Like its competitors from Land Rover and Jeep, Toyota Land Cruisers have traditionally been offered in various configurations and models simultaneously, which is still the case today outside of the American market. The recent surge in popularity of the FJ40 has made it the most widely recognized of the “classic” Land Cruisers, however, there were other models available concurrently that offer the same legendary toughness and go-anywhere capability that the FJ40 is famous for.
Toyota supplemented the Land Cruiser lineup in 1968 with a more civilized station wagon model designed to appeal to North American and Australian buyers. This new model featured reworked styling on a long-wheelbase chassis that was all around more comfortable for family use than the utilitarian FJ40. Sitting on a long-wheelbase chassis with the same 3.9 liter F-series inline-six cylinder as its 40-series brethren, the FJ55 was a step above the FJ40 in terms of space and all-round comfort. While officially known as the FJ55, it has become colloquially known as “The Moose” or the “Iron Pig” thanks to its somewhat unconventional and brutal looks. Such nicknames may have had a derogatory slant at first, but today, these trucks are widely respected for their rarity and ruggedness. The looks have aged gracefully and it has wholly earned its place as a cult classic. There’s no doubting the importance of this model either, as today’s ultra-luxurious and capable Land Cruisers can trace their lineage directly back to the FJ55. From 1968-1975, the FJ55 was available in the North American market with the venerable F-series six-cylinder engine. As with any classic off-roader, many examples suffered from corrosion thanks to a lifetime of service in the types of harsh environments where these rugged trucks thrived, and a specialized market means restorations can be difficult, leaving few examples left in the market today. Collectors have begun to pay serious attention to the FJ55 given the recent increase in value of its vastly more common sibling, the FJ40.
This outstanding FJ55 comes to us in fully restored and highly correct condition. Starting with a rust-free California truck, an Arizona-based Toyota enthusiast embarked on a comprehensive, nut and bolt, body off restoration that has resulted in one of the finest examples of its kind. All standard FJ55s were offered in two-tone color combinations, and this truck’s wonderful Royal Blue (also called “Smurf Blue” by fans) and Alpine White paint scheme is among the most striking available. The body is remarkably straight and sound, far and above the quality of the average 55-series, and the paint is beautifully laid down with deep gloss. Exterior trim is minimal as Toyota cleverly used the two-tone paint to break up the body and accentuate the shape. What trim there is, is limited to side and rear emblems, some bright window moldings, a chrome mirror and a pair of very sturdy and functional painted steel bumpers. This truck rides on a set of factory correct steel wheels with dog-dish hubcaps and chunky off-road tires that are perfectly proportioned, giving a fantastic stance. As part of the full restoration, all of the rubber seals and body gaskets have been replaced, giving this truck a tight, like-new feel.
The interior of the FJ55 could hardly be described as luxurious, but our featured truck has been incredibly well restored and presents in fabulous condition. Its rugged functionality comes through in basic black vinyl trim, an austere but sensibly laid out dash panel and easy-clean rubber floor mats. Options and equipment include seat belts, radio, factory heater and even air conditioning.
The 3.9 liter F155-series inline six has been fully detailed to factory standards with virtually every nut, bolt and bracket refinished or plated in gold cadmium. Given that these trucks thrive in harsh, off-road situations, it is exceptional to see one in near showroom-new condition. The torquey inline six is mated to the original three-speed manual gearbox and a four-wheel drive transfer case with lockout front hubs. In its day, few civilian vehicles could match the FJ55 for its off-road prowess and six-passenger capability. While the FJ40 may be the fashionable choice among many of today’s collectors, the FJ55 offers enhanced utility, unique style and greater exclusivity in a fun and rugged package. It is exceptionally rare to find an FJ55 that has been restored to such a high standard and this beautiful truck is ready for any adventure you have planned.