Sometimes less is more.
Hagerty recently chartered a series with Chip Foose to reimagine automotive classics. Despite the unorthodox perspectives that he sketches, you guys seemed to really enjoy previous installments of his work. As such, the latest episode in the series features Foose taking his hand to the iconic Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser.
Keen readers will know that the Japanese offroader is an icon, but we’d be remiss not to talk about how big of a deal it really is. With production starting in 1951, the Land Cruiser is one of the longest-running nameplates in the automaker’s lineup. Originally built for Americans that were occupying Korea during the war, Toyota was tasked with building a vehicle that could offer the same capabilities found in the Willys Jeep – yes, big shoes to fill.
Gallery: 1972 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser Restomod
Regardless of how utilitarian it was, Foose is only here to look at the aesthetics. After sketching up a brief line-drawing, he was surprisingly short of ideas when it came to altercations. The biggest adjustments involved moving the front lights, and massaging the fenders while also adding round mirrors, a new front badge, and flared rear fenders.
Credit to his talents, the end result is still fundamentally a Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser. We won’t call anyone out, but it’s all too often that designers have the best intentions but take things a step too far. Not the case here though as just like the original, the final result is much greater than the sum of its parts – it goes without saying, it’s certainly a breath of fresh air.
Day one Foose fans will likely remember his show called Overhaulin’ where he gives muscle cars a crisp refresh; we know the Land Cruiser was obviously never on the show, but we’d love to see what the redesign would look like in real life. Regardless, Chip ends the episode with his design ethos of keep it extremely simple and go have some fun. And we think that says it all.