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TLC will now sell you a reimagined FZJ80 Land Cruiser for £197k

Fitted with a 430bhp GM-sourced engine and a swathe of new off-road mechanicals, this is one restomod that might actually be driven

Published: 17 Jan 2024

While classic Land Cruisers are seen mostly as novelty items here in the UK, millions of examples are still operating in service around other parts of the world, such as Asia, serving as a reminder of the longevity these Toyotas provide. And if you’re keen on joining the novelty club, TLC 4x4 - in a surprising twist, a restorer of 4x4s - has now applied some, er, TLC to the FZJ80 generation.

Beneath the longer-than-the-Mulsanne-Straight bonnet sits General Motors’ small-block LS3 engine, which is mated to a heavy-duty four-speed transmission to channel around 430bhp to what we think could be all four wheels.

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Other changes? Well, steel DBA disc brakes and pads are fitted to counter the newfound grunt, while Fox shock absorbers, OME springs and a Slee off-road sway bar combine to improve damping and control. It’s also a useful conversation starter for when you want to get rid of someone who’s boring you at brunch, enabling you to counter-attack their bore with even higher levels of bore.

Despite the outer shell cocooning these refreshed internals seemingly left unbesmirched, TLC has spruced it up with a few touches. Finished in Axolta Imperial Green, with Mystic Gold accents running along the lower frame, the factory exhaust and headlamps have been ditched for SS mandrel tips and LEDs.

So, the vintage aesthetics have been given a new lease of life. But, unlike most restomods, this one is catered for those who aren’t afraid to hop inside and go for a drive, as opposed to sitting on a throne made of Valyrian Steel and just staring at it. The cabin therefore needs to provide both form and function. Happily, it does.

The seats, steering wheel and shifter knobs have been reupholstered with crisp new leather, while Alcantara now coats the headliners. One of the more unique touches is Dynamat insulation all over, which effectively mutes the outside world and allows occupants to experience the all-new Kicker RS series speaker and subwoofers in all their glory.

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Does anyone fancy a road trip to the Highlands listening to nothing but ABBA? Seems we've left our wallets at home... you wouldn’t happen to have £197,000 lying around, would you?

General manager of TLC, Daniel Valjevac, said: “Recently, there's been a notable surge in popularity for vintage Toyota vehicles, particularly those from the late 1990s and early 2000s. I think it’s largely driven by collectors who are now reaching an age where they want to relive the memories of their youth, and through TLC's meticulous restoration processes, we give them the opportunity to do exactly that.”

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