Last year we reported that Flex Auto was opening its first US office. The Japanese company is known for grafting old school noses onto modern Toyota vehicles, mostly classic Land Cruisers and HiAce vans. Upon opening their first American branch, they got busy working that same magic on a USDM truck, the Toyota Tacoma.
The Tacoma-based creation is Flex Auto’s first US-exclusive offering. It makes sense, as the Tacoma is a uniquely North American model and isn’t sold in Japan. It’s called the Renoca Windansea, which evokes beach-going vibes. All of Flex Auto’s creations are branded Renoca (a portmanteau for “renovation car”). For example, their most popular creation, a J80 Land Cruiser with an FJ60 face, is called the Renoca Wonder, and the J100 Land Cruiser with FJ60 face is called the Renoca 106.
For the Windansea, the base car is a third-generation Toyota Tacoma. The powertrain is unchanged, using the Tacoma’s 277-horsepower, 264 lb-ft, 3.5-liter V6. From there, Flex adds FJ60 Land Cruiser-esque round headlights, a steel bumper, and skid plates. The entire hood has been redesigned, and a throwback grille sits front and center with the FJ60’s Helvetica “TOYOTA” emblem. The Windansea also uses FJ40-style wheels, which look good on just about any Toyota truck.
Since the entire car will have to be repainted after installing the new face, Flex offers a full paint job in the color of your choice. The Windansea starts at $52,800, but can be fitted with bed racks, lift kits, side steps/slider bars, fog lights, rear view cameras, reupholstered seats, a sound system upgrade, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In general, we find Flex Auto’s other creations to be better integrated with the new-meets-old blend. In the Windansea’s case, the grille appears to be a take on the FJ60’s, but the hood contours don’t exactly lend themselves to a faithful reproduction. Still, it’s a good effort and since southern California is absolutely stacked with Tacomas, it’ll be one way to set yours apart from the others.
Images courtesy of Flex Auto.