Johnathan Ward's Icon grew out of his Toyota Land Cruiser restoration business known as , and as I understand it, Icon's brand new 'Old School' lineup is aimed at those who want more than an FJ restored by TLC with a Vortex V8 up its nose, yet fewer cosmetic upgrades than what Icon usually applies to its trucks. Basically, OEM looks hiding all the fancy updates.
But there's competition in that niche from The FJ Company in Florida, who source their parts mostly from Toyota while touching every nut and bolt to bring their FJ's into the 21st century. And while their , the new Signature series is in a different ballgame with its base price of $200,000.
Started by brothers Nelson and Juan Diego Calle, The FJ Company began its operations in 2010, being part of the classic car restoration business Classic Motors, and a sister company of Porsche 911 specialists Straat.
No matter whether it's an $85,000 Classic, a $120,000 Sport or a $200,000 Signature, all of start with a donor car getting a full frame-off restoration. While using only steel body parts (instead of aftermarket aluminum ones), FJC starts with a full assembly of the project vehicle in its raw state onto the chassis, with engine, interior, and exterior accessories attached to it. Once every component is fitted and aligned properly, the project vehicle is disassembled, and the individual pieces are taken to paint preparation.
What isn't powder coated gets anodized, while they also replace most parts with new ones from Toyota, instead of restoring the originals. The list of new parts include most engine components, the glass all around, rubber seals, and all electrical components. Once done, standard equipment includes Vintage Air A/C & heater, retractable rear seat belts and larger 31 inch BFG tires. Needless to say, the list of options is extensive.
Then comes the range-topping Signature FJ, which in the case of the SEMA demonstrator, started out as a red 1981 Toyota.
Following the makeover, it sports a Dune Beige exterior with a matte finish, as well as FJC's own fuel cap cover and side mirrors, all forged in aluminum. There's also a Warn 8274 winch mounted on a 40-series bumper featuring built-in LED fog lights.
Even cooler is that under the hood, it's not some LS or a Cummins diesel, but a brand new Toyota 1GR-FE engine swapped from current Land Cruisers. The 4.0 V6 is good for 240 hp, sending its power through a manual gearbox. With the power comes an equally modern four-wheel disc brake system from a 2017 Toyota 4Runner, as well as Fox shocks with Old Man Emu leaf springs.
Inside, the Signature sports custom window levers, door handles, pedals, shifters, and pull knobs, all painted in Gunmetal Gray. The seats are heated Recaros, while above the occupants is a roll back canvas sunroof. What more could you want?
The FJ Company only plans to build 24 of these, so if you have $200,000 for a Toyota truck that isn't built by a certain Californian, you know where to spend it.