Auctions and Brokerage
The Landmark FJ40
Rooted in a 1951prototype intended for Japan’s National Police Reserve, Toyota’s definitive third-series FJ40 Land Cruiser immediately earned a stellar reputation for ruggedness and the uncanny ability to traverse the most demanding terrain. Importation of the landmark short-wheelbase FJ40 to the US commenced in 1960 and continued through 1983, with supplementary models including the FJ45 four- door, pickup, and wagon variants imported from 1963 to 1967, and the family-oriented FJ55 utility wagon imported from 1968 to 1979. Although changed very little throughout its production run, the FJ40 nonetheless received careful and welcome refinements, including the addition of a four-speed transmission in 1974, and a bump in engine displacement and output to 4.2 liters and 135 hp for 1975. While immensely effective and popular, precious few of these workhorses survive intact today.
Quite rare and coveted as one of only an estimated 300 examples of the FJ40 imported to the US for the final year in 1983, this example was acquired in 2005 by the consignor and restored by the model experts at Englewood, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Cruisers. The entire vehicle was stripped; the body was repaired as necessary and then refinished in the original colors using a base/clear system, and the windshield, rubber seals, and emblems were replaced. The mechanical systems were carefully evaluated, with their various component parts rebuilt or replaced as required. Highlights include rebuilt braking, steering, and suspension systems, a thorough cooling-system overhaul, and complete engine servicing and tuning with the valves adjusted and the rear main-bearing seal replaced. The clutch, master, and slave cylinders were replaced, and driveline fluids were changed. The front bumper and rear bumperettes were replaced, a Warn winch was installed, and BFGoodrich tires were fitted. The Land Cruiser’s interior was restored with the installation of a new headliner and new seat covers, while both the roll bar and jump-seat frames were sandblasted and powder coated. An added desirable feature, Vintage Air SureFit air-conditioning ensures passenger comfort.
Following restoration, the FJ40 has enjoyed proper maintenance and careful garage storage. This Land Cruiser wonderfully recalls the consignor’s first vehicle – a 1972 FJ40. Reported to run beautifully, this rare final-year FJ40 truly represents the “holy grail” for committed Land Cruiser collectors and enthusiasts everywhere.