The moulded front floor mat in a Land Cruiser 40 Series has been discontinued for quite some time. As the years go by, most of the original floor mats have gotten quite tattered if still present. Various aftermarket solutions have been offered, ranging from multi-piece stitched together to one big blob of material with no pattern. It's fair to say all have fallen short of the original design. As a result, the desirability and scarcity of the original floor mat have pushed prices of decent examples to astronomical levels.
We've seen this scenario before! Therefore, we decided to undertake a project to recreate the floor mat for a '73 to '78 FJ40, which is the predominant type in the U.S. market. As simple as the OEM floor mat may appear to be, it is no simple feat to create a mat of this sort due to the combination of 3D shape, heel pad patterns, and background texture. Furthermore, the cost is daunting due to the size of the mould and low production volume. Keep in mind Toyota produced over a million 40 Series Land Cruisers, and the floor mat still cost over $400 to purchase back in the day.
The project has taken us nearly 2 years, with several restarts and reassessments. It's been a tremendous learning process that's taken our capabilities to the limit. The key requirements we set forth are as follows:
- It must have the same appearance and attributes of the original mat: The moulded shape, the cuts and borders around the perimeter, the heel pad, the patterns on the transmission hump, various texture in the background, etc.
- We will leverage modern technology and materials to make improvements where it makes sense, most notably usage of computer aided design, modern PVC material to enhance durability.
- Support for a "hose-out" interior. Absolutely no foam backing that can attract and retain moisture.
- Support for multiple transmission configurations (3/4/5 speeds, column shift, V8 with automatic etc) by not pre-cutting the shifter holes.
The only aspect we elected not to replicate is the "TOYOTA" logo on the heel pads due to copyright reasons.
It's been a long journey, but we are very excited by the result. The legend of the Land Cruiser is made up of many hallmark parts. This is one piece you will enjoy every time you step into the car.