We hope you've liked what OFF-ROAD magazine has turned into in the past year. In early 2008 (the February 2008 issue to be exact), we took OFF-ROAD and gave it a much more specific direction than it has ever had. We've tried a few different things here and there, but our core direction should have come through loud and clear. If you weren't listening, then let us spell it out for you: we cover fullsize trucks, go-fast off-road vehicles, side-x-sides, daily-driven off-roaders, and the high-performance side of the off-road industry.
Last month the OFF-ROAD staff sat down and deliberated for hours to find the four trucks of 2008 that best represented what we intend this magazine to cover. Well, maybe that's not completely true: we really just found the coolest trucks that we liked the most in the last 12 issues of the magazine. It just happens that they are perfect representations of everything we've been trying to make this magazine represent.
We hope you'll agree with us that these four beauties were worthy of taking a second look at.
FJ40 Flyer 1963 Toyota FJ40
One of our sales guys brought this FJ40 to our attention quite a while ago. He told us, "I think it's the type of thing you're looking for." But we had our doubts. Our sales guy is a Landcruiser buff, and though we understood his bias, we weren't really sure a modfied FJ40 would fit the direction we were trying to take. But we're glad to admit we were wrong. When we finally saw the pictures of Mike Davis' FJ40, we knew it we had to have it in OFF-ROAD's June 2008 issue. Mike deviated from his original build plan part-way through, and with the help of Central Coast Prerunners and JR Motorsports came up with an FJ40 that could do it all. And on a short wheelbase, too! The original 'Cruiser axles were kept, but links were built for the front and rear, and coilovers now floated the chassis instead of leaf springs. You can see how the lower rear links were actually designed with uniballs hard-mounted on the axle, perpendicular to the way most pivoting ends are mounted. This was part of the original plans that called for a rockcrawler that would have excellent side-to-side twistability.
We really like the direction Mike's FJ40 took halfway through. Now he has a 4x4 that he can go hit trails with and also scream across sand dunes and deserts in.
|Vehicle: ||1963 Toyota FJ40 |
|Owner: ||Mike Davis of Orcutt, California |
|Chassis: ||Toyota full frame |
|Engine: ||Chevy 327ci V-8 |
|Drivetrain: ||Muncie 4-speed tranny, stock Toyota transfer case, FJ40 axles, limited slip diffs, 4.56 gears |
|Front Suspension: ||4-link w/ panhard rod, Sway-A-Way coilovers |
|Rear Suspension: ||3-link with upper triangulated link, Sway-A-Way coilovers |
|Steering: ||crossover steering using rod ends and a custom-fabbed pitman arm |
|Brakes: ||Disc brakes all around, Advance Adapters rear disc kit |
|Tires/wheels: ||37-inch BF Goodrich Baja T/As on 17x8 Robby Gordon Ultra wheels |
|Interior: ||PRP seats, aluminum dash, Auto Meter gauges |
|Other Parts: ||DOM rollcage using 2-inch and 1 3/4-inch tubing |