Upgrading old-school 4x4s has become fashionable. Take the Land Cruiser FJ40, which ended production in 1984. Most folks just add a V8, leave the three-speed and transmission intact, and call it good.
ICON, a design-forward group of car geeks based in L.A., take a more holistic, ground-up approach to rebuilding the car — no corner-cutting or piecemeal fixes. For the second generation of their FJ40, they’ve added a V8 and then used computer-aided design to refit the vehicle with current technology: modern five-speed transmission, I-Box suspension, modern audio and gauges.
Translation: a faster, more comfortable, higher performing vehicle that still maintains its Golden Era looks. “Our mandate remains the same,” says ICON founder Jonathan Ward. “(We) keep the original utilitarian design focus and silhouette. Everything else, it’s game on.”
That translates into them replacing all of the plastic on the inside with aluminium and titanium as well as seats made of leather and a matte vinyl that has a dry-rub rating beyond that of standard automotive classes. As for the paint job, ICON now offers ten colors, each coated in a teflon-polyester hybrid made in collaboration with Cardinal Coating — the same company that did the coating on the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This allows the car to take a heavy beating off-road.
Only 100 will be made.
Start your engines.