Icon puts modern twist on vintage Toyota FJ

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SEMA 2019
Icon will unveil this FJ: The Roadster version of the vintage Toyota off-roader at the 2019 SEMA Show | Icon photos

In the mid-1990s, as interest was just beginning to increase in vintage 4×4 vehicles, Jonathan and Jamie Ward founded TLC to provide parts and restoration services to those with early-generation Toyota Land Cruisers.

Since then, they have put the Icon label on several customized restoration projects of various makes, including an electric-powered 1949 Mercury coupe that stunned the SEMA Show in 2018.

For the 2019 SEMA Show, the Wards are returning to their roots with FJ: The Roadster, 

“We are probably best known for obsessing on small details,” Jonathan Ward is quoted in the company’s pre-show news release. “But for the FJ Roadster, we decided to go super-simple: no A/C, no doors, less weight… Plus, we’re able to reduce cost and build time — but without compromising durability. 

There’s no air conditioning but there are heated seats

“If you think of the established Icon FJ series as trekking boots, think of the new Roadster as a pair of all-terrain sport sandals.”

But despite its “old-school” appearance, The Roadster has such modern accoutrements as heated seats, Bluetooth and Apple Car Play, Siri Eyes Free, and an audio system with four marine-rated speakers.

The vehicle is built on an Art Morrison chassis with ProRock front and rear axles with ARB Air Locker differentials and Brembo brakes. The engine is a 6.2-liter GM V8 with 430 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, linked to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

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Under the hood, 450 pound-feet of GM torque

Icon plans to produce copies of The Roadster for sale and in those will offer manual or automatic transmissions and the option of a Cummins 2.8-liter diesel engine.

Those copies will be offered with a base price starting at $185,000.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

1 COMMENT

  1. Icon makes lovely, brilliant takes on classic vehicles; for me (and $185+k), I’d like a stout, any grade fuel diesel. Mattracks would be nice. I prefer northern climates, so the previous, hard top issue would suit best.
    Gotta admit, the Icon version of the WW2 flatfender Jeep caused me to consider sell-all bankruptcy.
    I would consider moving to the desert to use one of those as a daily driver, yes, yes I would.

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