1978 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser

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 1978 FJ40 is a superb example fresh from a nut-and-bolt, ground-up restoration by a marque specialist. An original U.S. spec truck, desirably equipped with a hardtop and ambulance doors, this Land Cruiser is finished to a very high standard and features several carefully selected updates to improve its everyday usability. Photos from the restoration show the body was restored using an original all-steel Toyota tub, with other rust-free original panels sourced as needed. After repairs, the body was completely stripped and coated inside and underneath with textured Raptor liner for an additional layer of weather protection and sound deadening. It was then painted in the period correct shade of Olive Green (Code 653) using PPG paint for an authentic, factory-quality finish. The body received all new OE Toyota rubber gaskets, seals, and emblems, and it rides on new Toyota OEM steel wheels, painted the correct shade of gray, and fitted with chunky 33 x 10.50-15 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 black vinyl upholstery on the seats and door panels, rubber floor liners, and superb detailing everywhere you look. 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. Additional soft trim items such as the headliner, sun visors, and dash pad are new and correct to factory specs.

Mechanically, this FJ is in superb condition, with virtually no fastener left unturned during the restoration. The 2F engine was tested, inspected, cleaned, resealed, and topped with a reconditioned cylinder head. Ancillaries, including the alternator and exhaust system, are new, and the chassis features later-model Toyota “mini-truck” power steering. The suspension is by Old Man Emu, with new springs, shocks, greaseable shackles, stainless steel brake lines, and polyurethane bushings. Additionally, the front and rear axles were rebuilt with new bearings, gaskets, and seals.

As his tenth complete body-off project, the restorer applied his years of experience to this meticulously thorough restoration, which shows in every facet of this superb FJ40. The attention to detail and well-integrated modern amenities 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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