A COMPANY which transforms Land Rover Defenders into the ultimate boys’ toys is to increase its workforce after more than doubling production in the past year.

Twisted, based in Thirsk, now plans to take on five more staff to cope with forthcoming orders and demand in 2013.

The family business was set up by Charles Fawcett in 2001 after his father ran a business in the motor trade which specialised in four-wheel-drive vehicles and trained people in off-road driving.

Mr Fawcett started adding performance modifications to Land Rover Defenders for off-road competitions and found there was a market to sell the vehicles.

He developed the business and in 2007 left his father’s firm to concentrate on Twisted full-time.

Twisted transformed 30 cars in 2010-11, with an average sale price of £50,000. But production has now grown strongly to 74 cars at an average project value of £60,000 each in 2011-12 with modifications including engine upgrades, suspension, interior leathering, reversing cameras, infotainment systems, privacy glass, LED lights and soundproofing.

The business now employs 12 people and exports vehicles around the world, even building two vehicles for Malaysian royalty this year.

It also recently helped out with a tuning upgrade for a fleet of Defenders being used in the blockbuster Bond movie Skyfall and has been asked to submit product specifications for Thor 2.

He said: “While some of our cars are less expensive simply because they are specified with very little equipment – in some cases not even a roof – others can easily be specified with materials, equipment and dynamic and performance enhancements resulting in a final price of more than £100,000.

“These are vehicles which are often the fifth, sixth or seventh car in a household ‘fleet’ and are put to a variety of uses ranging from limousine duties, family transport, high-end luxury adventure cars or simply everyday runabouts more practical than a Ferrari.

“Whether its Malton or Mayfair, though, these are double-take cars.

‘‘It takes a second glance to recognise the subtlety of the extent of the transformation.”