NCE will Design & Engineer your Toyota FJ Cruiser to Power Top Toyota FJ Cruiser Convertible. NCE Edition!
Toyota does have a sense of humor. All it takes to see it is a look at the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser Convertible, a cartoon version of the old FJ40 Land Cruiser. It makes your daily commute feel like a trip to the beach.
Until, that is, the FJ Cruiser’s double-wide C-pillar blots out your ability to make a quick lane change during the crush-hour traffic. There must be some kind of comic irony to be found in a retro vehicle with severely impaired rearward vision.
As eager as we were to do some al fresco beach cruising in the FJ, it was hard not to resist the opportunity to watch one of NCE’s workers wield an electric saw in an attack on the FJ Cruiser’s offensive C-pillar along with the rest of the roof.
The whole spark-scattering, eardrum-shattering process (much like a fireworks display during a demolition derby) takes about 30 minutes. This is done after the interior has been stripped and the exterior covered in 3M Welding and Spark Deflection paper. It takes three workers to lift off the amputated roof.
What follows is the more exacting task of fitting the roll cage, bracing, top mechanism and then the reinstallation of the interior.
With the top down and the windows raised, the Toyota FJ Cruiser Convertible is nearly as temperate and draft-free as the hardtop FJ. Judging by the stares we get (well, except for the guy in the Wrangler straining to avoid eye contact), it’s even cooler on the outside.
Some people might like the humpback styling of the stock FJ Cruiser, but the general populace definitely feels the convertible vibe, especially the closer you get to the beach.
Zadeh’s engineering skill and the general sturdiness of the FJ convertible are verified when two sets of railroad tracks fail to induce a hint of cowl shake or vibration. While vehicle performance hasn’t been upgraded, the airy cockpit makes the FJ feel sprightlier. Being able to hear the V6’s raspy little exhaust note adds to the illusion of power.
Although the top retracts almost completely, it still rests above the FJ’s already high beltline, so visibility directly behind the driver remains compromised. Once it’s raised, the top seals well, with no annoying squeaks or rattles. But we must admit that there is only a slight improvement, if any, in terms of the dreaded blind spot.