There is exactly one Japanese car that has achieved the kind of cult following that spawns aftermarket companies building ground-up tributes to the original, and it’s not a car at all. The Toyota Land Cruiser, like the Porsche 911, has inspired a thriving restomod industry surrounding the singular model, with the top end builders charging many times the cost of the original car for their bespoke creations.
We’ve likened the FJ Company’s FJ40s with Singer Porsche 911s before, and in this just-released video of a model they call the G43, we have no reason to doubt the comparison. Starting with an FJ43 base, the rig is given a frame-off restoration of its chassis, suspension, and hardware. Upgrades such as anti-lock brakes, traction control and a digital cluster residing in the trapezoidal shape of the original instrument pod are just a few of the modernization touches included to update the truckish, decades-old driving feel.
However, what sets FJ Company vehicles apart from other restomods is the fact that they keep the Toyota DNA through and through. The name G43 comes from the fact that it’s powered by a new Toyota 1GR-FE 4.0-liter V6 typically found in a 4Runner or Tacoma. That engine is mated to a 5-speed Toyota transmission as well, keeping the drivetrain in the family in a world where V8 swaps are all too common.
This particular build is a “Signature” version with upgraded interior and a supercharged engine. The end result costs a steep $200,000, but you get what you pay for. The build process is no joke, though if it were up to us we might go with a naturally aspirated G40 Classic that starts a “only” $160,000. And indeed, the car in the above video is already sold, so there are obviously many takers for high-priced FJ40s out there. This kind of following is not something you can build overnight, and that’ why it would folly for Toyota to kill off the Land Cruiser. Regardless, it appears restomod Land Cruisers will live on.