From the frozen tundra to wet equatorial marshlands, humans have fought our planet's varied terrain, intent on its invasion. Whatever we find, we either want to live on it, plant in it, or...simply...get across it. For every landscape, there's a story of transport innovation: feet became hooves, sleds, skis, then wagons. Eventually, we found our way around, over, and through damn near everything; but leave it to us to never be satisfied with victory. Late in the 19th century, the automobile appeared to complete our mastery over the unconquerable, and the 4x4 serves as our crowning achievement in wheeled utility.
Legacy Overland exists to honor the best of the breed. Their current "product lineup," as they call it spans three models from infallible Land Rover: the Series II, Defender, and Range Rover Classic. And if that's not enough of an all-star lineup, space was made for the Toyota Landcruiser to have a seat of honor among the Brits. These iconic trucks trace their philosophical roots to the ‘50s/60s and had fully come of age by the 80s. They're some of the oldest 4x4 models still serving faithfully as fun toys on recreational trails, trusty institutional work horses in under-developed countryside, and rugged weekday boulevardiers just barely civilized enough for the pavement. Any older and you're looking at museum pieces or rusted hulks on a farm. Go newer, and—well--do you really need all the bells and whistles? If Goldilocks were into off-roading, she would settle on one of these.
We talked to Legacy Overland a few weeks ago about their newest finished project, an impeccably-restored '82 BJ40. As it heads to the Greenwich Concourse d'Elegance next month, the finishing touches will be added to a gas-powered brother that will be showing at Pebble Beach. I know what you're thinking: "Impeccably-restored? Greenwich? Pebble Beach? Sounds an awful lot like the museum pieces you just scoffed at, Tatiana."
Ok, so it's a little fancier than a Chevy swap and a prayer. But Legacy Overland will build it however you want: from reference book restoration, to resto-mod, and on up the spectrum into aggressive builds. LO is but an offshoot of a company that’s been building 4x4s and restoring other types of classic vehicles for decades. They’ve done it all. Fact is, this little BJ falls square into the resto-mod category. It may come with a nice coat of code-correct paint and some powder-coating under the chassis, but it also gets a hi-lift jack, custom strengthened roll bar, Old Man Emu suspension components to keep it planted, and more. This truck is meant to be used, and...maybe...flipped over? If you doubt the sincerity of the company's intended use for their projects, take a look at the "Live It" program. Living it--Legacy Overland style--is mud, rocks, and adventure by day... chateaus, wine, and cigars by night. It's a fully bespoke experience planned just for you by an LO concierge. And while they're kind enough to maintain a fleet of trail-ready 4x4s for you to drive, I have it on good authority that you can actually take your newly-restored truck in a European-delivery/expedition combo. When it's all done, fly back home--relaxed, but a little sore--and wait for your baby to join you, with miles and memories already on the chassis.
Have a look around the Legacy Overland website. Enjoy the beautiful photography, and maybe pick out a restoration candidate of your own. If you're not into waiting, you can always bid on the BJ when it hits the Greenwich concourse.