1976 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser Land Cruiser
Sales - Design/Build - Restoration
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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. This 1976 FJ40 is the beneficiary of a complete, frame-off restoration that was conducted by seasoned professionals at The FJ Company. Once the truck’s Rhino-inspired body was worked all the way to bare metal, each of its rust-free panels was massaged and fitted to better-than-factory condition. Naturally, those panels’ surfaces were layered in correct Mustard Yellow and sealed under glossy clear. And presently, that modern two-stage wears a wet-looking finish that shoots glares and casts reflections better than any old school brush beater.
Aesthetically, this Cruiser is pretty predictable. But I mean that in a good way. It’s an excellent incarnation of the tough, boxy persona that populated the sports utility segment until the early part of this century. The only difference being: this truck’s ‘open’ bodywork trades pure form for productive function. Up front, a bright white grille centers a familiar “TOYOTA” badge between clean halogen headlights, fender-mounted parking lamps and a simple silver bumper. At the sides of that grille, tough vertical panels hang removable doors behind silver mirrors, flush fitting handles and gnarly Land Cruiser scripts. At the top of those panels, a tan top seals crack-free glass behind a hinged windshield, satin-finished wipers and a sculpted hood that features silver latches. And at the back of that top, familiar ambulance doors swing a full-size spare and silver tag lamps around fresh “TOYOTA 4 WHEEL DRIVE” badging, and a two-tone bumper that’s capped with clear tail lights.
Mechanically, this FJ exemplifies top notch restoration via its original engine, which was rebuilt with authentic Toyota parts. Unfurl the truck’s lightweight hood and you’ll find a 135 horsepower 2F 6-cylinder that looks good and runs great. Based on General Motor’s stalwart Stovebolt Six, Toyota’s famous overhead valve mill isn’t a grossly overpowered piece. 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 black block, restored air induction pipes wind to a freshly rebuilt Aisan carburetor. At the base of that carb, a silver, factory-correct valve cover caps factory intake and exhaust manifolds. At the base of that valve cover, a traditional points distributor sequences spark through new SEIWA High Power Resistance Cords. And the truck’s clean engine bay is dotted with many trail-ready essentials, including a re-cored radiator and fresh battery.
Built to mimic America’s hella tough Jeep, this old school SUV mixes a slew of factory-correct parts with enough ground clearance to give new meaning to the phrase ‘stump jumper’. Behind the engine, a rugged 3-speed serves up an awesome combination of off-roading prowess and inclement weather capability. New-for-1976 front disc and rear drum brakes have been augmented with modern power assist. The truck’s chassis, which rides on a cool combination of solid axles and beefy leaf springs, is fitted with a full ProComp suspension kit. Exhaust is handled by factory replacement pipes and a subdued sounding muffler. At the corners of the floor, black steelies spin 33x10.50R15 BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/As around simple stainless center caps. And, as far as appearance goes, the bottom of this clean Toyota is exactly what you’d expect from a lightly used restoration; proving that, while this Land Cruiser IS exceptionally nice, it’s certainly not something you should be afraid to get dirty.
Inside this classic, you’ll find a spacious and comfortable environment that has enough room to be your vehicle of choice for any weekend adventure. The professionally restored seats, front bench and folding, opposing rear jump, are wrapped in high quality vinyl. There’s a tight-fitting floor mat that seems much nicer than the truck’s age would suggest. In front of the driver, a boxy dash hangs a warp-free pad over clear gauges, restored knobs and a Toyota-branded radio delete. Below that dash, a duo of shifters operates both the 3-speed transmission and 4-wheel drive. Opposite those shifters, simple door panels, which display virtually no weathering, frame small plastic handles and traditional window cranks. And the driver stays connected to the road through a factory-issue steering wheel.
The sale of this vibrant rock crawler includes an assortment of restoration photos.
Fully functional and just as hard-working today as it was in 1976, this Toyota is an extremely cool vehicle that can easily earn its keep. Add in a high quality restoration, rare Mustard Yellow paint and an airy soft top, and it’s ripe for any Saturday afternoon activity. Super nice, professionally restored Land Cruisers are virtually impossible to find; don’t miss your chance to own one of the nicest FJs we’ve ever seen!
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