Ikon Customs’ Land Rover Defender. Picture: Instagram Ikon Customs
Ikon Customs’ Land Rover Defender. Picture: Instagram Ikon Customs

Aussies build real life Hot Wheels car

A BRISBANE father and son have brought their love of Hot Wheels model cars to life with a heavily modified Land Rover Defender.

The bright orange off-roader uses the shell of a 1985 Land Rover, but just about everything else has been replaced, creating one of the most distinctive cars on the road.

The car was inspired by Hot Wheels model cars, produced by American toy maker Mattel and reportedly collected by the Brisbane guys for more than 15 years.

While Hot Wheels models use the basic shapes of real cars, they're typically heavily modified to inject some hot rod flavour into them - something that was apparently the inspiration for this radical Defender.

Looking like it should be cruising Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, the pimped and very orange off-roader has been tweaked and tuned so that it barely resembles the simple original that is one of the world's most iconic cars.

Key to its look are enormous wheels shod in low profile tyres and colour-coded skirting all around.

There are also flared wheel arches in black, some of the many black highlights that stand out against the bright orange paint.

Publicising the hashtag Ikon_Customs, every detail appears to have been touched; even the tiny circular brake and indicator lights have been replaced with more modern LEDs, while LED strip lights have been placed under each circular headlight.

The orange theme continues inside, too, albeit among traditional circular gauges and controls, the mix of retro and modified Hot Wheels adding some visual spark.

Rather than the underpowered diesel engine, the Hot Wheels-inspired Defender is powered by a Chevrolet LS2 6.0-litre V8, something sure to amplify the noise and performance.

It is the same basic engine used in various Holden Special Vehicles models, where it was producing 307kW of power.

While the Defender retains its snorkel - for ensuring the engine gets fresh air when driving through water - it's unlikely the car retains its superb off-road ability, instead focusing on aesthetics and on-road performance.