It was a sunny, shiny day when our freshly restored 1980 Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40 rolled out into the wild. After months of intensive care in our workshop, it was about time that this glossy, Dune Beige-painted beauty returned to nature, where it can do what it does best: off-road! What they say is true: Land Cruisers are the best vehicles for going off-road, anywhere, any time.
One of the longest-running and most cherished overland cars ever, the 40 series has stood the test of time thanks to its robustness and trustworthiness. So, before we went out there to shoot, we had to contemplate on the best ways to portray what is probably the most famous off-road vehicle ever built. How do you do justice to such a colossus?
It was quite a challenge to show an FJ Cruiser is the perfect choice for off-road excursions, while keeping the tires clean and making sure the paint job remained glossy and untouched. Models with grueling demands may be tiring. But “models” who can’t speak take the challenge to a whole new level. You have to anticipate needs and make sure nothing falls out of place. A roadless countryside is not the easiest scenario to capture an old 4x4 but, truth be told, there’s no place where it fits better.
Finding locations for an off-road shoot involves a lot of pre-production work. You have to be ready to get your shoes dirty. But in the end, all the efforts are worth the thrill of seeing a classic 4x4 shining like it used to. We knew what we needed to find the perfect spot for this quintessential adventure vehicle. The work was hard but we found a remote place near the river – the kind of refuge only a Land Cruiser could reach. Someone asked: “Guys, you all know this is the place, right?”. Of course we knew. Our dune beige beauty was shining like a diamond.
And what a day it was: the sun couldn’t have shone brighter when our crew set out to immortalize our beloved BJ Cruiser in a memorable photoshoot. A photographer, a videographer, a drone specialist, a stylist and a model – this was the skillful and devoted team that spent a whole day trying to frame all the landscapes and capture all the angles that make this 40 series model a new vintage motor worthy of its heritage. A lot had to be done before this photoshoot happened: the car needed to shine like a diamond and all the dust had to be removed. Well, just kidding.
Much like the name implies, this off-roader is meant to be driven, not to be locked in a museum. But all the details matter: we had to drop the tires pressure because we didn’t want the car to cut through the sand - we wanted it to slide along the sand. To make this beauty drive in front of our eyes we had to go for a “guys-to-car” shoot. Well, we didn’t use a car to drive next to our 4x4. Instead, our photographer and videographer were perched over the Land Cruiser, filming everything as the car was chased by the sun (and driven by the model).
Cool, robust and always eager to go for a ride, our Toyota Land Cruiser was in its element regardless of where we placed it, water or land. Sunbathed and posing in the riverside, it looked like a true star, a Steve McQueen of our days. Wait until you see the photos: they’ll remind you of exciting, endless summer days, when you don’t have a care in the world. The kind of days this classic truck was rebuilt for. And, you know, life gets easier when you drive a classic 4x4 restored by Legacy Overland.