It's been a long time in the pipeline, but tomorrow the Phantom goes for its final paint work. This paintwork will be carried out in Islamabad rather than City Sadar Road, by the same artists who've painted the '67 Impala.
There was a huge amount of discussion on the colour choice. Most of which, took place between young Shayaan Hafeez and myself! Till the very last moment, he was keen on a shade of blue, while I maintained that the Phantom would look best in pumpkin orange. Guess who won?
So...pumpkin orange it is.
My reasons for this are manifold. First off, this is such a unique and distinctive colour on the FJ40. I think we've done all the other stock colours on the FJ40 to death, but pumpkin orange has somehow failed to be seen on a great many FJ40s in Pakistan. I think it'll be a terrific combination with black embellishments (bumper, undercarriage, kick vents, door and windscreen hinges, smokestack, snorkel, etc). This combination of orange and black also lends itself quite beautifully to the interior, which will be done up in matching shades.
Of course, certain touches in chrome will also be added. The jaali of the exhaust, for example. The jaali of the front grille. Some of the latches on the spare wheel mount and daala. And one area where I'm going to be impractical rather than sensible, is on the axle tube. The rear tube's differential cover is going to get the chrome treatment, too. The shackles are going to get a chrome layer, as well. Kabhi kabhi, you have to give in to the need to see some shiny stuff, even on a hardcore off-road rig!
Of course, now that the vehicle is going to be pumpkin orange and black, the bumper-mounted Hi-Lift jack is going to be colour-coordinated to match, too. As are the white Rancho shocks. The only thing that is going to be left white is the fiberglass roof, and the lettering "PHANTOM" on the rear wheel mount.
I should be able to get an estimate of how long it's going to take, by tomorrow, Insha Allah.
Let's bring this beast to life, finally!