Thank you for your advice and input, brother.
This project is still at the "conceptualisation" point...with this forum serving as a sounding board to air views and opinions. So of course, your opinion is also very welcome.
I'd disagree with you somewhat on the "not being a hot rod" score.
The engine under consideration would be either a 1UZ-FE VVTi (4.0L V8) or a 3UZ-FE VVTi (4.3L V8) or a Buick 455 (7.5L V8). Gears would possibly be the tiptronic 5/6 speed (in the 1UZ and 3UZ respectively), or a TH400 auto tranny (for the 455). Such a vehicle would be rear-wheels driven only. 4WD would be neither necessary, nor desirable. Diffs would be high speed ones geared towards speed rather than pulling power. All in all, this would weigh next to nothing (no mudguards, no bumper, short frame, no live front axle, almost non-existent rear tub, no exhaust piping, no creature comforts), with a very low centre of gravity.
With 300 odd bhp on tap, I think this would be a VERY fast car indeed. And I'm talking some serious speed here. For comparison, a modified '65 Impala I own (which weighs roughly four times such an FJ40 hot rod would) is fitted with a 300 bhp 1UZ, and I'd really like to see very many cars that can give it a run for its money. The power to weight ratio of such a machine would be phenomenal. Especially if you make it a point to cut down on weight (for example, fiberglass tub, fiberglass panels, fiberglass roof, all alloy engine, alloy wheels).
Then, comes the matter of styling. I mean...come on. A super-fast FJ40 lookalike, with a removable roof, removable doors, and a fold-down windscreen, that clings to the road like a leech? How "hotter" does it get?!