CLASSIC NOT PLASTIC

4WORD MATT RAUDONIKIS

One of the more enjoyable parts of working with 4X4 Australia magazine, as opposed to many other car mags, is the blend of old and new vehicles we get to dabble with. While itís nice to drive all the latest and greatest four-wheel drives (like we did for 4X4 Of The Year recently), I really love seeing the older 4x4s that people are restoring and driving around the country. The new cars just donít bring out the passion or pleasure that the old jiggers do.

Even the retro vehicles invoke more emotion and comments from onlookers than the latest models do, so it was with a big smile this month that I signed off on the cover featuring three of the classics.

While the Land Rover Defender and Jeep Wrangler are as retro as they come, the ICON FJ44 is a tribute to the classic Land Cruiser and, interestingly, this particular example is one of the most costly 4x4s you will find anywhere. $500K is a large whack of coin in anyoneís pocket and only a lottery win would see the hand-built ICON in my shed, but Iíd have one in a heartbeat if I could.

While the ICON FJ might be out of reach for most of us, take a look at Brett Andersonís FJ45, also seen in this issue. It shows what can be done to keep a classic on the tracks, and with a bit of TLC and regular maintenance, you can have the coolest rig on the road.

Brett has a shed full of new Toyotas at his disposal, but prefers to take the FJ45 away on holidays with his mates.

The passion these old cars invoke is infectious. 4X4 contributor and former editor Dean Mellor loves his Land Rovers and I could tell he was excited about the prospect of driving the Heritage Edition Defender when I told him Iíd lined it up. You can hear it in his voice in the video he did on the exclusive limited edition models that can be found on our website at www.4x4australia.com.au. Get online and check it out.