutating into my imagined Defender on a weekly basis was pure excitement.
I realized only then that looking through Arkonik’s site and simply picking a Featured Build to copy would make this Defender not MY Defender.
It would be like any ordinary car buy where I go online, choose a model and then go to the store and drive with it home. Besides, flying to the UK, visiting Arkonik, getting to know the crew first hand who were working on my car, a trip to Eastnor Castle to drive a Defender 110 with a Jaguar Land Rover instructor for a day gave the whole process a unique and unforgettable touch to the slowness.
The longer this process went on, the more I had the feeling that I needed to go back to the moment I discovered Arkonik, talk to Grant Spicer over the phone as if it would be the first time and restart it all again.
All waiting comes to an end, eventually. My Defender arrived finally on my driveway and it looked far better than in my wildest dreams. Eric Yohe came by for a personalized handover. A half day went by with him explaining the car, its care, its particularities in all detail. His life long expertise was palpable in each showing and answering questions.
My Defender is now my daily driver. You might think this is the end of my relationship with Arkonik? It isn’t! A 1,000 miles down the road and they are still involved to ensure that this car will take me further than anything else in my life.
Mr P. Boehringer | New Mexico, USA
I must say with my experience buying from Tom and Andy at Arkonik was simply the best car buying experience I’ve ever had! Working with Tom on this process with my many changes was simply perfect and very easy to do. When they hand delivered the car to me on time and everything was as they described I simply could not have asked for more from my experience.
Mr T. Blair | South Carolina, USA
I had a great experience with Arkonik! I had a Defender 90 re-built exactly the way I wanted and love the way it turned out. From start to finish, the entire process was professional, enjoyable and easy. Even being located in the Southeastern US I was able to always communicate with Arkonik! I highly recommend Arkonik.
I always loved the look of Land Rover Defenders growing up. They were industrial, rustic and just plain cool looking. I grew up in the Southeastern United States where you didn’t see many, but when you did, you always did a double take.
In late 2017 my wife became pregnant with our first child and at the same time, I decided it was time to start my Arkonik journey. We plan to use our new Arkonik Defender 90 for long weekend family trips and outings. Last year we had a baby boy, who can hopefully one day inherit our Arkonik Defender 90 as his first car: that’s if I’m willing to part with it of course!
Mr B. Glisson | Georgia, USA
Wow, this truck is a blast! I grew up on Defenders in the sugar cane fields in Jamaica but having one again is awesome (or Irie as we would say in Jamaica). I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone on the Arkonik team, high attention to detail, very responsive and of course the product is outstanding. I am using my turbo diesel D90 almost as a daily driver to work, about 30 miles from Philadelphia, and it is such a blast. Give yourself about 15 minutes extra for your commute as you usually have admirers stop you to explain why the vehicle, on the one hand, is antique but totally updated on the other hand — especially if you have your reggae music blasting on the premium Pioneer with ApplePlay!
The truck is simultaneously rugged with some British quirkiness (hand pumping the windshield washer fluid will take you back a few years) but looks stunning up against the Range Rovers and Bentleys in our parking lot. If you want a Defender with perfect restoration and thoughtful product improvements I cannot think of a better place to shop than Arkonik. The factory in Mells is also great to visit — stay at the Royal Crescent hotel in Bath, visit Stonehenge and then drop in for a chat with the lads as they hand build perfection!
Mr M. Newman | Philadelphia, USA
I can’t say but awesome things about Arkonik. I entrusted the build of my custom Defender to the guys at Arkonik. I always wanted to own a badass Defender. Based on government regulations, a Defender was nearly impossible to find here in the U.S. I did my research and selected a couple of companies, some here in the U.S. and some in Europe. The only one that promised to meet the requirements for the vehicle that I wanted was Arkonik in England. From the moment that I inquired to the day they hand-delivered my badass Defender, I had complete customer service that exceeded my expectations. Since inception, I had the opportunity to handpick customizable options for my Defender: engine, mechanics, color, interior, electrical work, and so forth.
Not only I was able to pick them but I was also able to follow the build from my home and during a visit to their factory in England.
If you are interested in an original Land Rover Defender, then Arkonik is the company to choose. Arkonik will harvest an original Defender and preserve its originality and personality. Besides the badass look and personality of the Defender, the one thing I love about them is the sound of their Rover and TDi engines. It’s like the unique sound of a Harley & Davidson.. you would not say it is is a Harley unless it possesses that sound.
So, if you want a badass Defender that possesses the heart and soul of the quintessential Rover, then this is the company you should hire.
Mr F. Rincon | Pennsylvania, USA
...the Arkonik process was a blast — spending the time to speak with their team members about each and every feature, receiving and reviewing samples of paints and leathers and other trim details, and discovering the combination that best reflected the type of Defender I’ve always imagined owning. It’s hard to imagine buying it any other way — it’s a lifetime purchase, an instant heirloom — and I look forward to owning it forever, and teaching my son to drive it…when he’s old enough, and insured, and maybe after he turns 30!
Mr N. Richitt | New York, USA
My journey started with searching for a vehicle that I could make a part of my family heritage. I’ve always been a utility vehicle kind of guy, so I knew that it would be a wagon or truck, so I began scouring the internet for something that I felt would be a good representation of me. I wanted something that would stand the test of time, be of good strong character, never lose its charm and be reliable in serving those closest to me. After weeks of searching, I was led to the Arkonik doorstep, so to speak, and the obsession was instantly born.
Of course there were hesitations with cost, trusting an outfit oceans away and determining whether this really could be the last vehicle for me. After reading forum post after forum post then reviews, I took the leap of faith and reached out through the website, and the path led me to Tom Maxwell. An instant connection was made after our first conversation, and he was instrumental in building my confidence, easing my angst in my most uncertain vehicle purchase to date, and since then, the excitement and confidence has built with each step and every person I’ve encountered with the company.
Speaking of which, Arkonik really has amazed me as an organization filled with dedicated professionals to their craft, all harmonizing under the main goal of building world class rigs to deliver to satisfied customers. You guys are really a cut above the rest, and I’m appreciative that there’s a group of collective minds in this world that have such a singular passion and dedication. Thank you all for your collective efforts to make this experience so special!!
The Edition that inspired me from the instant I saw it was the look of the Midas two-tone. From there I made some modifications to the exact paint colors but kept the scheme as a homage to the original Midas. Not sure what to call mine yet, but looking forward to that part of the journey next!
Most of all I can’t wait to use my Defender for more camping trips in back country, woods and on the beach in these years to come!!
Mr D. Tse | California, USA
After countless hours of on-line research and reading about Arkonik’s client experiences, I knew Arkonik was the obvious choice for my new defender. What I did not know at that time was how enjoyable the entire process with Arkonik would be.
From the very first phone call through completion, every person I worked with was professional and helpful. The process was straight forward and Arkonik did everything they said they would do. The people at Arkonik are first class.
Bottom line; Arkonik only restores / builds Defenders; no other makes or models to distract them. They know every bolt. They have it figured out. Thanks for everything Arkonik.
Mr T. Archer | Arizona, USA
Arkonik’s perspective on achieving their clients’ vision is well-stated: “Restored by us. Reimagined by You.”
I’ve been a North American Spec Defender 90 owner since 2012, having shopped for the right one for 2-3 years. I love the 1997 Willow Green LE I ended up with, but have always fancied the ROW D110 for its capabilities, 4 door versatility and what I would call its proportional correctness. In late 2017 I began reviewing various build sites and quickly narrowed my choice to Arkonik. After pouring over the Editions, options, reviews and other information, I gave them a call. In short order Tom Maxwell and I hammered out a preliminary build and I became an Arkonik customer - Happy Holidays!
More recently I visited the shop in advance of my build, which is scheduled to commence in October / November 2018 for a January 2019 delivery. My expectations were mixed – clearly high build quality, but what was the operation really like? I was surprised to see probably 10 Defenders in various states of build progress (more than expected) as well as 3 completed vehicles. Quality was off the charts! Rebuilt chassis, transmission, axles and engine with all new components – check. Virtually everything else, however, is brand new, with all components meeting and in most cases far exceeding OEM. Suspension, vehicle-specific wiring harness, lights, switches, rack, bespoke interior, body panels excepting the roof – everything new! Sound deadening – check! Rhino coated chassis and under body – check! Improved weather stripping – check! Incredible paint job – check! Quality control personnel pouring over and driving the vehicle – check! Truly fit and finish second to none. I have a good baseline with my NAS Defender and can honestly say that Arkonik takes the Defender to a completely different level - one that FAR exceeds the original vehicle. A special part of my shop visit involved meeting virtually the entire Arkonik team that will be completing my build – a fine and engaging group of craftsman and support staff dedicated to helping you achieve your dream Defender.
During my visit Tom and Grant Spicer arranged for an off-road experience at Eastnor Castle. Grant and new Arkonik team member Toby Cole and I drove there in the morning for an incredible afternoon of off-roading amongst Eastnor’s 5000+ acres and some 66 miles of trails. Driving a late model 110 we started out in the prepared course area climbing stairs, negotiating a rock canyon, experiencing a mixed fall line course (read driving on three wheels), wading and finally understanding the unique Land Rover diff lock feature via an area with varying degrees of traction (or lack thereof). We then progressed to the trails and enjoyed probably two full hours of climbing, descending, twists, turns, mud, roots, rocks and wading. I have a fair amount of off-road driving experience, but the prepared course area, trails and the LR Experience instructor’s coaching vastly improved my skill level and understanding of the vehicle. Eastnor is an experience not to be missed!
Advance notice / warning! After you submit your build specification, you will wear out the website reviewing the various editions for build details, of which there are PLENTY to discover. You’ll also be faced with 2-3 new Editions per month – via Arkonik’s newsletter - that will further pique your interest and drive you to refine your specification. Just when you think you had it all figured out you’ll be contacting Tom Parry or Nathan Davis for a revision. Not to worry, the current lead time is 16 months - you’ll have plenty of time!
Mr W. Chinn | Ohio, USA
One of the best features of the build has been the client portal access. Initially when we told our 6 children how long the vehicle would take to create, I could see the disappointment in their faces as children have no patience! As I told them anything worthwhile takes time, I could see it go in one ear and out the other! However over the past year my children have logged in almost weekly to the client portal just to view the pictures and see the team working on it. How cool! Thank you for making our family feel like we have been involved in the build of our vehicle.
Mr M. Kavallieratos | New Jersey, USA
From design to daily updates of the restoration in progress to delivery of the vehicle in Toronto Canada. Everything was exactly as promised. The ongoing support is equally professional and diligent. These guys are 100% customer focussed. Happy to share my experience with anyone considering ordering a custom Defender from Arkonik.
Mr S. Manicom | Toronto, Canada
I started the process of purchasing my 110 a little over two years ago and received my car in Q4 2017. All I can say is, the company’s customer service is outstanding. I was very nervous throughout the process of designing the car and sending international wires. If you have a passion for a Defender, I couldn’t recommend a better company to work with to realize that dream.
Mr D. Finan | Texas, USA
I was going to give you guys 10 stars, but the rating maxed out at 5. I’m beyond excited about the current build of my 110. Arkonik is truly “best in class” in the Defender restoration business. I am so happy I made it over to see the shop and meet the team in person. I’m beyond satisfied so far, and I know exactly what I’ll receive in a few short months. I am more than willing to talk to any prospective customers should the need arise.
Mr M. Greene | Hawaii, USA
If you are looking for the premier company from which to purchase your dream Defender, it does not get any better than Arkonik. From start to finish including delivery, they are absolute tops.
I happened upon Arkonik when I was bitten by the Defender bug in 2014. The website was like the Victoria’s Secret catalogue when I was a youngster – full of gorgeous models that I would never see lounging in my…well, my garage! As we had already planned a vacation to England with our girls, and Arkonik is located in a beautiful area near Bath, we arranged a factory visit as part of our trip through the countryside.
I am not sure what my wife and girls expected. They probably thought that they were wasting the day on some dumb car bunny trail. But right from the start, they were sooooo into the trucks; looking at the stock of carcasses, checking out all the production areas, critiquing the various designs, sitting and looking in every single Defender on the grounds. It was clear that they were also bitten hard by the Arkonik bug and were experts on them four hours later! By the time we had designed and quoted mine with the Sales Team, my giddy wife said: “Let’s write the check!”
Despite all of that, I wanted to wait. I was planning to go and check out several other similar operations… and I did. THEN we wrote the check and got in line! Why? Simple – Arkonik loves making these bad boys even more than you will love owning them. They are a great bunch of people, who really turn these humble trucks into something that is far superior in every single way than when they rolled off the Land Rover production line, even in 2016!
They have a vision of what these trucks can be and they execute it flawlessly. The body and paint are amazing and the process if getting them to that level is painstaking and thorough. The engine build shop basically puts all new parts onto the refurbished block, with many custom parts that are higher quality than the original. The interiors are fantastic and really catch people’s eye.
The really fun part of the process is picking all the options for a full custom build, the results are jaw-dropping.
Literally, I cannot tell you how many people turn and look, come up and ask “What IS this??” plus all manner of other goofy behaviour in the presence of these gorgeous beasts.
The professional aspect of Arkonik impressed me in every department. Things get done on time and you are kept up to date with the process on the portal or via email and phone. There are constant check-ins with you during the process and no detail is too small to get noticed and handled: this aspect is very important when you are sending sizable chunks of cash overseas and hoping it all turns out well! It does…100%
Delivery day is a fun deal and it’s great to see the finished product in the driveway! I had already seen and driven in mine a few months ahead of delivery when I was in England, but it still felt fresh and tingly when it arrived. A very nice touch from their customer service department is to have their residential expert do a personal handover and explain the truck inside-out and spend time with you to make sure all is as it should be and that you are completely comfortable with your new truck. I have not heard of another company that does this and it’s extremely useful.
In short, Arkonik is as good as they appear and promise and the truck is even better than I’d hoped in every way. I have zero reservations in recommending the Arkonik team to anyone smart enough to invest in a Defender and have done so with a dozen friends who have expressed an interest. You will not be disappointed, not even a little bit. Go get one now!!
Mr A. Duettra | New Mexico, USA
As a long time customer, I’ve had nothing but the best customer service experiences. Every issue I’ve had with my vehicle has been addressed and resolved in a very timely manner. Even though we have an ocean between us, it seems a though they are my neighbourhood mechanics. The team at Arkonik is very knowledgeable and professional from the lads in the shop, to the ladies in front office, all the way to the top man! I would recommend Arkonik to anybody looking to invest in a remarkable vehicle.
Mr C. Ellis | Ontario
CALL ARKONIK FOR YOUR DEFENDER Restoration! Among all the companies that “attempt” to restore Defenders, there is only one that truly accomplishes a full and impeccable restoration. From the very beginning, the entire Arkonik team rolled up there sleeves to help in the build process. From paint, to interior, to hardware and accessories, Arkonik’s team was patient and provided amazing advice based on hours of consultation.
During the build process Arkonik was in constant communication and when improvements could be made to my selection (not an up-sell like many auto manufacturers) Arkonik reached out to me and would advise me of other options I might give serious consideration to. The process was flawless and the ENTIRE Arkonik team is to thank for that.
Without a doubt, Arkonik is the cream of the crop. Their service and trucks are SECOND to NONE! If you want the best, there’s only one name to call… ARKONIK!
Mr S. Hodges | Texas, USA
After ordering not one, but two Defenders (his and hers…), my family recently visited the Arkonik “factory” in Mells to see the production. I want to express our most heartfelt appreciation for the hospitality and welcome Tom, Grant, Nathan and the entire build team showed us while on site. Our visit to Arkonik was a particular highlight while in England, as we really were able to see the depth of dedication to excellence you and your colleagues bring to your product.
Seeing the entire process live and watching all the craftsmen work their magic, with all the intricate handwork that goes into the production of an Arkonik Defender, was a sight to behold. We are doubly as excited as we were the day we ordered our vehicles, as now we have a face for every production part of the vehicle. The energy and passion that the craftsmen bring was evident from the engine block all the way to the final polish of the doors. We want to thank every member of the production staff who spent time with us explaining what they work on and let you know that we left exceedingly impressed with the quality of the workman and the product. Arkonik has taken an iconic truck and built it to the standard it deserves to be shown in public. Every time we step into one of our trucks, hear the tight click of the door closing, fire up the engine, release the clutch and steer out to the road, we will know that the team who built our vehicle is the best in the business.
Mr C. Neel | Pennsylvania, USA
I am about to take delivery of my 4th Defender from Arkonik. The relationship I’ve had with Thomas Parry and team Arkonik goes about 5 years back. I don’t think there’s a London Business School class or Harvard business case that comes close to describing what goes on at Arkonik, but having known them now for some time and even having the pleasure of visiting them in person, all I can say is that there’s some magic that happens when you put a bunch of super nice people together with a deeply shared passion and experts in their respective field.
Each of the builds have been special to me, purpose built and unique in its own way. The latest build is a Defender 110, which we plan to take it across country, maybe even tow an Airstream around, climb up to the roof and just watch the stars on some calm summer evening out in the middle of nowhere. Arkonik markets and sells Defenders, but the real experience is the interaction with the entire staff there who are really excited in sharing each step of the process. Can’t wait to build more of these with you guys!
Mr L. Lee | Montana, USA
If you know Arkonik, you won’t be surprised by my review. If you’re considering buying from Arkonik, I hope you find this lengthy review helpful. . .
I stumbled upon some pictures of Arkonik Defenders as I was doing online research on Defender restorations and was pretty much hooked. I did, however, continue digging and I checked out the “usual suspects” who do restorations (in three different countries). I decided on Arkonik based on the quality of craftsmanship and customer service, but there was another variable — the fact that these guys are Brits.
Land Rover and Defender history is deeply-rooted in the UK and because of this, I expected and have found, a sort of pride unique to Arkonik and their work.
I own four 4wds — a 1978 Toyota Landcruiser (44K original miles), a 1995 Toyota 4Runner (owned since new), and two 2015 Defender 110s (one in Keswick Green and the other a limited-edition Adventure in Phoenix Orange). . . but I’m most excited about my Arkonik project, because Arkonik delivers something truly unique — a wonderfully restored vehicle (mechanically and aesthetically speaking) that retains the heart, soul, and character of a decades-old classic.
My wife and I were impressed with every single aspect of our visit to Arkonik. From the hospitality afforded us to witnessing the excruciating attention to detail of the build process, Arkonik stood out at every turn. ‘Nut and bolt restoration’ is frequently used, oftentimes loosely, but the expression could not better describe an Arkonik build. We visited each department (yep, different departments, each specializing in their own part of the process), chatted with the kind folks working in each, and had all of our questions answered. The visit was invaluable, and I would recommend a trip to Mells, UK and Arkonik to any prospective or current customer.
I had been in contact with the gents in the sales department before visiting HQ, and meeting the Arkonik team face-to-face only solidified my notions of their being professional, knowledgeable and genuinely likable fellows. I once heard of an exclusive luxury resort that prided itself on customer satisfaction, where staff would say “The answer is ‘Yes’. Now, what was the question?”. We got a similar feeling during our visit.
In life, we generally get what we pay for, and our recent visit helped me realize that this is certainly the case with a Defender from Arkonik. These guys reanimate Defenders and do it to an unimaginable degree of excellence and perfection (from transmission and engine to interior comforts). Their trucks are built to tighter specs than Land Rover themselves demanded, making their Defenders, well, better-than-new.
Here’s a true story: During our visit, we strolled past an almost-complete Defender that looked beautiful. The truck had a few small, round stickers on it, each numbered. We asked what they were for, and were told that each sticker pointed out a flaw or imperfection that was to be corrected before delivery. I’m not kidding, the average human likely could not have detected these “imperfections” without a magnifying glass, and even then he may not have seen it as warranting repair. I asked if they were serious, and the guys said something like, “The customer is paying for a perfect Defender, and that’s what they’ll get.”
I recommend Arkonik without hesitation and can hardly wait to receive my Arkonik Defender in 2019.
Mr B. Blythe | Colorado, USA
One day I got a wild hair to look for and buy a Defender 110. I looked all over the internet at several vehicles all over the US. None on them got me excited. Then I literally stumbled across Arkonik and their website. I started to do a small amount of research and learned about what Arkonik had to offer and that they were the real deal.
With ongoing hesitations about Arkonik I decided to put a deposit on a vehicle to get my name in the hat. Next step, my wife and I took a trip over the pond to visit the Arkonik operation and take our order to the next step, which was hand picking every single detail down to the stitching pattern of the thread on the custom seats. Arkonik pocked is up from our hotel and we spent the entire day with the Arkonik team. We met every person that would personally be working on our vehicle. It was then and only then that we knew that we made the right choice. Fast forward through the process…....we got to see our vehicle get built from day one through the day it left to go to the port for its journey over the pond. The client portal that they provide is awesome!! They provided daily updates on the build and kept us informed of step step of the process. The delivery of the vehicle was just as satisfying. It showed up in my driveway and days later the local US rep flew to see me to do a three hour orientation of the vehicle AND went to the DMV with me to help me title and register the vehicle. Talk about customer service!! Overall I would and may do it all over again. Great company and great vehicles. I personally got the Cervus Edition and I will have this vehicle until the day I move on to another life. Hopefully, I can take it with me.
Mr M. Mummert | Georgia, USA
From my first contact with Arkonik until delivery, they have been great to deal with. Since delivery, they have contacted me several times to ensure everything is going well with my Defender and to see if I have any questions or need anything. The quality of the build is excellent and our family has enjoyed our weekends out exploring in it. Thank you Arkonik for providing excellent service and an awesome Defender!
Mr G. Capell | South Carolina, USA
After reviewing companies and talking to people I felt Arkonik was the right choice for me to build up a Defender. After being a part of the thorough process my Apache Edition showed up in perfect condition and is an amazing vehicle. I would recommend using Arkonik if anyone is looking to get a Land Rover Defender.
Mr D. Freese | Texas, USA
I had been lusting for a Defender practically my entire life, and when Arkonik called and mentioned they had one available, I jumped at the opportunity.
White glove service was provided throughout the ordering and delivery process, with Tom giving exceptional background and information on the vehicle and Eric diving deep on the history, operation, and maintenance of Defenders on delivery.
I’ve only had the Defender for about a month, but all the other Defender enthusiasts and mechanics have marvelled at its build quality. It’s clear that Arkonik has a deep passion and knowledge for rebuilding these classics.
If your dream is to own a “brand new” Defender, go with Arkonik. Highly recommended company.
Mr A. Lin | New York, USA
I have now had my Defender for 6 months and it’s as amazing as when it was first delivered and operates impeccably. My build, as with all, had an incredible level of detail (ANEJO) and the process was thorough, professional, and exceeded the vision I had for my vehicle in all regards. Each touch point with Arkonik was better then the prior with all staff members being absolutely passionate professionals delivering on utmost quality and impeccable customer service.
I can’t say enough positive things about Arkonik and the vehicle they built for me. Due to my level of detail and some of my quirky requests they never missed a beat and executed on each impeccably while politely pushing back on some and offering improvements on others. The collaboration was just amazing!! They listen, research, and execute impeccably!! Initially prior to ordering the vehicle I was concerned how the after care would be handled as they are in the UK and I am in the US. After 6 months and a few minor service calls I can say without reservation that they not only deliver an amazing vehicle but stand behind it better then I could have ever imagined. I highly recommend Arkonik and I will say my main point of contact Tom Maxwell was exceptional as were all staff members I interacted with. I also went with the Ruskin interior and presented I believe a very unique and challenging project brief which they translated in a very timely manner far exceeding my initial vision. Outstanding process, Amazing customer service, Extreme level of detail and quality, and a finished product that words don’t give justice to. They are more than the real deal!!!
An extremely satisfied client (just in case you couldn’t tell by my review)
Owner | New York, USA
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