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Bruiser Cruiser: 1974 Toyota FJ55 Land Cruiser

This big, tired, and slightly-beat bruiser is a 1974 Toyota FJ55 Land Cruiser. It’s only fitting that a big vehicle would be a big project. This one is listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $1,999 and there is a buy it now price of $2,599. It’s located in beautiful Yakima, Washington

The big FJ Land Cruiser “station wagon” was made for the 1968 (some sources say 1967, some say 1965) to 1979 or 1980 model years. I’m not a guru on these vehicles so one of you will know the exact years. I just know that they’re my favorite Toyota 4×4. This example is in rough condition. I’m surprised to see so much rust on a Washington state vehicle, did I miss the fact that they must salt the roads there? I didn’t think they did that, being a “chain-up” state.

This Land Cruiser “is part of an estate sale” says the seller. They also say that the”All original glass is in tact “. Hey, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? I can’t imagine a world in which this FJ55 gets restored but maybe someone will take it on.

There isn’t a photo of the driver’s side front area of the interior which is a little strange. As you already know, this example will need to be gutted to the bone. I’m assuming that several generations of rodents have lived in that interior over the years. There is a photo from the exterior of the driver’s side showing the dash through the windshield and it isn’t pretty.

This truck has the “Original hand crank still works on the front of the vehicle for a manual start”, now that’s cool. Could you imagine starting your big Land Cruiser in the parking lot with the hand crank? You’d be an instant legend. This dusty, debris-covered engine is Toyota’s 3.9L inline-six which would have had 125 hp. The seller says that “This land cruiser was last running a year ago and will run with gas and a battery but will need a carb rebuild”, so maybe that’s a good sign? Have any of you owned a big FJ55 Land Cruiser? Will this one ever be on the road or trail again?

Comments

  1. Poptheclutch

    Wow.i don’t think I ever seen a dash look like that…crack city man.
    That would be really cool hand cranking
    Starting that engine though!🤘😎

    Like 2
  2. Wayne

    I bought one that was the twin to this one for $500 about 15 years ago. The body was better than this one, but not by much. I bought it for parts for my FJ40 since it had a winch on the front and the front disc brakes that my FJ40 did not. When driving it home I was amazed at nice it drove. Once home I found 2 grocery bags in the back seat full of every a receipt ever spent on the “Crusher” (It had been a one owner vehicle.) To my amazement every drivetrain and brake part had been rebuilt within the previous 30,000 miles. Since the body was off my FJ40 it received all the drivetrain from the JF55.
    (all of my previous upgrades were swapped over, like headers, modified distributor, exhaust, etc.) One of the best deals I have ever made. My son then took the rolling chassis to High School auto shop and they built a rock crawler out of it using 1 ton axles and driveline (including 2 transfer cases) from a Dodge with a 440.

    Like 6
  3. jdjonesdr

    Rode hard and put away wet.. Hundreds of times.

    Like 1
  4. Howard A Member

    Cue “X-Files” music ( or Twilight Zone for us old farts) I had this exact vehicle, a 1970. Mine had the PTO driven winch ( via a 4 foot driveshaft, that clanked and rattled) 3 speed on the column, this has the much better 4 speed. The engine, which is modeled after the Chevy in-line 6,( look familiar?) probably one of the best motors Toyota made, it powered everything, from these to big 4 door Toyota limousines, to bigger trucks, it rarely failed. It was made from 1955 to 1992, an impressive run. As strong as these were, rust, as usual, was it’s Achilles Heel. The rust was so severe on mine, the body actually separated from the frame, I pulled the winch (which I found out later only works on the 3 speed)and it was junked. I posted this before on the last LC post, but in case you missed it, mine didn’t even look this good. I’m finding out many of these LC’s ended up here in Colorado. ( one person in my town has 8 of them) These wagons were much more civilized than the FJ40. I’d venture to say, in the early 70’s, before America jumped on the 4 wheel drive Suburban band wagon, for an all wheel drive station wagon, this was as good as it got.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew-turnbull/3295884452

    Like 1
  5. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Every time I see one of these old Cruisers it reminds me of the mom’s car in Lost Boys

    Like 0
  6. Gay Car Nut Tacoma

    Thanks, but I’d rather start the FJ55 with a key. I saw an immaculate Toyota Land Cruiser FJ55 not too long ago. It was the same colour as this.

    Like 0
  7. scrapdaddy

    We have a great group of guys who rebuild, restore and use 55s. In two weeks we’re meeting up at the Grand Canyon should be @ 20 of us. The biggest issue with 55s is the rust, not much in the way of replacement metal, so you have to hand make them. That dash can be be covered with a cap.

    Here’s mine…

    Like 6
  8. chad

    the 55 body is alot different than the 60?
    How bout the rest (drive train, suspension, etc)

    Like 0
  9. scrapdaddy

    FJ60 got wider axles, better transfer case, everything got improved through the years. As the bodies got heavier the axles got beefier, etc. I’m running 60 axles and a 5 speed trans.

    Like 1
  10. cyclemikey

    Compered to most of the FJ55s that you find, this one is practically rust-free. These are terrible rust magnets, but great old trucks.

    Like 0
  11. C.Jay

    I’ve had a couple and abused them!

    Like 1
  12. Chris in America ( for the moment)

    Hand crank story. Frazer Island, Australia, circa 1984. Over much beer and BS, we get the hand crank out of John’s short wheelbase ‘cruiser.
    Chappo tries it, fires it up first time. Not one of the others, or Chappo managed it again. You’re cranking a big engine here.

    Like 0

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