The FJ Company builds the best classic Land Cruiser resto-mods in the business. Their G40 series essentially takes FJ40 and longer-wheelbase FJ43 models and completely updates them with J70 suspension and 1GR V6 motors, the same kind you’d find in a modern 4Runner or Tacoma. But these are much more than an engine swap. The level of detail is jaw-dropping, and this video walkaround will completely justify their $200,000-plus asking prices.
In the nearly hour-long video, Larry Chen takes a deep dive on the FJ Company’s G40 model with company co-founder Nelson Calle. Calle estimates that only about 20 percent of the original Land Cruiser remains after his firm is done with the builds. But the 80 percent that’s touched makes painstaking effort to keep true to the Toyota heritage.
For example, even though the custom Braid steelies are not OEM, they can accommodate the clips to attach an original FJ40 hubcap. Bits that were regular steel were remade in stainless. The J70 instrumentation was remade with the FJ40 font and fitted into the FJ40 dash. If the customer opts for a roll bar on a FJ43 chassis (which wasn’t offered by Toyota from the factory), they keep the FJ40 design and lengthen it to fit the FJ43.
However, much of what’s touched relates to the fact that entire panels on donor bodies, such as the floorpan, is remade with new steel. You’ll notice that there are FJ43 hardtops in the video, something that was not offered in this hemisphere (South American FJ43s were canvas tops). The bodywork was molded from a Japan-imported hardtop FJ43 and FJ Company remakes them in steel. Calle says it’s their most popular body style in the series.
All this plus modern amenities like heated seats (Recaros), ABS, diff locks, traction control. With the 1GR putting out 240 horsepower (there’s also a supercharger option for $15,000) it’s got bones that can be daily driven with no sacrifice in comfort, but with the gorgeous looks of a classic Land Cruiser.
They ARE lovely, but there’s also something to be said for having a much more average example and then being able to ride around in that with the extra $180,000 or so in a bag sitting on the passenger seat.
So I can buy a resto-mod for $210K, or I can buy a Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Four Runner TRD Pro, Jeep Rubicon, or Land Rover Defender for $50K – $60K. All of which are engineered to pass modern crash standards. I can even buy a decent vintage FJ for less than $50K and mod it myself. I am not saying that this company hasn’t put its blood sweat and tears into designing these things, but at the end of the day its still a resto-mod. Singer should be cursed for changing the whole economics of what people will pay for something old made newer.