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Best of the Best 2008: Speciality Vehicles: Off-Road Vehicle: TLC Icon

Paul Meyers

Each TLC Icon originates as the bare chassis of a 1958–1983-era Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, a Japanese SUV with legendary off-roadworthiness. But the Icon is much more than just a rebodied throwback; it is a thoroughly reengineered mountaineering machine with customizable specifications that include two distinct body styles—one modern and one decidedly more retro, featuring a Toyota-sourced stamped-steel hood.

Engine choices range from a 5.7-liter V-8 that develops 350 hp to a 2.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 135 hp and 276 ft lbs of torque while achieving a relatively earth-friendly 25 miles per gallon of low-sulfur biodiesel. The notion that people who spend time enjoying the great outdoors might have an interest in preserving the environment is worth consideration, and there may be no better way to save the planet while exploring every inch of it. Prices range from $96,500 to about $135,000; get your deposit in early, because TLC only builds 20 Icons per year.

TLC, 818.785.2200, www.tlcicon.com

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