https://www.helderburg.com/ 0:41 I started shooting pictures of my defenders and on my personal profile, and the interaction and engagement was kind of surprising. 1:42 in business as of February of 20, 2021 20,000 legitimate organic followers (time...
0:41 I started shooting pictures of my defenders and on my personal profile, and the interaction and engagement was kind of surprising.
1:42 in business as of February of 20, 2021 20,000 legitimate organic followers (time of taping, June, '21) on Instagram
2:58 we fabricate a lot of our own parts. We have our own braking system. Sports car braking, Rework the engine. Modern turbo, modern cylinder head, rework the injection pump, the suspension, anti sway bars.
6:13 It takes over 3300 man hours to make this vehicle.
8:50 I'm kind of scared to tell you what I want. Because I'm afraid you'll tell me no.
11:47 teared up when he saw it.
12:48 none have changed hands
19:52 you're getting friends out of the deal. Yeah, well that's exactly what it is.
Unknown Speaker 0:00
I need to build a brand around this. So we have our own braking system, modern turbo V anti turbo modern cylinder head, we rework the injection pump, we go into the suspension, we lower it by an inch, we use progressive spring, we use polyurethane bushings anti sway bars for so many years, I was all about the grind and all that stuff. And it's not about the grind. It's slowing down enjoying life.
Unknown Speaker 0:24
Jeff Sterns connected through cars, if they're bigwigs, we'll have him on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. Here he is now, Jeff Sterns.
Unknown Speaker 0:41
So I started shooting pictures of my defenders and on my personal profile, and it just the interaction and engagement was kind of surprising. I said, I've got to build up, I need to build a brand around this. And that's what I started doing. You know, and it hasn't been that long. But, you know, it's, it's been surprisingly, it's done really well. So you launched your Facebook page in Instagram around this February of 20, if I recall, September 11 2019, is when the page went up. But I didn't really have any defenders available to sell. So it took me a while. I mean, I started the build process, actually, May of 2019. Launch the page in September of 2019. finished the first defender in February of 2022. That's when it really started was February of 2020.
Jeff Sterns 1:41
So in business, February of 20, with your first defender, and you're doing and we'll put them on the if you're listening to this, please go to YouTube, this one, this is one that's worth watching, because we'll put up we'll have some beautiful photos and video here. So you start posting this on Facebook, you start posting this on Instagram, and I want those that are listening, because I don't know how long until we get this video up. But at the time of this recording, that's only a year in about three months ago. And now, if I recall from our conversation, you have 20,000 legitimate organic followers on Instagram, my memory serving Yep, correct. That's absolutely incredible, and how you're resonating but I wanted to back up a little bit about the the unit itself. So you talked about how not so drivable. And I agree I've driven many of them. They're a farm implement their tractor, and they're unbelievably capable off road, there's no doubt about it. But for driving and handling on the road, leaves a little to be desired. So you've talked about stereo, you've talked about colors, you've talked about leather, but suspension, brakes, engines transmissions, steering, what have we done,
Unknown Speaker 2:58
what I've done is I set out to meet the right people with my ideas. we fabricate a lot of our own parts. So we have our own braking system now, which is basically sports car braking, six pistons in the front four pistons in the back billet aluminum, I mean, that's it big red calipers, we also set out to to rework the engine. So we do a modern turbo V anti turbo, modern cylinder head, we rework the injection pump, we go into the suspension, we lower it by an inch, we use progressive spring, we use polyurethane bushings anti sway bars. So I mean, what we've been able to do is modify these defenders. So they truly are a daily driver that will roll down the road, you know, you'll be you will get speeding tickets, and you will get pulled over because they don't drive the way the original defenders drive. You can drift them through the corners. They're fast, it's still that diesel motor, so it's got that really cool sound. And of course, fuel mileage is really good. So that was my goal to set out how do I take this really cool, iconic truck that's been existence over 60 years. And make it where it's reliable, comfortable. I can do my hands free calls Bluetooth calling and and everything in it, just like I could a normal vehicle. But I'm not rolling around with a Bentley badge or a Mercedes badge on it, that people think I'm trying to show out. And that's not what it's about. I mean helderberg The brand is about lifestyle and it's about slowing down and not you know, is for so many years, I was all about the grind and all that stuff and it's not about the grind and slowing down enjoying life. Understanding that we're not here for that long and just taking everything in. I mean it's it's an X it's a vehicle to be able to explore and discover new things and it's, you know, it's I can't think of another vehicle like it really that people will buy these vehicles They want to keep them forever. And they talk to me about actually passing it on to their children. So that's really what it's all about.
Jeff Sterns 5:08
But yeah, and you're, and you're building in the quality that honors your father. Yeah. And it's just,
Unknown Speaker 5:16
yeah, and I just have a tremendous amount of fun with it. You know, somebody years with the ad agency, I would get the call, our leads are down, I'm googling myself, we're not coming up. And I'm like, Oh, my God, really, you know, and then having the calls that you know, you'd have a client upset, and then you because your account manager, you know, didn't call him back immediately. And then you're saying, Well, I'm going to be involved on your account. Now, what I love about helderberg is when people call me they're very happy, and they're, they're always happy. Well, they have to wait, I mean, but they're always happy. And I have people that will call me and try to negotiate. And when they try to negotiate, and I know I'm hopping all around, that's my squirrel mentality. But you know, it's so funny when they I have very few people that will try to negotiate price, but when they do, I come back with, let me tell you a little bit about helderberg. It takes over 3300 man hours to make this vehicle. It's all hand made, there's many parts on this defender on a helderberg that you can't get anywhere because we're fabricating them. If you were to spend 3300 hours on something, how would you feel about it? And then they pretty much shut up?
Jeff Sterns 6:36
Well, you do the math. I mean, they couldn't go out and build their own even at a cheap $100 an hour shop for that.
Unknown Speaker 6:43
So I mean, but it's just, it's really cool. And I mean, you know, when I talk to people, and that's what, uh, you know, I'll get people that will email me and want to do everything over email. And I'm like, No, we have to have a conversation. Because I have to make sure it's right for them. Because I mean, really, you know, in every defender that we build has a name. And I have people that you know, I've had numerous people say, Well, how do you come up with the names and I quite honestly, I tell him, I go out, I drive it. And it speaks to me. And then that's how I come up with the name. So anyway, that's a branding trick, by the way, because the way I came up with the name is where was it originally manufactured? Or who owned it? Or what story can I gather about it?
Jeff Sterns 7:24
For the listener? I'm looking at helderberg COMM And I'm in the defender available now section and I don't know what will be available by the time you listen to this. But I see you have names like Herod Enzo Elizabeth Maxim, super Bosco. That almost sounds like a condom, man. Not mine, sir. Winston. So the blue one behind you. We were talking about it earlier on the phone. And what triggered me was you said when someone wants to negotiate, you bring up Look, I got 33 I'm sorry, not 30 303,300 hours in the craftsmanship, let alone the platform donor that you had to start with or you know, body that you had to start with? Just the hours alone are phenomenal value and the quality and workmanship. But you're a little bit I mean, what you're putting into this brand, I don't want to say Soup Nazi. But that fella wanted a black one. The one with the blue. What's the name of this color blue?
Unknown Speaker 8:29
Well, the truck His name is verbose Gus. So it's a custom color. So I call that verbose. Go Blue.
Jeff Sterns 8:35
Because of the island, because of the island. Yes. Okay. So tell us about verbose ska. Yep. And the colors in the defender. Yep, honoring that place.
Unknown Speaker 8:50
So it is it is true that I have people that will call me and they'll say I'm kind of scared to tell you what I want. Because I'm afraid you'll tell me No. And I'm like, Well, tell me what you want. I'll tell you if I'll tell you no, because what I'm wanting to do is I'm wanting people to stretch their imagination to do something different and not do what they always do. So this client calls me and he says, I want to D 90 and I'm like, Okay, great. We'll cover the What color are you thinking, you know, and all that and I because I just want to get some visuals and he goes black. And I said, Well, I'm not gonna do any more blacks. So let's talk about you and he was taken back and he's like, what do you mean you're going to joining me more blacks and I said, I'm not going to do any more blacks. I've already done two. I'm done doing black. I said so let's talk about you. Granted, I probably would have done black but I would have gotten to do something completely different. But come to find out he lives on an island and he really loves boating and you know, he told me about the island so I'm pulling up pictures and I'm asking them you know, how do you normally dress and what's some of your favorite colors and all that so I found out black was his safety colors. What it really was in black Doesn't make sense if you're on an island. So that's where I said, You know, I came back to him and I said, let's do something that takes in the colors of the sky and the sand. And he said, Well, what do you mean by that, and I said, Well, that the color of the truck, the body of the truck will be it will represent the sky. And then the interior in the top will represent the sand. I said, so in this will be named for bosca. And I said that you're in the boating, I said, so I want to do a galvanized a galvanized bumper and a galvanized grill. And what I want to do is, I want the headlights to look like jewelry, and then in the back, you know, in the cargo area, to complement that very almost white interior that I will do in a basket weave. And the reason that I do a basket weave is because it will represent the sand and the seats, the interior is a basket weave. And it does, it looks like ripples of the sand. And then I submit in the very back of the cargo area, that's where we're going to put mahogany. And we're going to you know, strip the mahogany with caulk, just like they would do on a boat. And we're going to bring that to a very bright luster, then the same thing with the back door. And I said, so it will be a very nautical theme, but it will pull in the place where you live in the hobbies that you love. He's a guy I don't know, and he kept on fight me on it and fight me out. And he's like, I don't know, I don't know. And then, you know, all the way to the point that he was, you know, back and forth, back and forth. But I have a tease him with pictures. And he's like, Man, I'm really loving this. And then he came to visit to see it here before, you know, because it's almost done now. And he was It was amazing. I mean, when he came in, and he actually teared up when he seen it. And he's like, Oh my gosh, I had no idea it was gonna look like this. And that's what's really cool about what I'm doing with these. And it was a week later, I had another couple that came in. And the wife came in and she seen it, she was like, Oh my god, it reminds me of a vehicle when I was in high school that I had a little VW. And she was tearing up and everything. So anyway, we're building another one that's similar to it. But it's not going to be a soft top because I don't like to do the same one twice. So it's going to be a hard top, this is a D 90, which is a two door, I'm going to do a five door. And it's going to have the very top is going to be tan, but it's kind of the same thing. They also live in an island. She loves the color. And it reminds her of when she was in high school. So I guess, quite honestly, part of it's me being selfish, because I do do it for me too. It's fun, it's enjoyable. And it's just creating something that you know that we've built a number of them now and no one has sold it. they've kept them
Jeff Sterns 12:48
none have changed hands to your knowledge. None. And I know because I stay in contact with everybody. How do you stay in contact with them? Are you calling them once in a while
Unknown Speaker 12:58
or I send emails, send emails, but I also we built a platform because I still have that agency and coders and developers. But I have a platform, you know that when I'm doing the design, I do a build sheet that outlines everything I mean, the color the mirrors, the mirror arms, the door handles the color of the leather, and it gives them all of these pitchers and the wheels and the tires. And that's when we very first do the process. That's what they go into to see what the build is going to be like what it's going to cost them how they pay online for it. Because we require a 50% deposit to give them a build slot and also give them a truck. But then we have a portal that they go in and it reminds them hey, it's time to do your oil change. It's time for this. Here's some products to use to actually you know, wash whatever Winston or Bosco whatever the you know, whatever the defender is and so it's it's a it's like a membership site and the price of membership is a helderberg bespoke defender. And that's how we stay in contact and we also through text messages and stuff and I encouraged them to share pictures and a number of them they do socially though, Instagram or Facebook or whatever and I reshare their pictures as they're sharing them
Jeff Sterns 14:18
so it's truly lifestyle. You're not of course not just selling cars here. Yes, I'm
Unknown Speaker 14:22
selling cars. It's just it really is lifestyle and I do attract people that you know love dogs. It's a big part of my brand, all the stuff that lacks coats. Hiking, yeah, it really truly is a lifestyle and somebody comes to the farm to preview and stuff. You know, we go out in the defender and we drive through the through the woods and the trails and if they're in sporting clays, I have a sporting clay course here on the farm and yeah, it really is we take our time we slow down and you know, I want to make sure it's something that they understand what it is when they're getting it but yeah, it's lifestyle.
Jeff Sterns 15:01
Paul, do you do any off road? Do you have any off road setups on the farm to show approach angle departure angle with the four wheel drives capable over? Do not get into that? No,
Unknown Speaker 15:14
definitely. I mean, I'm a very my farm is very hilly and stuff. But instead of doing like Land Rover did back in the day, you know, where they have a little cheesy looking course with a few rocks, and they would show you that and get out and then move up here. Instead, we just get in it. And we drive through the farm and through the trails and across the creeks and all that. And that's what we do. And that's where they get so excited. But we also have our event to where I had an event in October. And people came to the farm and camped out and we went and drove a lot of the minimum maintenance trails and snowmobile trails and all that and shot videos and, and all that. But I mean, you know, how many people are really going to take 150 to $200,000 defender off road? I do.
Jeff Sterns 16:01
You live just about off road. But yeah, I do. Probably not many.
Unknown Speaker 16:06
Yeah. So that's their chance to come here. And do that. And it's really cool. Because when they, you know, when their defender is done, and it arrives at what we do is I'm like, Alright, come on, let's go, you're gonna drive and they're like, Oh, my gosh, I'm gonna go through and I'm like, Yeah, you're gonna go through this. Let's go.
Jeff Sterns 16:25
So looking at your site, almost all of these I think all but one are diesel spec. So these are all European spec. Vehicles.
Unknown Speaker 16:33
Yeah, we get them in Italy, we get them in Poland, we get them in France, original left hand drives, the one that's a gasoline on there. And I've had a number of those. That's my competitor. So I've had a handful of trade ins. It's another company that's in England, called arconic. They've been around for probably 1214 years. And I have people trading their trucks in on mine.
Jeff Sterns 16:58
Got it. So any issue with importing the United States? No, not at all. Is that because of the has to be 25 years old? That's because of the age?
Unknown Speaker 17:08
Yeah, because of the age. But it has to be the original configuration. And I do get people that will call me Hey, will you do the quarterback conversion? You know, because a lot of times, I don't know, but a lot of times, but there's some companies that do the put Corvette motors and I'm like, No, I won't, the other company will. Because that's not what I do. And, and I learnt learn that in, you know, my advertising agency years that I would pretty much do anything that anyone asked when it came to marketing. And that creates a lot of stress for your team. Because if they're not really good at it. And so when I started with helderberg, I said, I'm going to do what we're really good at. And that's all I'm going to do. I almost slipped down the slippery slope and did an electric defender. And I was like, oh, there I go again. But I learned this lesson many years ago. So all I do is turbo diesel's
Jeff Sterns 17:59
well, and then I mean, that's a fabulous power train. Especially with the head upgrade. I'm sure that you're doing I haven't driven one but with your head on. But I know that motor it's a nice motor. Well, the truck really is a brand new truck.
Unknown Speaker 18:18
I mean, the only thing that stays original on our trucks is part of the body, the frame and the engine blocks. So we keep all the numbers matching. You know, the whole idea really, with helderberg was Land Rovers are part of it, but it's much more about the lifestyle. So if it wasn't for COVID I mean, we were before when COVID just started, we just fine finalize the deal, where we were going to do a pheasant hunt. It was going to be an all inclusive pheasant hunt where we were going to take 15 people, and we were going to go do a drive. That's what it's called an England. But we were going to go do a drive at high clear castle. And also Winston Churchill's castle, which Highclere castle is, what is it? Downton Abbey? The series that's high clear castle. So we had that lined up and then COVID happened. So again, lifestyle is what it's really all about. So we did set up one where we have a pheasant hunt that's going to be in South Dakota, that's next year. So that's where really the you know, the brand as I am quite honestly in the semi retirement now, I see this as a way to surround myself with people that are like minded, that have the same interest in the same hobbies. And that's really what I do on my social media profiles as I I show what I'm interested in, you know, the defenders and the design and the motorcycles and the shotguns and the dogs and hiking and the campaign and and that just attracts other like minded people.
Jeff Sterns 19:51
So that's you're getting friends out of the deal. Yeah, well that's exactly what it is.
Unknown Speaker 19:58
This has been jeffster connected through cars.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai