While costing significantly more than a new Toyota Land Cruiser, this modded FJ44 makes for a better off-roader than any new Land Cruiser. A product of Icon 4×4, it follows the typical Icon path of flawless execution combined with updated technology making this an old FJ44 in name only. From the engine to suspension and even the aluminum body, this is a completely new vehicle.
This Icon build started as a 1972 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ44
Icon has been swinging hard at some iconic 4×4 relics from the past. This build started as a 1972 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ44. It follows Icon’s suppression of racks, ladders, lights, and canisters, for that integrated look. Clean yet purposeful is how we would describe it.
While looking vintage most of what you see is new including the powder-coated handmade aluminum body. It is covered in Eucalyptus Green powder coating. Durable and lightweight, this starts off better than anything new. Accenting the body is the seven-layer gray canvas soft top that looks and performs ruggedly.
The stomach pump stock engine has been replaced with a 6.2-liter GM V8
Icon replaced the stomach pump stock engine with a 6.2-liter GM V8. It’s fuel-injected and able to haul with 430 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. The updated powerplant vastly improves what was once the domain of four- and six-cylinder diesel engines.
Mated to the big V8 is an Aisin Warner AX15 five-speed manual transmission. An automatic would never have blended well with this FJ44. The manual spins a Dynatrac Dana 60 in the rear and a Dana 44 in the front. Smoothing out rough terrain is a Fox Coilover Sport suspension system.
Distinguishing the exterior are 18-inch custom Icon forged aluminum wheels. They look like ancient “steel” wheels, but they’re not. These support BF Goodrich all-terrain tires with stopping from a hydro boost-assisted Brembo disc brake setup.
Inside is not as high-zoot as modern SUVs but rewards with a breath of fresh air
Inside are four heated utilitarian bucket seats with an additional two jump seats nestled in the rear. Various aluminum trim pieces are sprinkled throughout. It’s not as high-zoot as modern SUVs but rewards with a breath of fresh air. Adding to the inside experience are Pioneer reverse camera, Apple CarPlay, navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Now, about that price. At $237,000, the Icon Land Cruiser is not accessible to every off-road enthusiast. And that is way above a 2020 Land Cruiser’s MSRP of $85,400. Still, a handbuilt custom Land Cruiser need not be on the cusp of affordability for all of us to appreciate it. In some ways that’s the whole point.
Builds like this can be a beacon for your own project. There are surprisingly still a lot of older Land Cruisers around at very reasonable prices. Find one, strip it down, and then create your own vintage Land Cruiser.