When I first started this thread, I had just taken delivery of a stock, recently-auctioned 1984 TLC FJ40.
Gaari to khareed lee, lekin I had little/no idea of what I was going to end up doing to the vehicle. For a very long time, I planned to give it a "decent" sort of makeover: something involving some nice tyres, a respectable paint-job, comfortable seats, a roll cage, and that's about it. At that time, little did I know what was in store for me...
Somewhere along the line, this project developed a life of its own. Baaton baaton mein, it metamorphosed from being a quick, run-of-the-mill restoration into something quite ambitious and challenging. Something that was in-your-face, and in-your-guts. Something, the likes of which we had seen chronicled in the pages of Off Roader magazines...but something which we'd never really attempted back home.
This rebuild is STILL ongoing. It's far from over, just yet. But along the way, it's indeed become something which seems to have a life of its own. Ironically, this as-yet-unfinished vehicle has developed a...character.
While it may not be the most ego-stroking fact...a lot of people know "The Phantom...jiss ka maalik woh Fouad Hafeez hai"...rather than knowing "Fouad Hafeez...jiss ke paas woh Phantom hai"
Also, along the way, this vehicle has been instrumental in my making a huge number of friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers alike. Without a doubt, all of these people are gentlemen; sporting enthusiasts, and engine afficianados, and automotive hobbyists...with whom, a common love for the sport, has brought us to common ground. Their support, good wishes, advice, expert opinions, constructive criticism, and attention to detail, has made this hunk of steel slowly emerge into its current shape. I have no doubt that the end product will be a fusion of the ideas and aspirations of all of these friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers. To all of you; my deepest gratitude. It has been (and will be) one helluva ride, so far!
For now, though, this thread (having picked up over 700 replies) is going to undergo some TLC of its own. A chronicle (in pictures) of all the water that's flown under the bridge, thus far, as we progress towards the desired end state (shown in the last picture of this post). Let the photos begin!
And...I think it's about time for some of the photos to change here, too.