Toyota’s legendary Land Cruiser hardly needs an introduction. From its arrival in 1951 through today, the Land Cruiser has been the vehicle of choice for traversing the wilds of Africa, crossing the desolate Australian Outback, or navigating snowy urban streets. Toyota applied the Land Cruiser name to a wide variety of vehicles, ranging from utilitarian to luxurious, and virtually every variation can lay claim to legions of loyal fans. However, the FJ40 stands proudly at the top of the heap and is recognized as the most iconic and widely adored member of the Land Cruiser family.
This 1979 FJ40 is without a doubt one of the best examples of its kind we’ve had the pleasure to offer. Desirably equipped with a hardtop and ambulance doors, this Land Cruiser was recently treated to a body-off, nut-and-bolt restoration by an experienced FJ specialist. It is finished to a very high standard and features several carefully selected updates to improve its usability and durability. Extensive photo documentation of the restoration shows it began as a tired but complete truck before being completely stripped down to a bare chassis, with virtually every major component from the axles to the engine getting rebuilt and cosmetically restored. The original body tub was scrapped in favor of a high-quality aluminum ¾ tub supplied by Aqualu Industries to improve its long-term durability. All the remaining steel body panels (hood, fenders, grille, and rear doors) are factory OE parts that were media blasted to bare metal and etch-primed before restoration. The body is coated inside and underneath with textured Raptor liner for an additional layer of weather protection and sound deadening. The entire body was then painted in its factory original shade of Dune Beige, finished to a high standard with factory-authentic detailing. The body received all new OE Toyota rubber gaskets, seals, and emblems. It rides on restored original steel wheels, painted the correct shade of gray, and fitted with chunky 30-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/As for the perfect, purposeful off-road stance.
Inside, the cabin is restored to better-than-new standards, with factory-correct gray vinyl upholstery on the seats and door panels, rubber floor liners, and superb detailing everywhere you look. Additional soft trim items such as the headliner, sun visors, and dash pad are new and correct to factory specs. The instrument panel is restored with refurbished gauges, switches, and controls, and the knobs and vents for the new Vintage Air Gen 3 A/C system integrate nicely into the fascia.
Mechanically, this FJ is in superb condition, with virtually no fastener left unturned during the restoration. The 4-liter inline-six is completely rebuilt, with a .030 overbore, precision-ground crank, new pistons, bearings, oil pump, gaskets, and ancillaries. The cooling and fuel systems are updated with all new parts, and all components were detailed before installation. In addition to the air conditioning, updates include improved power steering, based on a robust Saginaw steering box and custom pulley setup. The suspension is all new and updated with greaseable shackles, polyurethane bushings, and poly body mounts.
The restorer applied his years of experience to this meticulously thorough restoration, and it shows in every facet of this superb truck. It is an absolute joy to pilot, feeling smooth, powerful, and exceptionally well sorted. Updates such as the power steering and modern A/C make it effortless to drive and remarkably comfortable to use in all manner of conditions – on or off the beaten path.
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