Words by Matthew Scott.
Photography by Marc Fiorito of GammaNine.
The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser you're looking at needs to sit down and take a long, long nap - which I'm suspecting it did shortly after we took these photos at Overland Expo. Before the owner Benjamin Meddows through us the keys to check it out, the truck had just finished driving from New Jersey the day before, prior to that, it was on a container from Belgium being returned after a long adventure bashing through the desert of Morocco in the all-women's Rallye Aiche des Gazelles.
The X-Elles used this truck competing as one of the few American teams in the difficult rally-raid style race. No doubt the huge laundry list of modifications helped them complete their first event with no trouble from the vehicle at all. They're even so confident in the vehicles traction and their recovery device of choice (Maxtrax) that they've recently removed the two winches that used to be installed on the vehicle - it deffinetly saved them some weight to say the least.
Since Ben's day job is running Outback Proven and importing some of the finest Australian 4wd accessories offered in the United States, it's logical that there's a laundry list of kit from the land down under installed on the vehicle. Starting with the ARB Deluxe Bull Bar with Lightforce Genesis Lights and the Kaymar Dual Swingway Tire Carrier all the way to the Safari Snorkel it's clear that he's continued the OZ theme very well. One of the most impressive, and important features of this vehicle considering it's dual use as a trail machine and a rally-raid desert racer is the ICON Dynamics Suspension, it's fitted with front remote reservoir coil overs, and matching rear remote reservoir shocks - Icon's bulletproof billet aluminium upper control arms and rear trailing links have also been fitted to make this truck fly through the desert and still be durable on the trail.
- 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4.0L
- BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2, 285-70-R17 = 31.7"
- ATX Mojave Wheels
- Suspension -
- Front: ICON Vehicle Dynamics front coil over shocks with remote reservoir, billet aluminum upper control A-arms
- Rear: ICON Vehicle Dynamics rear remote reservoir billet aluminum rear trailing links and heavy duty ARB springs.
- MAXTRAX Vehicle Recovery System and MAXTRAX wheel carrier
- Rasta 4x4 aluminum skid plates, and side steps
- Kaymar dual tire carrier
- ARB bull bar and IPF driving lights
- Lightforce genesis lights
- Tuffy Security rear drawer and Cargo barrier.
- Safari snorkel.
- Bushwacker fender flares
- Piranha dual battery system
- ARB fridge
Four limited edition pink Maxtrax keep the truck moving in the right direction.
Still fresh with bugs from a cross country jaunt.
Even in the desert race environment the Kaymar bumper held up well.
The ATX Mojave wheels look great when combined with the flat black vehicle wrap.
One of the coolest things about the interior of the truck is that the center console is wrapped like an actual Maxtrax!
Rally rules - they need to know what fuel to put inside the vehicle!
The rear remote reservoir Icon shocks.
Front billet aluminum upper control arms and the remote reservoir coil over.
Billet rear trailing arms from Icon.
A remnant of the winches that used to be mounted to the front of the vehicle - not needed anymore with the Maxtrax according to Ben.
Rasta 4x4 skidplates are protecting the underbody of the vehicle.