As one of the longest running players in the custom Range Rover business, London-based Overfinch has improved countless vehicles over the course of its more than 40 years in business. Long popular in Europe and the Middle East among business elites and wealthy sportsmen, precious few examples have come to the States by comparison.
But that may change as the company has now committed fully to the North American market with the announcement of a US subsidiary, to be based in southern Virginia. Opening later this summer, the company’s new American headquarters will encompass a 15,600-square-foot industrial facility and will eventually employ more than 40 employees, most of whom will be hired from the local community.
In a phone interview with Alloy+Grit, Overfinch North America General Manager Drake Masters confirmed details of the announcement. “The previous west coast distributor was unable to keep up with the national demand for the product, while we saw US demand from all over the country continuing to grow over the last few years.”
“We did a number of conversions where we literally shipped all the components over [to the States] along with our own technicians and then performed the installations locally for the buyers. We had to be quite selective about the orders we took. We couldn’t satisfy market demand for the product operating like that on a case-by-case basis.”
With growing demand in America and no distributor with national presence, Overfinch decided the only way to gain proper footing here was to run its own operations. “Demand was consistently coming from three key markets: New York, South Florida, and Southern California. We looked at numerous locations before deciding on Virginia, but it makes so much sense for us.”
“While California may have seemed more logical on the surface, the time difference from the home office would have meant we’d always be communicating off-hours. It also wouldn’t have made sense to ship components all the way to the west coast when a lot of them would end up going back east anyway.”
“With Virginia we have an eastern location, so only a few hours time difference with several overlapping hours in each location’s workday for emails and phone calls. The business climate here is also relaxed and the local workforce is incredibly capable. The depth of automotive expertise in the area is incredible. A lot of the technicians we’re hiring also build hot rods in their spare time, so they have fabrication skills well beyond their accredited training.”
The office, just miles from Virginia International Raceway, will be the company’s official installation facility for North American vehicles. Components will still arrive from Overfinch workshops in England, where the company works directly with some of the same Tier 1 suppliers Land Rover itself uses, helping to ensure OE-quality materials and construction. Eventually the company hopes to begin design and development work specifically for North American models and local customer needs, but for now the priority is to deliver a quality experience based on its current offerings.
Overfinch’s roots go back to 1975, when the UK director of the German sheetmetal stamping company Schuler Presses dabbled in hot-rodding the Range Rover’s 3.5-liter V8 for more power. The company gained notoriety for installing performance-tuned 5.7-liter Chevy engines in place of the Rover mill, as well as for fitting American automatic transmissions before Land Rover itself committed to them.
Eventually custom bodywork, interior appointments, and wheels took over the main business as Land Rover picked up where Overfinch first led the market in terms of performance. Today’s offerings include a line of tasteful cosmetic enhancements for the exterior crafted in carbon fiber, interior appointments produced from rare wood veneers and Bridge of Weir leather, and the company’s own line of custom wheels.
Overfinch originally announced its intentions at the Farnborough International Air Show in Hampshire, England on July 12th. The official North American debut will take place next month on the lawns of both The Quail and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during the Monterey classic car weekend starting August 19th.