Nostalgia just goes from strength to strength, and when it comes to the classic box design of the Land Rover, there’s always likely to be a lot of love for anything ‘new’ that appears from the stable of a respected custom builder. So here we have the Icon FJ44 Land Cruiser Old School Edition – a restomod with all bangs and whistles in a classic shape and plenty of colours to choose from.
Icon is owned by husband and wife team of Jonathan and Jamie Ward: ‘Modern performance married to classic styling’, is what Icon say they are all about; preserving the classic look but getting rid of those performance quirks (or just lack of performance) that have generally since been ironed out over years of vehicle development and advancements in technology. Having owned a classic car and spent many a fruitless cold winter day underneath it, I can say that this ethos does appeal to me.
The Icon Old School Edition FJ44 tries to keep what made this 1972 4×4 great while increasing performance, handling and safety. A V8 6.2-litre General Motors engine powers the beast, producing 450lb ft of torque and 430bhp. All this power is controlled by hydroboost assisted Sport Brakes from the ubiquitous Brembo along with Fox Racing Coil-Over Factory Series shocks. A 5-speed manual (or 4-speed auto) gearbox lets you take control. If you prefer, you can spec a 5-speed manual 2.8-litre diesel engine instead of the V8. Outside, LED lights keep the way ahead in your sights.
The body itself is made out of aluminium, side-stepping those notorious rust issues, and a technologically advanced hybrid Teflon-polyester paint job covers it all up. The Cardinal powder coat paint was originally dreamt up to cover exterior industrial architecture, and has been tweaked here for use on Icon’s Land Cruiser. All panels are hand-finished prior to assembly. It’s not just the body that gives you peace of mind in all weathers, but the floorpan too has been protected and coated inside with a heat-cured polyuria coating giving the Icon FJ44 reduced vibration and heat transfer. All surfaces allow the user to pretty much forget them, with minimal maintenance required and no waxing. 11 colour options are available from the classic Land Rover army green to Sand Tan and Mayan Sun.
Stability is further enhanced with BF Goodrich 285/70/R tyres surrounding some USA-made 18-inch New School forged aluminium wheels. Optional is a set of Old School forged aluminium wheels with matching hubcaps.
Obviously you would expect a fair bit of customisation to be available on a beast like this, and you would not be disappointed. Some of the more notable options are hand-tailored soft top and removable upper doors to give that open-air feel, a Warn winch/recovery gear, LED auxiliary lighting and a roof rack with ladder plus extra storage. Modern takes for the Icon FJ44 include Apple CarPlay, reversing cameras plus, of course, a sat nav.
You don’t get all this carefully hand-built prep work without shelling out big money though, so expect to pay at the very least $237,000 (£171,426) – much more if you want to heavily customise. For more information, please visit Icon’s website here.
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