- Unique custom long-bed FJ45 by TLC 4×4
- Subtle upgrades for reliable and comfortable driving
- Powered by a modern GM 5.7-liter Ram Jet V-8
Jonathan Ward is well-known in the car world for his Land Cruiser creations by Icon 4×4. Equally impressive is his other brand, TLC 4×4, which focuses on more subtle upgrades to each car to make them the best they can be, rather than completely reimagining them as out-of-this-world off-road creations. Focusing on the Toyota Land Cruiser platform, TLC 4×4 is dedicated to preservation and restoration, while also adding modern technology to enhance each car’s on-road capabilities.
This FJ45 long-bed pickup was originally a California-delivered example and remained in the Sunshine State for its entire life until its most recent ownership. Found and sourced by TLC in 1999, the Land Cruiser was comprehensively restored and delivered in 2002. Starting with an original paint example, the body was found to be in excellent condition, highly unusual for a utilitarian work truck. The goal for the restoration was to keep the outward appearance largely original, though FJ enthusiasts will notice the addition of Brazilian Bandeirante doors. Otherwise the visual appearance remains largely stock. The same cannot be said under the hood.
Powered by a fuel-injected cast-iron GM 5.7-liter Ram Jet V-8 engine and mated to a Toyota H55F five-speed transmission, the same unit found in late-model Land Cruisers, it certainly outperforms its peers. Modern upgrades continue throughout the drivetrain with upgraded driveshafts, front disc brakes, power steering, and Old Man EMU suspension. The modifications serve to improve the everyday drivability of the Land Cruiser, rather than create an off-road monster.
For anyone familiar with custom Land Cruisers, Jonathan Ward and TLC 4×4 need no introduction. Their work represents the best use of modern running gear while maintaining the original look and feel that adores collectors to vintage Land Cruisers.