Gregory-Burke Visionary Automotive Ltd. stands proudly as a British-founded and operated firm specializing in the meticulous craft of building bespoke, one-of-a-kind Land Rover Defenders from the heart of Vancouver.
Founders Guy Gregory and James Burke acknowledge their passion for the Defender has been a lifelong affair, fueled not only by its timeless appeal as a traditional and distinctive vehicle but also by its potential as a blank canvas for tailor-made restorations.
Unlike other firms that outfit Defenders with overpowering Corvette engines and excessive chrome, their unique ethos revolves around preserving these iconic vehicles‘ historical essence, character, and charm.
The duo embraces the challenge of eliminating the inconveniences and limitations of the stock models, employing advanced and innovative technologies, such as 3D printing and in-house design, to recreate components, resulting in the perfect Defender that seamlessly blends style with capability.
Their dedication to craftsmanship extends beyond the technical aspects. With each build, they artfully weave the clients’ tastes and designs, offering personalization that rivals the most elite vehicle manufacturers. The options are boundless, ranging from an array of fabrics, paints, materials, and cutting-edge technologies, making the design process an exhilarating journey where imagination knows no bounds.
To ensure a solid foundation, they carefully select donor vehicles from warm, rust-free climates, such as Spain, giving them the template for a pristine build. This approach allows the team at Gregory-Burke Defenders to breathe new life into each creation, where every nut, bolt, and component is diligently replaced, upgraded, and refined, resulting in a thrilling driving experience.
Their Defenders emerge as immaculate purpose-built machines, ready to embark on a lifetime of adventures meticulously configured to suit the dreams and desires of esteemed clients.
GUY GREGORY SHARES
“As a young boy, my life was enriched with experiences in England and Spain, where Defenders became an integral part of my world.
“I still vividly recall the thrill of my 12th birthday, bouncing around the picturesque Spanish countryside as my Dad taught me to drive in his striking British Racing Green Defender.
“From that moment on, there was always a Defender project on the go. Whether it was experimenting with innovative designs or tackling the legendary “when it rains outside, it rains inside” challenge that these iconic vehicles were once renowned for.
“Even in my earliest years, the automotive bug had firmly bitten, with my first words being “red car.”
“Evidently, my fate was intertwined with the world of automobiles, a passion my Dad took great delight in nurturing.
“Amidst the allure of countless vehicles I’ve encountered, the Defender has always held a special place in my heart, with its timeless appeal and undeniable charm.
“When production of the Defender came to a halt in 2016, after nearly seven decades of captivating the world, it became abundantly clear to everyone that this legendary vehicle was an irreplaceable icon. Yet, upon moving to Vancouver, I was taken aback by the absence of well-preserved Defenders in the area.
“Understanding that the Defender had never been officially sold here and that imported versions were often plagued by irreparable rust, a new opportunity presented: offering pristine, high-quality vehicles to North America.
“At the core of our success lie the long-standing global relationships we have fostered, which play a pivotal role in facilitating the diverse builds we undertake. These relationships have granted us access to exclusive resources and expertise, allowing us to deliver exceptional, tailor-made Defenders.”
JAMES BURKE SHARES
“Since a very young age, I have been immersed in a world of engineering and automotive wonders.
“It all started with the cherished memories of tinkering with engines in my grandfather’s garage. I was introduced to the art of using machines like lathes, milling machines, and various mechanical tools. Those long days and nights spent disassembling old cars and motorbikes in that compact yet magical garage fueled my passion, and even at such a young age, I eagerly absorbed every ounce of knowledge imparted to me.
“The experience instilled in me a deep sense of diligence, a relentless pursuit of perfection, and unwavering attention to detail in every task I undertook. It was there that my lifelong fascination with everything automotive was ignited.
“Upon graduating from secondary school, I knew in my heart that my calling was to embrace my engineering passion fully.
“I embarked on a rewarding career journey, beginning as a design engineer and 3D printing engineer through an enriching apprenticeship.
“Hailing from Derbyshire, England, a town celebrated for housing the prestigious headquarters of Rolls-Royce, I couldn’t help but feel a strong connection to my family’s legacy, with both my father and grandfather having worked for Rolls-Royce in the Aerospace and Nuclear divisions, respectively. Continuing their remarkable journey felt like a natural and fitting path for me.
“After 25 years of living in England, I yearned for new horizons and sought greater global opportunities. This led me to the captivating city of Vancouver, where the foundation of Gregory-Burke Defenders took root.
“My role at Gregory-Burke revolves around engineering, innovation, and pushing the boundaries of excellence in every Defender we create. My unwavering dedication is focused on propelling the company to soaring new heights, reaching milestones we’ve yet to imagine. Together, we will chart a course toward an extraordinary future where innovation and unwavering commitment to excellence will be our guiding stars. With passion as our fuel and determination as our compass, there is no limit to what we can achieve as we pave the way for an extraordinary journey ahead.”
The duo genuinely believes that a Defender is more than just a vehicle; it reflects individuality and is a gateway to exploration. Together Guy and James have made it their mission to craft exceptional Defenders that transcend the ordinary, bringing forth a new era of driving pleasure, distinction, and lasting value.
Is there a Defender in your future? Follow Gregory-Burke Defenders and join them on their journey!
Read the original version of this story in PORTFOLIO.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs here!
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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