OUR PROCESS

Every build gets the same treatment - thousands of hours of craftsmanship at our shop produce some of the most unique, and high-quality vehicles in the world. Our team has a real knack for this stuff. Decades of restoration experience, combined with a true passion for classic 4x4 and a pursuit of nothing short of perfection. The end result is something you will cherish for years to come.

DESIGN

Schedule a consult and let us know your requirements or choose between our pre-built packages - Heritage, Outdoorsman, or Hunter. Those packages give us a base to start with, and an idea of what your interests are. From there our design team will work with you to build out your cruiser. At the very beginning of our process is a rigorous engineering approach to our projects. Our standard production models and even one-off custom projects are modeled and a design plan is established. During this stage we take into considering the use case for the vehicle based on client feedback, the body type, power/drivetrain configuration, and any accessories that the vehicle will have. We always lead the design process with a simple philosophy; stay faithful to the original classic and update it for modern use and comfort.

SELECTION

The actual build process begins with the selection of a donor vehicle for the project in mind. To have a solid foundation, only those with limited rust and integrity in the chassis qualify. Additionally, we try to limit our selection to those with original engines and gearboxes to prevent working on a chassis that has already undergone extensive modifications.

DISASSEMBLY

In this stage we completely disassemble the donor down to its chassis. Unless we are doing a classic restoration, mechanical and interior components are discarded or sold as scrap. Our Quality Control Team (QC) then inspects the chassis and body panels, and determines which components are suitable for use in the project. A work order is created detailing any body panels that need to be replaced and/or fabricated from scratch. Next, the chassis is inspected carefully and re-aligned to factory specs. This is possibly the single most important part of our process. And that is because after decades of hard work, these vehicles tend to have deviations in their structural integrity. For their new lifetime - with greater horsepower and at faster speeds - we need them to be straight. Even the smallest deviation will cause the vehicle to vibrate or behave strangely in certain conditions. Any usable body panels are then sent to our wet-blasting facility. Every bit of paint and body rust is removed from these components while applying a rust prevention inhibitor. Finally, the body panels and any related components are sorted and stored in restoration cubbies designated solely for each project.

BODYWORK AND CUSTOM FABRICATION

With the chassis stripped of paint and aligned back to factory specs, it passes onto the Fabrication Team. This is where we reinforce certain frame components and make the structural changes needed to take on the upgraded engine, transmission, steering and suspension setup. Then it is galvanized in molten zinc to prevent future corrosion, powder coated, and painted. In parallel with the final chassis work, our Body Work team is busy modifying or re-creating steel body panels - by hand - based on the particulars of the project.
For certain models and projects we have access to aftermarket panels that are brand new, high-spec, and a huge upgrade to your project. Then begins the arduous process of assembling the vehicle in what we call the “raw state”. This involves assembling every core component of the vehicle along with the accessories that will attach to the chassis and body, making sure that they fit correctly, and that gaps are within acceptable parameters. Because each vehicle is hand built, this is the only way to ensure the final assembly process goes smoothly. With the vehicle fully assembled, our QC team kicks back into gear and inspects the project vehicle using a 150 point check-list. If it passes, it goes into Preparation and Paint.

PREPARATION AND PAINT

After a successful inspection, the Body Work team disassembles the raw vehicle, they inventory its components, and pass it onto the Preparation Team. The Preparation Team is responsible for applying certain techniques that we have learned and developed over the years to minimize rust and extend the durability of your vehicles paint job. After the preparation stage, the body and chassis pass on to the Paint Team. This is where we apply color and coats of clear. Our paint team is run by experienced professionals that dedicate themselves day in/day out to ensuring we achieve better than factory finishes.

UPHOLSTERY ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL

In parallel with Preparation and Paint, our upholstery craftsmen have been busy cutting, stitching, and sewing. Every aspect of your interior is done in-house, using time tested materials. The electrical team is busy manufacturing the wiring harness for your vehicle from scratch based on the particulars of the project, and the Mechanical Team is preparing the power and drivetrain components having sourced the different pieces from Toyota suppliers in the US, the middle east, or Japan.

ASSEMBLY

This is the most rewarding step of the process. Like building a LEGO, the vehicle is assembled in a very specific order that has been developed over the years to allow for QC along the way, and to minimize damage to its different components. Starting with the chassis, the Mechanical Team assembles the drivetrain components: first the suspension, then axles, brakes, engine and transmission, and finally the fuel system. Then comes the body, new windows, new emblems, rubber seals, etc. Then the Upholstery and Electrical Teams come by and assemble the interior and finish accessorizing the vehicle: seats, door panels, lights, winch, sound system, etc.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Along the way, our photographers have been documenting the process. At the very end, the vehicle is ready for prime time. It goes into our studio for a detailed inventory of high-resolution pictures. This is a good time to review your project and give us feedback.

TESTING

After the studio, it hits the road for a minimum of 500 miles of testing. This is an on and off road course, over several days, where we “teach” the vehicle how to drive and work out its kinks. A final QC inspection, paint details, protective packaging, and off it goes!

A GUIDE TO PRICING

Understand that each build is as unique as its owner, and while we strive for accuracy, our pricing guide is a starting point to spur the imagination:

Full custom FRAME-OFF restorations beginning at $160,000. Recommended starting budget for a respectable build with a sourced donor vehicle: about $50,000.

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Available Starting times for Thu, Jun 20, 2024

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