My gratitude to those friends and brothers who've been diligently following this thread, despite my apparent absence from it. Also, my apologies to them, for having been absent all these days.
This weekend, too, finds me unable to visit the rebuild site...so the update is going to be more of a textual one, than a pictorial one!
I'm informed that the Phantom is about ready...with a few minor things to be added on / put right.
The beast currently stands, stripped of all paint, etc...and has been dented to a very high degree of perfection by Il Duce Jamil. The headlights (which were unable to be fitted initially because of the extra-broad radiator of the 1HZ) have been modified and now fit perfectly. For the front indicators, we've opted for Series 70 ones rather than the original FJ40 lights...which is in line with the philosophy of "yaar, lagdi tey FJ40 aey...par pata naein...shayad aey koi hor hi cheez aey".
The doors have received the treatment. They're satisfyingly creak-free, and are working perfectly.
The FRP roof has been jointed properly...and is now, a one-piece, fully-removable unit.
The rear seat (from a GMC Suburban) has been installed. It perfectly matches the dimensions at the rear (after catering for the rear wheel arches, roll cage, and rear window).
The roll cage is complete.
I've been told that the daala looks absolutely incredible with the overall stance and height and proportions of the vehicle. Since it's based on the rear quarter-panels of the donor FJ body, it lends a completely original look to the vehicle. Let me reiterate..."yaar, lagdi tey FJ40 aey...par pata naein...shayad aey koi hor hi cheez aey".
The sidebars / sidesteps have been completed. Again, I'm told they look rather nice.
Amongst the things remaining are the rear wheel garnish (which is likely to be finished today), the piped "half-gates" (which will be built, later) and the front seats (I'm STILL looking for a pair of Recaro / Sparco seats).
The vehicle will make its way over to Nikku and Imran Ustaads for about a week, on Monday. The purpose of this, is to sort out any remaining niggles / foibles that we might have with the suspension, brakes, shaft, drivetrain, etc. By roughly the beginning of the week following that, hopefully, we should have a ready-to-go Phantom, God willing.
I grow increasingly more excited as that day approaches. My plan is to cover the monster in primer, and a base coat, and drive around for a bit. Test it, try it, and torture it somewhat. In the meanwhile, after coming to know exactly ke yeh kitne paani mein hai...the colour selection process will commence, along with the final choices for the interior.
If Allah be willing...I've mentally set 14th August as the date by which we should have our homegrown, Pakistani-built apex predator; prowling the savannah!