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California Cruiser: 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

041616 Barn Finds - 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 - 1

Don’t let the license plates fool you, there won’t be any Hawaiian shipping charges for this one. This 1978 Toyota FJ40 is located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, but it’s at least visually a natural jumping-off point to Hawaii. The seller says that this cool truck is completely “original and stock.” Of course, other than some paint touch-ups as you can see from the photos.

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Most of us probably know that the Toyota FJ40 is a member of the Toyota J40 family with an F-Series engine? This particular J40 has the 2F engine, the second version of the F engine. You probably know that almost every part that you would ever need to restore this FJ is available from numerous aftermarket sources. The owner says that it has “new good year tires & OEM Toyota FJ40 wheels” so those are good for a few years.

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This is a 4.2L inline-six with 135 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. Is that overspray of some sort on there? Or, red dust from some random volcano in Hawaii where this vehicle apparently came from, according to the license plates? Whatever it is, the engine looks pretty good otherwise and the seller mentions that it “runs and drives great” and that it is the “complete original 2F engine with 116,250 original miles.”

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It’s hard to believe that this faded FJ40 once looked like this! I like the look of this faded Freeborn Red FJ40, I wouldn’t change a thing on the exterior. But, there is some welding to be done on the floors and some other areas. Luckily, help is available.

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There is definitely some tidying up to do on the interior. There is no mention of where this truck is from but the Hawaiian plates may give a clue as to why the floors are rusty. You should be able to find parts to make the interior look like this again. The “electrical, gauges & lights are in good working condition”, according to the seller, as is the fiberglass top.

This FJ40 is listed on eBay with a day and a half left of the auction and a current bid price of $5,100; although the reserve isn’t met. These trucks can sell for ten times the current bid amount, and sometimes a lot more, so you’ll have a nice restoration budget here if you decide to turn this one around. Would you restore this FJ40 and try to turn a profit or would you keep it maintained and drive it as it looks here?


  1. Charles

    These vehicles are becoming increasingly collectable.

    This one looks to be in good condition.

    Like 0
  2. Dan h

    The old FJ’s are incredible off-road machines. BTW, that’s not over spray on the engine, that’s tropical tin worm poop. Bringing it back to the mainland probably saved this poor Cruiser’s life!

    Like 0
    • Rspcharger Rspcharger

      Thats not overspray on the engine, the dirt in Hawaii is red.

      Like 0
  3. angliagt

    Rust free Hawiian vehicle?.
    It also really irritates me when sellers like this
    can’t bother to license their vehicles here in CA,
    when the bring them in from out of state,leaving
    the buyer to foot the bill.
    It’s also illegal,if you’re a CA resident.

    Like 0
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’m a little skeptical about the rust-free part. I’d swear that there’s been some body repairs going on in several places along the sides; the paint is pretty blotchy. Other than that, the FJ40 has made its mark over here. Personally I’d prefer one with a diesel engine but the gas pot will also take you anywhere you wanted to go and bring you back…

    Like 0
  5. JW

    Incredible off roader, would love this in my driveway.

    Like 0
  6. grenade

    Yep, awesome things. They look good and the possibilities are endless. Thumbs up.

    Like 0
  7. Matt Tritt

    Maybe it came from the dry side of the big island? Cruisers turn to swiss cheese when left out in the tropics – and where’s the top? I had fun acquiring a couple of these for the Nature Conservancy back in the early 90’s for use on Santa Cruz Island, where no other make would make the grade – especially Jeeps. Old Land Rovers do well in soggy climes because of the aluminium bodies, and they don’t get rusty underneath unless driven regularly on the beach.

    Like 0
  8. David L Member

    I wouldn’t touch it. In the past I’ve seen trucks that were really badly rusted in Hawaii after only 4-5 years, specifically Kauai. Don’t know about the other islands but I heard when I was there that the soil is acidic and eats up the cars.

    Like 0
  9. Gary Brown

    Is this FJ40 sold? How do you know on this site if a car is sold? Thank you.

    Like 0

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