18 January 2013
1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
Sold for $77,000
- Chassis no. FJ40-261406
• Rust-free Arizona example; recent frame-off restoration
• Finished in original Freeborn Red with Cygnus White hardtop
• Surely one of the best FJ40s in existence
Much like the vintage Land Rover, the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser has a devoted following all its own. Both vehicles were developed in the early-1950s and were based on the Willys M38 Jeep, which earned worldwide respect in WWII.
When Toyota and Land Rover went head-to-head in the 1960s, Toyota won nearly every encounter in the roughest parts of the former British Empire. The short-wheelbase FJ40 was harder to kill and didn’t require as much maintenance as its British counterpart. While the older Land Rovers enjoy limited use as distressed weekend showpieces, similar FJ40s can still be found on the job today as sturdy work trucks.
The FJ40 also made considerable inroads into the Jeep market in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s. Toyota then shifted its focus to the rest of the world in the 1980s; the barebones FJ40 was built in Brazil as the Bandeirante, in Venezuela as the Macho, and Australia still offers the updated 70 series for their rugged terrain. The last FJ40s were imported to the U.S. in 1983, after being replaced by a softer Land Cruiser SUV. Now, even the newest FJ40s in the U.S. are 30 years old, and as survivors, they are becoming scarce and the prices are rising. The best examples are becoming more exclusive, especially those featuring high-grade restorations.
The FJ40 on offer is a rust-free Arizona car that has been subject to a frame-off professional restoration. Fully documented and photographed, the frame has been powder-coated, the body media blasted, and it is described as “mechanically 100 percent.” A small lift accommodates the 33x10.50 Goodrich tires that have been mounted to the factory wheels. The interior has correct grey vinyl, and the hardtop is fitted with rear ambulance doors.
This FJ40 is surely one of the nicest examples and would be equally suited for the show field as it would be the Outback. After all, the Great Outdoors always beckons an adventurous owner.
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