A Family of FJs: 1976 Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser

Toyota FJ40s Projects

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If there was ever a vehicle I wish I had gotten into instead of my beloved 80s BMWs, the early Toyota Landcruiser is it. From their charming looks that embody everything a vintage rock-hopper should look like to their collectability as an emerging classic, the FJ40 just checks all the right boxes for me (not to mention their reputation for reliability). While I can’t pick one up at the current time, this seller on Alabama’s Craigslist is offering up a range of FJs from running projects to parts vehicles, giving the enterprising Landcruiser fanatic a good head-start on parts collecting. Find more info here on Craigslist.

1976 Toyota FJ40

Over the years, I’ve seen some fascinating FJ finds. I’ve mentioned before that a neighbor had one rusting away in their driveway for years; I never made a move on it. I chased down photos of several old FJs used as transportation around a once-active mine that had long since shut down but the red FJs belonging to the mine owner remained on the scene, ready to plow a trail through rocks and rubble. Never found those! And just recently, when visiting my wife’s family in Florida, I saw a newly unearthed FJ sitting under the carport of a local, small used-car dealer, driving my mind wild with curiosity of what was next for one of the coolest vintage cruisers ever made. Rest assured my father-in-law is on the case.

Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser

For as long as I can remember, FJs were not anything collectors got excited about. Over the last few years, this has seemingly all changed, with restoration shops sprouting up that specialize in FJ resto-mods and some overly-restored models fetching huge numbers at major auction events. It makes me wonder if, as the supply of rust-free models continues to dry up, prices for clean, unrestored classics will go sky-high and even examples in average/rusty condition will enjoy a modest spike in value (see, “Porsche 911.”) However, as Keith Martin of Sports Car Market notes, the rise in value has likely peaked: “Let’s just say the FJ40 has evolved from a flavor-of-the-month speculator special to a solid collectible, with predictable pricing.”

Toyota FJ40 Cruisers

One of the things I lament about my project cars is that neither is a vehicle that has tremendous utilitarian value, which is nice to have when justifying the expense of a second or third vehicle. The FJ40, with its removable top, brawny looks and proven off-road capabilities, is the perfect choice for traversing a muddy trail in the Pacific Northwest or winter transport for some downhill skiing in Vermont. Toyota’s pioneering effort into the world of Japanese SUVs occupies a unique place in the automotive food chain: it’s desirable for what it can do right now in the field, and it’s pursued for its growing collectability as a vehicle that is rarely seen in condition described as anything other than rusty or used up. While this listing shows several vehicles that fall into the latter category, one or two of them may be worth bringing back to life. Would you take the chance on a casual restoration project to see if values continue to rise? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. RickyM

    More Landcruisers ! Nice line up in the background of the previous Humber post too……….

    Like 0
  2. Jeff LaveryAuthor

    Glad you enjoyed the, Ricky. I think the old-school Landcruisers (heck, even the ones made in the 80s) are among the most interesting projects out there today.

    Like 1
  3. geomechs geomechsMember

    I’ve always liked the FJ40s. Their no nonsense design was always appealing. About the only thing I DON’T care for is their tendency to rust. One thing you can count on with this bunch: restoring any of them is going to be costly.

    Like 0
  4. jim s

    with this much rust on the bodies i would be looking very close at the frames. these have a great following and i think all the parts can be bought new. but i would go for the best rust free one for the money i had to spend. nice find

    Like 0
  5. cory

    there were a few of them around town when I was in high school. I always loved them and envied them. they just had a coolness factor that was missing in the jeeps. the guys I knew that owned them actually used them up in the mountains . I always got a sense that they were ready adventure. as a kid I always thought it would be the ideal vehicle for me to drive through South America on a wild exotic road trip with no roads.

    Like 0

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