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  #61  
Old January 28th, 2016, 02:54 PM
Tommieboy
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Thomas
1999 Defender 110 TD5
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If you have the time consider importing yourself. I have imported twice now to Canada, once from Germany (RORO) and more recently from NL (container). I handled everything myself including de-stuffing at the port in Canada. Other than the 15 vs 25 yr import rule I'm not sure what other differences there are with importing to the US.

Both my importation experiences went smoothly but the second was much more stress free as I knew what to expect and exactly what to do.

I won't go into detail on the entire process since you're not importing to Canada but feel free to contact me if you want any generic type of information or if I can help in any way.
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  #62  
Old February 27th, 2016, 02:18 AM
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Kenoa
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Kenoa
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I'm probably going to have nightmeres now that I have read this

Looked at Sear
The title fits, I'm a bit ashamed to admit how much I liked their website and clear price disclosure
...then I started poking around the webs for their client's remarks and its not very optimistic though

see for yourselves
A nightmare to do business with David Clark Slater aka stationwagons4export

*sorry if my comment sounds negative to anyone I just felt my awareness level increase that’s all*
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  #63  
Old February 27th, 2016, 08:57 AM
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Brentflyfish
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Brent McDonald
1988 LHD 110 SW
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David Sear is who I got my truck from. I had a very good experience right up until it arrived. It was at that point I realized I overpaid by at least $10k for what I got. I have since put nearly $20k into it making it right. I now have a solid truck but at I higher price than what I should have paid for sure. The quality of his work is low and I still don't know what is hidden under all the dynamat.
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  #64  
Old February 27th, 2016, 09:31 AM
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Uncle Douglas
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Doug Crowther
A defender in every driveway-motto
D-90 Source Vendor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM13 View Post
Doug brought mine over, Purchased from Matthew R Moore of the apparently bankrupt MRM specialist vehicles: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/L-60641-1909384/ Back from the dead as Heritage vehicle sales. Unless you've done a personal inspection and have seen service records you can verify, I would not recommend dealing with that lying sack of dookie.
I hadn't followed this thread and missed your post Gene.
Several other members of this forum have had much worse experiences. One pulled a half finished truck as Moore had been paid in full and wasn't working on it, the cost to have another shop finish the truck was quite high. He's had several trucks seized on arrival here. Last year he "loaded" a container for a US client @ his farm. On arrival here none of the thousands and thousands of dollars of new parts that had been delivered to him to load were in the box. Moore is related to Marc Daniel @ The County and Defender Centre and the are often involved in the same deals.
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Worldwide Land Rover Shipment and Importation Service
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  #65  
Old February 27th, 2016, 10:10 AM
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havens51
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joseph
97 NAS D90 ST, 88 D110, 66 109 sold
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I looked over the Sear comments and the website knocking Sear and the D90 apparently on Ebay.
I guess I feel pretty good about my Arkonik 110. I absolutely love it.
If anyone is interested, I could show photos of the undercarriage, etc. It appears as new and all gentleman in the trade who have carefully examined the truck agree it is a very sound restoration.

I have come to learn that ca. 1980's diesels do smoke a fair amount and my engine is progressively smoking less and less on cold start up (approx. 3300 miles since "new").

There were some rust areas emanating form the door bottoms. However, my truck was supplied with new doors and there is no question about that. Apparently, there are metal shavings (swarf) from the doors being drilled which had accumulated in the door bottoms and those were the source of the rust.

I could not help but notice the cost of the Sear D90 in question. I realize that 30-40K is a lot of money. However, I paid 2X that for my 110 CSW and that was 2 years ago.

I mention this only for perspective.

Keep in mind that when I had some issues with my Arkonik bespoke 110 project I did become the squeaky wheel and I thought rightfully so. In response to my issues, Arkonik sent their top technician to my home in NJ. He spent 2 1/2 days remediating things such as door seals, etc. and made things right. I think this speaks a lot about overall intent, the magnitude of the Arkonik operation, and their expertise.

Bottom line…….I am seriously planning another project with them. I am told, by Arkonik's Thomas Parry that they have had a huge increase in custom built orders and are on a 5 truck per month pace.

Are we still dealing in the used car arena, are there scheduling issues, and mistakes and fumbles? Yes. However, the overall experience with Arkonik to date has been very positive.
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  #66  
Old February 27th, 2016, 10:15 AM
GunnyUSMC
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Eric
1991 Defender 90 200TDI
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After living in the UK for two year, I noticed a lot of things with these companies. Most of them are fly by night and do a quick respray over shoddy bodywork. They put in some nice seats and some boosts and try to get 15K pounds for them. They try to prey on American servicemen stationed there and on eBay as well. I would never buy a "restored" vehicle from the UK. Flying over and looking for yourself is worth the few grand to make sure you don't get screwed. Or better yet, buy one already here that is a good starting point.


Cheers,
Eric
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  #67  
Old February 27th, 2016, 12:46 PM
samjone
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Sam Weirich
1990 110 SW
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lake Oswego, OR, USA
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Our 1990 110 is finally on her way to Long Beach. Restored/rebuild by Peter and Dan at The Landrovers in the Netherlands. Will post our first impressions in about a month. The process thus far has be good.
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  #68  
Old February 27th, 2016, 12:58 PM
RBBailey
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RBBailey
1965 IIa
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Maybe I'll see it driving around town some time. Looks nice from here!
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1965 IIa SWB
1988 Saudi 110 (soon to be 300tdi)
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  #69  
Old February 27th, 2016, 01:15 PM
DFNDRVirgin
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Jared
None
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did you aleady have this landie for these guys to refurbish, or did they buy one for you?
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  #70  
Old February 27th, 2016, 04:49 PM
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havens51
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joseph
97 NAS D90 ST, 88 D110, 66 109 sold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samjone View Post
Our 1990 110 is finally on her way to Long Beach. Restored/rebuild by Peter and Dan at The Landrovers in the Netherlands. Will post our first impressions in about a month. The process thus far has be good.
Congrats on the 110. May I ask which power plant it has?
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  #71  
Old February 27th, 2016, 06:04 PM
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Kenoa
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Kenoa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samjone View Post
Our 1990 110 is finally on her way to Long Beach. Restored/rebuild by Peter and Dan at The Landrovers in the Netherlands. Will post our first impressions in about a month. The process thus far has be good.
Please do, lovely red 110 congrats!
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  #72  
Old March 9th, 2016, 03:58 AM
TophatClassics
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Carel van Helsdingen
2008 Range Rover Sport HSE
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 3
Tophat

Hi guys,

My name is Carel and i'm fairly new to Defendersource. I just wanted to reply on this thread where is stated that Tophad has dissolved... This is certainly not the case, Oliver and I have parted ways back in 2014 because we both had a different perspective on the future of the company. Since late 2014, I am running Tophat and Oliver is still active with his own company, where he does a good and reliable job and I can definitely endorse him.

Tophat does not sell used vehicles anymore and since January 2015, we have focussed on building fully frame off restored Land Rovers on order for clients and to their desired specifications. We specifically chose to go this direction because, as you know, 25 year old Land Rovers are often not the most reliable vehicles in the world anymore and we would like to be able to stand behind our products 100%. This is the reason why we chose to do full rebuilds, so that I know exactly what we sell and know for a fact that literally every nut and bolt has been changed, in order to build a practically new vehicle.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that we're definitely still in business and working on many client vehicles! If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an email or check out the Tophat Classics website.

Thanks!

Carel
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  #73  
Old March 9th, 2016, 01:13 PM
samjone
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Sam Weirich
1990 110 SW
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lake Oswego, OR, USA
Posts: 15
Reliable Rebuilders

This is good information to know Carel. Thanks for bringing the community up to date. I'd like to hear from the members regarding some of your resent rebuilds also. I believe that it is time for the compilation of a list of reliable and quality rebuilders on our forum. I am not referring to importers alone but those (Stateside and overseas) that do quality work and stand behind their product. Any takers?
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  #74  
Old March 9th, 2016, 01:20 PM
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rijosho
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Joshua
1995 Black ST - Rhinolined edition
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So you're still calling yourselves Tophat Classics even after you all have parted ways? Because there's already users Tophat, and Tophat Classics on this site, now there's TophatClassics. You can see how it's getting confusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TophatClassics View Post
Hi guys,

My name is Carel and i'm fairly new to Defendersource. I just wanted to reply on this thread where is stated that Tophad has dissolved... This is certainly not the case, Oliver and I have parted ways back in 2014 because we both had a different perspective on the future of the company. Since late 2014, I am running Tophat and Oliver is still active with his own company, where he does a good and reliable job and I can definitely endorse him.

Tophat does not sell used vehicles anymore and since January 2015, we have focussed on building fully frame off restored Land Rovers on order for clients and to their desired specifications. We specifically chose to go this direction because, as you know, 25 year old Land Rovers are often not the most reliable vehicles in the world anymore and we would like to be able to stand behind our products 100%. This is the reason why we chose to do full rebuilds, so that I know exactly what we sell and know for a fact that literally every nut and bolt has been changed, in order to build a practically new vehicle.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that we're definitely still in business and working on many client vehicles! If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an email or check out the Tophat Classics website.

Thanks!

Carel
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #75  
Old March 9th, 2016, 02:50 PM
TophatClassics
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Carel van Helsdingen
2008 Range Rover Sport HSE
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Location: Amsterdam
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I see that it can get confusing but the company is still called Tophat and it's still the same company. It's just that Oliver has left the company and went his own way.

I don't know who has the names Tophat and Tophat Classics but they're not mine... At least i don't know about them..

I hope this clears some things up!
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  #76  
Old March 9th, 2016, 03:00 PM
TophatClassics
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Carel van Helsdingen
2008 Range Rover Sport HSE
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by samjone View Post
This is good information to know Carel. Thanks for bringing the community up to date. I'd like to hear from the members regarding some of your resent rebuilds also. I believe that it is time for the compilation of a list of reliable and quality rebuilders on our forum. I am not referring to importers alone but those (Stateside and overseas) that do quality work and stand behind their product. Any takers?
I see that you're from Oregon? We are about to deliver a 110 V8 to a client in Portland but I don't know if he is active on Defendersource...
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  #77  
Old March 10th, 2016, 08:01 PM
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havens51
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joseph
97 NAS D90 ST, 88 D110, 66 109 sold
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Tophat

Has anyone on the forum had a truck restored by Tophat and if so is can they offer any feedback on the experience?
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  #78  
Old April 2nd, 2016, 04:42 PM
AZDefender110
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Brandon Gough
1989 Defender 110
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 10
I'm new to the community but I though I'd fill you guys in on my experience with Tophat. I started looking early 2015 for a restored defender and found all the usual suspects, arkonik, Sears, ECD, west coast defender, ECR, and Tophat. I found most of the other places except for East coast rover had negative reviews and quality wasn't that great. I came across Tophat on eBay. I found a fully restored defender 110 listed in Scottsdale by them. Since I live here I asked if I could come look and drive the vehicle. I met Ros, their, Scottsdale affiliate. He was very nice and let me drive and inspect the vehicle. I was blown away by the attention to detail. He told me Carel would be coming to town in a couple of weeks and invited me back over to meet him and their lead mechanic from the Netherlands. I met and spoke with Carel and was impressed with his knowledge. After 5 months of researching I finally placed a deposit after this encounter. I ordered a defender 110 with several custom features and a LS3 upgrade. I'm actually heading to Amsterdam in a week to personally see the shop and meet my defender for the first time. Carel has been great to communicate with and so far the experience has been great. I would definitely talk with him if you are looking at a full restoration. His pricing is far more realistic and the quality is top notch based on the vehicles I have seen. I'll keep you posted when my defender gets in. Should be here in August. I can't wait.
I've attached a few photos from the arrival of my base vehicle in Amsterdam. He bought it in Austria.
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  #79  
Old April 2nd, 2016, 08:21 PM
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JQ11
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JQ
97 Black ST - SOLD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDefender110 View Post
I'm new to the community but I though I'd fill you guys in on my experience with Tophat. I started looking early 2015 for a restored defender and found all the usual suspects, arkonik, Sears, ECD, west coast defender, ECR, and Tophat. I found most of the other places except for East coast rover had negative reviews and quality wasn't that great. I came across Tophat on eBay. I found a fully restored defender 110 listed in Scottsdale by them. Since I live here I asked if I could come look and drive the vehicle. I met Ros, their, Scottsdale affiliate. He was very nice and let me drive and inspect the vehicle. I was blown away by the attention to detail. He told me Carel would be coming to town in a couple of weeks and invited me back over to meet him and their lead mechanic from the Netherlands. I met and spoke with Carel and was impressed with his knowledge. After 5 months of researching I finally placed a deposit after this encounter. I ordered a defender 110 with several custom features and a LS3 upgrade. I'm actually heading to Amsterdam in a week to personally see the shop and meet my defender for the first time. Carel has been great to communicate with and so far the experience has been great. I would definitely talk with him if you are looking at a full restoration. His pricing is far more realistic and the quality is top notch based on the vehicles I have seen. I'll keep you posted when my defender gets in. Should be here in August. I can't wait. I've attached a few photos from the arrival of my base vehicle in Amsterdam. He bought it in Austria.
Keep us posted - I personally wouldn't start recommending them until you get your final product but glad the ordering went smooth. Best of luck - will be great to have a solid restorer as it's pretty much just ECR that you can trust!
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  #80  
Old April 2nd, 2016, 09:19 PM
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Rocky
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Chris
72 + D1 drivetrain
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Fire trucks usually make very clean vehicles. They tend to live their lives indoors.
Their only problem being all the holes they drill for specialized equipment.
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