V8 Swapped! 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ55

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The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ55 was introduced in August of 1967. Dedicated to being a wagon from the start, the FJ55 replaced the FJ45LV, basically an FJ40 wagon. The FJ55 was marketed in the U.S. as an alternative to some full-size American wagons and was also used extensively throughout Africa. This one is from 1971 and can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $6,500. Located in Franktown, Colorado, which is southeast of Denver, this project will need to be finished by a dedicated owner. Check out this awesome ‘Cruiser and thanks to Gunter K. for the tip!

As you can see, the interior has been completely stripped. It appears that perhaps some of the floor panels have been replaced. There are still some rust issues with some exterior panels, but with a good floor coating, a new interior should be ready to be installed. The original FJ55s included a large cargo area with a fold-down seat, but with a blank slate like this truck, you are only limited to your imagination.

Unfortunately, you can’t really see the engine in any of the photos. The original 3.9 liter inline six has been replaced by a 350 cubic inch Chevrolet V8. There aren’t any details regarding the new powerplant, but you can see a performance air cleaner and carburetor, so you can bet it pumps out two to three times the original 125 horsepower.

As mentioned before, there are some rust issues with the body. Once these panels are patched, a full paint job will probably be due. If it was mine, I would probably do a nice two-tone like the factory paint scheme, how about you?

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Okay.. Not sure how BFs does it, maybe I don’t want to know, THIS,,was my FJ55, same colors, originally. Mine was a 1970, with the inline 6, and front mounted winch. I can count on one hand how many Asian vehicles I’ve had, but the FJ55 was without question, the best. Possibly the best vehicle I ever owned. I know, a hefty claim, but it’s true. It was unstoppable, always started, rode decent for a 4×4, still had crappy heat, but the engines far outlasted the bodies. The V8 is a common swap, but the 6 did just fine. Mine was a 3 speed on the column, with a driveshaft PTO, it was so severely rusted, one day while bouncing around, the body separated from the chassis, and I had to shoot it. I replaced it with a 1978 Jeep Cherokee, thinking, well, it’s kind of the same vehicle, how bad could it be? Folks,,I like my YJ Jeep, but that Cherokee wasn’t HALF what that “Iron Pig” was. The FJ40 stole all the thunder and not many of these were sold, but I think it was this truck that led to all the 4Runners, Highlanders, and all the other fancy 4x4s, got their start right here. Great find.

    Like 5
  2. Howie

    I bought a new FJ40, built the 6 cyl. which was a waste of money, then put in a Chev. 350 that was built, i could blast up the Grapevine pulling a trailer. In shock now for what some sell for, just like the Bronco’s.

    Like 2
  3. Jonathan Q Higgins

    Probably a project that’s been sitting for several years. Why would you not just put in a more modern v8 with efi? I’ve had a 40 series, and a 60 and 62. The 55 is so ugly it’s cute. Price seems high but who knows these days. 55 interior parts I’m sure are hard to come by.

    Like 1
  4. douglas hunt

    the Iron Pig, I didn’t even know about these until I had bought my 1996 FZJ80 series and joined a Landcruiser forum, I had always liked the FJ40’s but in my town they were few and far between, but he FJ55 was cool cool cool….

    Like 1
  5. ThulemanMember

    I know this “Iron Pig”well. I owned, drove and sold it in Colorado in 2016. Did have dash, interior side panels, seats, new headliner (not installed) and a detailed, good running Chevy 350 in it. Missing rear heater and a lot of rust in the rocker panels. Couldn’t find replacement metal for them at the time, but I believe Cruiser Corps now has the replacement rockers. Sold it as I moved to Texas but took my ‘84 fj60 and ‘67 Dodge Utiline. Always loved the badass look of it!

    Like 2
    • Jonathan Q Higgins

      How did it drive compared to your 60?

      Like 0
      • ThulemanMember

        Been a while, but since it did not have power steering i recall it handling more like a truck. Still fun to drive…Definitely sparser and less insulated interior.

        Like 0
      • ThulemanMember

        Still driving my fj60 here in sunny Mexico.

        Like 0
    • porteroden

      I have it now in Franktown. Getting ready to do the rockers (needs inners too)

      Like 0
  6. Robert Griffith

    I owned a 77 fj55 back in the day! I tried to get it stuck in mud and snow! The thing was unstoppable! Was one of the best 4×4 I ever owned! Two tone green and white.

    Like 0

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