That is one of THE nicest compliments imaginable, and you deserve my complete gratitude for it.
I've been tremendously fortunate, to be completely honest. I am NOT a very knowledgeable person, when it comes to technical details. Nor am I a very resourceful person either, when it comes to logistics handling. What I DO have, is a very stubborn bent of mind, when it comes to my rides. Cars paint pictures for me. I can visualise them, looking like this, or the other. And when my mind is made up, I'll (try to) do everything humanly possible to make that perceived vision come alive. Sure it'll meet with hiccups. That's inevitable, when you're birthing or rebirthing something out of cold steel. But once you've decided what you want done, how you intend doing it, and the amount of money you're willing to spend in the process...the rest (by and large) hinges upon how much luck you have in finding your rebuild team. And that's where I've been so lucky.
When this project first started, a gentleman by the name of Imran Ustaad was the first person I met. I'd never known him...never met him...but HAD heard about him, from my driver who'd taken my FZJ for some minor repairs to the chap. I told him of my plans...to build a radically designed FJ40, which would impose tremendous challenges on anyone silly enough to attempt this sort of a rebuild, in terms of workmanship, ingenuity, and creativity. To my surprise, he listened to every word. With a gleam in his eye. From thence, we met Nikku Ustaad (the frame specialist), Aamir Ustaad (the parts dealer), Jamil Ustaad (the denter / fabricator) and Billa Ustaad (who is eventually going to paint the rig).
I have no doubt at all that this is THE Dream Team of jeep rebuilds. They're absolute geniuses, in their respective areas of specialty. And what's more, the Phantom is NOT just "my ride" that they're rebuilding...it's THEIR ride. And they're every bit as critical, exacting, and PROUD of it, as I am. I just happen to be tagging along with them...having the ride of a lifetime!
I also wanted this ride to showcase just HOW much talent exists in Pakistan. My ambition is for this Phantom to be comparable to ANY modified off-roader anywhere in the world. And I DO mean ANYWHERE. And not just in terms of flashy paint and shiny wheels...I want this ride to be able to chew down anything in the way of mud, snow, ice and rock that is thrown its way. And ALL of this, from a vehicle that has been crafted BY HAND, from virtually the frame upwards, by a bunch of talented individuals who ply their wares, for a mere pittance...when compared to the astronomical sums that similar artisans charge abroad.
The fact that this rebuild serves as a catalyst to other readers and friends and brothers alike, is just the icing on the cake. It just goes to show...dream big! And even if you falter along the way, you'll have gained immeasurably from the journey, if not the destination.