The Toyota Land Cruiser, along with its rivals from Jeep and Land Rover, are legendary for their off-road capability, reliability and near indestructability. From the rockiest outreaches of Patagonia to the parch deserts of Africa, the Land Cruiser has conquered any terrain its adventurous owners have dared to venture into. It was there, in some of the world’s most remote and toughest corners, that Toyota earned its reputation for reliability, thus creating a legend in the process.
The Land Cruiser’s origins trace back to the Korean War. The U.S. military, still stationed in Japan, tasked Japanese domestic automotive manufactures to create an equivalent to the Willys MB, or Jeep, for its resident forces. Toyota’s entry, the BJ (the initials referred to B-series engine and Jeep) was the design chosen. Produced from 1951 to 1955, the Toyota BJ acquired a new name, Land Cruiser. The name would eventually become the FJ40 (F for the engine type, J for Jeep) Land Cruiser in 1960.
It was not only the U.S. military who appreciated what the Land Cruiser had to offer, but Japan’s National Police Reserve Forces and other government agencies also recognized and tested the capacities and reliability of the plucky little Toyota. The Land Cruiser was soon climbing the formidable heights of Mount Fuji and Atago, reaching elevations previously achieved only by foot or horseback.
The mountain switchbacks of Japan soon gave way to the far larger expanses of the American marketplace. The Land Cruiser was among the first Toyota vehicles to be exported from Japanese shores, and as such was the standard-bearer for the brand. Leading the way for Toyota, the Land Cruiser introduced the American public to a wholly new means of automotive design and manufacturing quality, laying the foundation for Toyotas future dominance of the US market.
In all its various forms, the Toyota Land Cruiser has been sold in 170 countries, has seen more than 60 years of continuous production, ably serving duties from military transport, civilian off-roading, and purpose-built rally racers. This legacy is of no small consequence, but especially as it paved the way for the enormous international success of the Toyota brand. It is the longest continuously produced vehicle in Toyota’s history, with more than 10 million FJ units sold. Without question a cult classic, the venerable FJ40 has become the de facto face of the Land Cruiser line. Imported to the U.S. from 1963 until 1984, it remains popular on or off the road and continues to attract new enthusiasts world-wide.
The FJ40 would remain a fixture, with angular styling, a flat, white roof, wraparound rear windows and short overhangs that established an entirely new design aesthetic, one that would become iconic in a production run that lasted for more than 2 decades.
This classic FJ40 was treated to a quality full body-off restoration a few years ago and still presents beautifully. Finished appropriately in Dune Beige with gray steel wheels wrapped with period-style off-road tires, it is very clean throughout, including the undercarriage and engine bay. The paintwork is attractive and well-presented, with glossy, consistent finishing and a quality that befits the rugged character. Toyota’s venerable 3.9 liter “F” in-line six-cylinder is tidy and authentically detailed, runs smoothly, and is ready for action, sending power to all four wheels through a three-speed manual gearbox and two-speed transfer case.
The utilitarian cabin has just what you need and little else, with attractive orange-tan upholstery covering the front split bench and side-facing jump seats. Paint quality inside the body tub is as nice as the exterior, and rubber mats protect the floors from muddy boots. FJs famously came in many body and top configurations, and this example features a rarely seen beige canvas soft top with “ambulance door” layout in the back, affording driver and occupants the opportunity to enjoy open-air touring, on or off road. True to its original design, this example has been preserved with no modifications, giving it a classic, yet rugged look and feel.
Refreshingly presented in period-correct colors and configuration, this highly desirable and sought-after FJ40 Land Cruiser is ready take its next owner anywhere they may wish to go… no roads necessary.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7525
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