Japanese company Flex is opening a shop to carry FJ throwbacks for the US.
The reverse restomod is an interesting concept. Where a company like Singer brings an air-cooled 911 into 2022, Flex Ventures and Renoca take the Toyota Land Cruisers of different eras and wind back the aesthetic clock. Previously, this was a build you could only get in Japan, which made sense given Toyota's unreal decision to ax the Land Cruiser here in the States.
Still, there are plenty of older FJ-chassis Land Cruisers laying around here, and that's all the better because Flex has just opened its first dealership in America. It'll open this winter in San Diego, California. It's also the company's first dealer outside of Japan. Given the American appetite for off-road Toyotas, we'd say that's a pretty smart move.
As of now, three models are set to be available at the dealer. The first two are existing Flex models, the 106 and the Wonder, both of which are based on the Land Cruiser. However, a third option will be based on a Toyota Tacoma, a build we're certainly curious to experience. Toyota Tacos have a certain... "je ne sais off-road" that we like very much. The Flex Taco build will also be sold exclusively in America, so we're finally getting an outstanding Japanese vehicle that the Japanese don't get.
The reverse car surgery starts with the underpinnings of a more modern Land Cruiser, which then has a retro-body bolted on. The Flex Land Cruiser 106 is a mash-up of a 1990s FJ80 body atop a newer JX100 chassis but the round headlight grille is trademark FJ60 from the early 1980s Lando. The signature grille is carried over to the blue Flex Wonder here, which is based on the FJ80 chassis that was produced from 1990-1997. The interiors are also reupholstered and can be spec'd with a number of changes, including your choice of cloth or leather.
Flex Ventures has been around since 1967, and runs north of 50 dealers across Japan, so they definitely know their craft. Without having actually seen one of these in the metal, it looks as if the re-aging process doesn't have an adverse effect on the SUV's proportions. Side-by-side, these trucks appear just as retro as their Cruiser ancestors.
For now, pricing is a bit of a question mark, but the Japanese 106 and Wonder models start at $26,072 and $22,860 respectively. Presumably, that does not include the cost of the Land Cruiser donor car itself.