Fully Documented: 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

Finding any classic vehicle that has five decades under its belt and comes with a known and fully documented ownership history tends to be reassuring. When the vehicle in question can also serve as a reliable daily driver, that makes it more tempting still. That is the story behind this 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. The seller is the vehicle’s second owner, and he holds every piece of documentation dating back to when the original owner took delivery from the dealership. He intended to keep the Cruiser forever but changed circumstances mean he has listed it for sale here on eBay. The Toyota is located in Almond, New York. The bidding has already rocketed past the reserve and currently sits at $18,300.

There’s a bit to consider with this FJ40, so let’s take a closer look and see what we find. The original owner purchased the Cruiser through a dealership in Olyphant, Pennsylvania, in 1971. When it rolled out the door, its panels wore Olympus White paint. At some point between then and when it came into the seller’s possession, the original owner treated it to a color change to its current shade of red. It isn’t clear why this occurred, but the paint remains presentable. The seller is candid that he has not attempted to clean or detail this Toyota before listing it so that pleasure will fall to the new owner. It would be interesting to see the vehicle with the mud and dirt removed because the paint consistency across the FJ40 suggests that it might respond positively to a wet sand and buff. The seller reveals that this classic’s solitary rust issue was a small spot in one back corner of the body but that the original owner had this repaired before the color change occurred. Otherwise, the floors and frame are rust-free, which is no great surprise in a Land Cruiser of this vintage. The only other fault of note is a seal deterioration between the top and the windshield frame. It lets moisture in at highway speed, so the buyer will probably want to replace the seal ASAP. The larger wheels and tires are a recent addition, and they, along with the original wheels and tires, are included in the sale.

Toyota drivetrains have developed a reputation for being as tough as nails, and the FJ40 was no exception. The engine bay is occupied by a 3,878cc six-cylinder engine that produces 125hp and 209 ft/lbs of torque. That power finds its way to the rear wheels via a three-speed manual transmission, although a dual-range transfer case and locking front hubs allow this classic to access the harshest territory. We’ve reached the point in this Toyota’s story where the vehicle comes into its own. The original owner chose to have a Berens Hone overdrive installed by the dealer, giving the Cruiser longer legs on the open road. The seller recently installed new brake shoes and wheel cylinders, and this is all that it has required beyond routine maintenance. He says that the vehicle runs and drives perfectly and that everything works as well as it did on Day One. He drives this FJ almost every day and reports no problems or issues. He states that the odometer shows 47,600 miles, which he believes to be original. The Cruiser comes with every piece of documentation and receipt dating back to its original delivery, so it seems that confirming the mileage should not be difficult.

When the original owner performed the color change, he extended to work to include all the painted surfaces inside the Cruiser. It continues to present well, and I can see no reason why that aspect of the interior would require a refresh. The upholstered surfaces, including those on the fold-down rear jump-seats, look to be in excellent condition. The same is true of the dash cap. The rear floor wears an aluminum diamond plate, while the fronts are finished with rust preventative coating. If I were to buy this Toyota, I would probably invest $200 in a rubber floor mat for the front to add a classy finishing touch. Luxury features extend to a factory split heater system (front/rear) that works properly, two-speed wipers, and a functioning AM radio.

The Land Cruiser FJ40 is a legendary off-roader renowned for its bulletproof reliability. Even neglected examples seem to last forever, but our feature Cruiser is anything but neglected. The bidding history suggests that many people like what they see, and I would expect the bidding to go a bit higher before the hammer falls. Have you ever owned an FJ40, and if so, was it as tough as legend would have us believe?


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  1. Mark Phillips Member

    Really nice rig whoever gets it you’re lucky I’ve got a 1972 Jeep commando with a V8 in it looking to trade it or sell it for the right deal

    Like 1
  2. douglas hunt

    i luv these, wish they hadn’t went so stratospheric price wise….i have a 96 Landcruiser wagon so they are in my blood…….

    im not a purist and have the fuel injection for a 5.0 Mustang GT, would love to do one up with a swap

    Like 1

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