Land Cruiser FJ40
BODYWORK / TRIM
Born from practicality and wartime necessity, the Land Cruiser began life as a reverse engineered Bantam GP that Toyota assembled for the Imperial Japanese Army. The truck's rugged construction and tidy proportions proved extremely useful when it came to transporting soldiers, towing equipment and all-terrain motoring. And eventually, circa 1953, Toyota decided to market its proven creation directly to civilians. Rolling handsome thanks to a ground-up restoration that was completed in 2017, this 1971 FJ40 was employed by the Meritorious Committee for the Deaf and Blind of Guatemala until sometime in 2014. After three years of being driven by a private owner, the truck was worked straight and carefully sprayed in tasteful tan 2-stage. And today, its profile reflects a serious demeanor that's clean, charismatic and exceptionally competent.
Inside this classic, you'll find a spacious and comfortable cockpit that has enough room to be your vehicle of choice for any weekend adventure. The vinyl-wrapped seats include a front split-bench that features an extended track for taller drivers. In front of those seats, a body-matched dash frames crisp gauges and restored accessory knobs. Below that dash, a duo of shifters, one for the 3-speed and one for the 4-wheel drive, ride thick floor mats. Opposite those shifters, tan doors frame small handles and traditional window cranks. And the driver spins a factory-issue steering wheel around a monochromatic Toyota horn button that jolts upgraded, 1975 trumpets.
DRIVETRAIN / SUSPENSION
Built to mimic America's hella tough Jeep, this old school SUV features part-time 4-wheel drive and enough ground clearance to give new meaning to the phrase “stump jumper”. Like its engine, the truck's rugged 3-speed and factory differentials were completely overhauled during the comprehensive restoration. Factory drum brakes have been exchanged for power-assisted discs, which became standard Land Cruiser fare as of 1975. The truck's chassis rides a solid-axle suspension that, thanks to Old Man Emu shocks, springs and shackles, stands 1.5 inches taller. Factory replacement pipes shuttle spent gases through a mid-mount muffler. And at the corners of the floor, hard-to-find split-rims spin 31x10.50R15 BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/As around stainless-trimmed Aisin hubs.
Pop the bonnet and you'll find a super clean F155 6-cylinder that wears a familiar “F” assembly stamp. Based on General Motor's stalwart Stovebolt Six, Toyota's famous overhead valve mill isn't a grossly overpowered piece, producing a competent 125 horsepower. But it's certainly proven its ability to get this compact 4x4 out of many tight situations and tow just about any moderately sized toy its owners can imagine. At the top of the sturdy block, a rebuilt Aisan carburetor drops a perfect combination of air and fuel in to a web of cast intake and exhaust manifolds. At the side of that carb, a “TOYOTA” branded valve cover caps factory-spec internals. At the base of that cover, reliable electronic ignition sequences spark between a Toyota-branded coil and pliable plug wires. And the truck's glossy engine bay is dotted with many trail-ready essentials, including fresh belts, a rebuilt alternator and a Toyota fuel bowl.