Restored And Parked: 1970 Toyota Land Cruiser

This extremely clean 1970 Toyota Land Cruiser drives a mild bit of fear in me, and I’ll explain why in a minute. Before we get to that, however, what you’re looking at is a fully restored Land Cruiser that went into storage shortly after the previous owner imported it from Columbia. Upon driving a handful of miles, the head gasket blew and, likely out of disgust, he parked it. That’s where the current owner came into the picture, as he rebuilt the head and has now listed it here on eBay with bidding at almost $7K and the reserve unmet.

The seller notes the Land Cruiser was originally from Columbia and eventually restored there as well. Whoever oversaw the restoration started with a rust-free FJ that got the royal treatment in terms of paint, upholstery, top, and more. The details look great, from the painted steel wheels to the fitment of the top. While we’re not provided with any photos of the restoration process, the pictures seem to point to this being a very straight truck with good panel fitment. However, I’d still want to inspect in person to determine if any body filler is present.

It sounds like the seller was responsible for cleaning up the interior, which now features split seats upfront and “Troopy”-style seats in the rear. As to why this Land Cruiser has me biting my nails, here’s why: my junkyard find 1986 Isuzu Trooper two-door is heading north to Rhode Island this weekend after a successful engine transplant. It runs and drives just fine, but given that era, Trooper has a propensity to eat head gaskets, I’m worried about what the first few miles of use look like with what amounts to a good-running junkyard motor.

Speaking of engines, the seller of this Land Cruiser addressed what caused the freshly restored truck to go right into storage by rebuilding the head, replacing the camshaft and lifters, and replacing all engine seals and fluids. The FJ40 now runs and drives as it was always meant to, and that is one seriously clean engine bay. It had to be a real kick in the teeth for the owner that paid to ship this pretty Land Cruiser home from Columbia to have it die on the way home, but hopefully, the next caretaker will get to enjoy it for longer than a few miles.


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  1. LarryinMA

    This FJ40 was bid to $14,500 on BringATrailer last week with reserve not met.

    Like 4
  2. DonziDon

    I can see why the reserve wasn’t met. These are super popular right now and the reserve price has to be more than double that!

    Like 3
    • LarryinMA


      This is a very clean, but pretty basic FJ40. And the reality is the South American imports don’t command the same premium as North American spec FJ40s.

      Given the apparent condition, I estimated a reasonable reserve on the BaT auction would have been about $20K, and in fact, the seller commented reserve was set in the low twenties.

      Other than having numerous very nice FJ40s on BaT lately, that auction should have ended substantially higher.

      Like 1
  3. Gerry

    My old ‘73 LR Series III required an overdrive to even approximate a modern speed of 55 mph. On a good day, it was good for 65 but it was scary at those speeds. What’s a reasonable, comfortable highway speed on one of these? Not a bidder, just curious. Thank you for your input!

    • ace10

      My ’67 Factory Soft Top with 3 on the tree is fine around town. But I dread highways. I’d say 50 is about my limit. Manual steering and brakes.

      Like 3
      • Gerry

        Thanks bud. I’d say that consistent with my LR and that era of utility vehicles. I commuted daily in mine for years, even when the temps were 115F from the suburbs to downtown Phoenix on I-10. It never, ever failed to put a smile on my face at the end of a tough day. It was so darn unique.

        I never had an issues – it was rushhour traffic. That old LR was like something out of Mad Max. No one dared cut me off and more than one car’s rear quarter panels found out the hard way. lol I miss that truck but at 6’2″, my knees would have been the first to hit in a serious accident. God bless old trucks and the people who keep them on the road!

        Like 2
    • LarryinMA

      I run my ‘72 up to about 65mph on the highway. I’m sure it can deal with that for longer highway trips, but it feels kind of tedious after a few exits on the interstate. That’s really not what it was meant for. It’s dead reliable though, and really fun to drive. Unexpectedly, it gets almost as much attention as my classic RHD Mini.

      Like 3
      • Gery

        Agreed! I drove mine from Spokane to Phoenix in just over a 30 hours with a stop in Nevada.

        Someone asked me if there was a secret Land Rover handshake. I told them to drive one that far and your hands will shake themselves.

        Like 1
  4. Keith

    Not sure what kind of resto when the wheels, lug nuts and studs, and hubs, all rattle canned silver. I guess the wheels never have been off? Based on it being an import, and questionable restoration, I would say the BAT price bid is very close to what this thing is worth. If you think its value is worth more, contact me about my ’78 FJ40.

    Like 1
  5. Wayne

    Keith, I agree with the rattle can wheel job. For such a pretty ‘Cruiser to have that B.S. style wheel treatment is unforgivable in my book. I would much rather have the stock medium gray wheels with the optional chrome hub caps. (These look like Toyota P-U wheels to me.) As for highway driving, LandCruisers through roughly 1973 ( ones with 3 speed transmissions) had 4:10 differentials. That coupled with a very long stroke engines and realitivly short tires (H78-15 / 225/75-15) made for very busy noises coming out of the engine bay at speeds over 60 mph. However there are very few FJ40s out the with stock diameter tires. And with gobs of torque the engine will pull any diameter tire to almost any “legal” highway speed. I never noticed any issues with brake problems. Yes the pre-1974s had drum brakes at all four corners. But with 2 wheel cylinders per wheel adjusted properly (no self adjusters) and a working brake booster. I never felt it had a brake problem.
    I have since upgraded to a front disc brake differential (it is a pain to have to keep adjusting the front brakes because of my tendencies to drive it like a sports car), a 4 speed transmission and performed a shackle flip ( front leaf springs now has shackles on the rear of the springs instead of the front) on my 1972 and use fairly tall tires to boot. ( please notice that I said taller, not wider) With Bilstein shocks and the listed modifications it is an all day long ‘Cruiser.

    Like 2
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    My 2 four wheelers were a ’42 Ford Jeep and a ’72 Chevy Blazer. Got the Blazer to handle properly with different shocks and a steering stabilizer. With the big 350 you could run 80 all day… but not without the suspension mods. Now the Jeep was hopeless, probably because it was so narrow. 50 miles an hour was like driving an Amphicar on water. I’ve driven a Toyota with similar mods as the Blazer and they can be made to run pretty straight down the road. This one here is nice.

    Like 1
  7. Mitch Ross Member

    A friend´s relative has an FJ40 restoration shop in Bogota. They do a good job, maybe not Barret <jackson level but real nice. The reason for the fall in prices recently is that they were artificailly high in the first place. most <us market ones rusted away early on and survivors commanded big bucks, In other countries, they continued to be sold and, while desirable and popular, they were never collectable. With the opening up of legal imports, these cars stopped being rare and most who wanted them, bought them. It may still be worth importing some from Venezuela due to their collapsed currency, but the days of 50,000 FJ40s seems to be over

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