There’s no doubt that the FJ40 Landcruiser of the late 60s is a very cool thing. To just look at one, it just oozes offroad mojo, rock-hard toughness and indestructibility. But an FJ40 also has a softer side too. See one at the beach and now it’s a picture of laid-back, surfie-dude charm. It’s an unlikely JDM classic, but its credentials are sound.
But to drive, they’re pretty crude and primitive, with bouncy suspensions and asthmatic engines. But now a California outfit called TLC has refreshed the FJ40 Landcruiser for the 21st century.
They start out with an original chassis, then refurbish and reinforce it. Then they fit beefed-up Dana axles, Emu shocks, air locker diffs, and then a powertrain headed by a 350hp GM small block V8 crate motor.
They top it off with a remanufactured replica of the original FJ40 short wheelbase body, and then everything is powdercoated for a no-nonsense, tough military look.
There’s no doubt that the final result combines the best aspects of the original Landcruiser character, with the hardcore offroad hardware to allow the Icon to pretty much go anywhere without raising a sweat. And hardcore hi-end motorsport-spec hardware costs a lot of money in anyone’s language, and whenever you say things like “handmade body” you know it’s going to hurt when you pull out your wallet.
But I hope you’re sitting down….they start at US$96,000 plus options. Yes, of course I want one. But….wow….it’s expensive!