It's one of the coolest modifications to an SUV you'll see.
Not many vehicles qualify for the term "tank-like", but the Toyota Land Cruiser is certainly one of them. Along with the Land Rover Defender and others, it made it onto our list of 90s SUVs that refuse to die. The particular model in question was the Land Cruiser J80 or 80 Series, which was produced for almost two decades starting in 1990, but it sold for a briefer period in the US.
It is as rugged and dependable as it gets, but some Toyota fans prefer the styling of the 60 Series which preceded it. Now, a company called Flex has combined the two to end up with what it calls the Wonder Land Cruiser, together with another company known as Renoca.
Yes, this is essentially a Series 80 Land Cruiser but with the older-style face of the Series 60, because what's better than classic SUV styling with more modern comforts and underpinnings? Just ask Osprey, which has made a business out of restoring classic Land Rovers in this fashion. Back to the Wonder Land Cruiser, though.
Unusually for a custom vehicle, Flex has gone as far as to set up a configurator for the Wonder with exterior color choices including Brown, White, and an army-like Green, along with an available leather top. There are over 15 interior seat options, but what we love is how none of these look too "modern"; all the trim choices match the period when the 80 Series was first sold.
In front, the rounded headlamps with a thin, blocky strip of silver trim surrounding them give the Wonder a nostalgic old-school charm, yet it enjoys all the advances that came with the 80 Series, such as the replacement of the rudimentary leaf springs with coil springs. The cabin was also a lot more comfortable than before.
For the chance to drive a Series 60 lookalike, the company will charge in the region of 3.3 million yen. At current rates, that is equivalent to around $32,400. That's not cheap, but considering that the Toyota Land Cruiser will soon depart the US market, and how solid the 80 Series still is, it's more appealing than ever and could become quite a collector's item.