From Icon 4×4 to East Coast Defender to Gateway Bronco, there is no shortage of pure craftsmanship dedicated to breathing new life into much loved vintage overlanders. However, all that fine handy work and attention to detail comes at a hefty price. Gateway Broncos builds start at just over $100,000, East Coast Defenders typically land in the $200,000 range and the Icon 4×4 flirts with $350,000. Thankfully, there are still some lightly restored overlanders out there carrying a much, much more affordable price tag, like this ’84 Land Cruiser, currently going for $13,000.
This FJ60 isn’t a frame-off restoration by any means, but the 4.2-liter 2F inline-six is rebuilt by Man A Fre, all the fluids were swapped, and the muffler, brake pads and spark plugs are all new. To top it off, the power steering pump, fan clutch, oil cooler, clutch, driveshaft, radiator and water pump are new as well. There are 233,000 miles on the chassis, but from some of the 400-plus photos available, it looks to be in remarkably good condition. Once you take a look the list of aftermarket add-ons, though, it’ll be easy to ignore the odometer.
ARB bumpers have you covered front and rear and come equipped with Hella lights and a Warn winch in front. Out back, there’s a swing out tire carrier, basket and dual tow-points. On top, you get a Wilderness Systems roof rack and underneath there’s a Man A Fre 38-gallon fuel tank, an Old Man Emu suspension lift kit and new BF-Goodrich All-Terrain tires. What looks like a two-tone paint job is actually Linex rubberized coating along the lower section for protection against dirt and mud.
The interior is delightfully civilized and stylish. Striped cloth front seats with chocolate-brown leather bolsters flank a lockable center console. There’s also a Uniden CB radio and Alpine CD-player with upgraded speakers for another touch of modern.
Last year was without a doubt overly saturated with full-on resto-modded vintage overlanders. But, if it means the market — small-time builders and enthusiasts — is spurred on to keep better care of, repair and upgrade old off-roaders like this, 2019 will be a treasure trove of four-wheelers.