“Icon” or “hall of fame” status for a new automobile is never a sure thing.
Those first few hundred models roll out from an engineer’s blueprints, down the assembly line, and into global showrooms (relatively) untested and unproven.
Will it sell? Will it break down? Time will tell.
So nobody claims current cars are icons right away. Even fewer automakers would say: will this truck define the brand (and even ‘Made in Japan’) in the eyes of global car shoppers from this point forward?
Will it be a good reputation?
All of these are lofty goals, but ones the FJ40 achieved with flying colors.
The Toyota FJ40 is certainly one of the best-loved and hardest-working icons in the Toyota back catalog. Introduced to the USA in 1960, the FJ40 set the tone for Toyota as a car brand for the next 50 years.
Practical, high-quality, durable and almost unbreakably reliable — the FJ40 was a perfect first impression for Toyota on the global stage.
It is extremely humble but relatively sophisticated in ways that its Jeep WWII inspiration was not. Straight-six, manual box, manual locking axles, and a hardy work ethic — the FJ40 is the emblem for all Toyota trucks, and many cars, since its 30-year production run.
This 1976 model differs from many around the world in that it is absolutely flawless. Restored with the same attention to detail as a true concours entry — the FJ40 seen here is certainly a best-in-breed contender.
The machine sold for just $69,000 at RM Auctions recent Motor City event, with the new owner getting a hell of a bargain.
The restoration alone probably cost $75,000 – so the Toyota FJ40 legend is almost thrown in for free. Just like all that toughness and over-engineered durability of the ever Land Cruiser since then, in fact.
Now… about that color. Wouldnt a green or blue or white wrap be fun? No sense repainting the whole chassis again…
1976 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.
135 hp, 4,230 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with low-range and part-time AWD, semi-elliptic front and rear springs with live axle, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.
Inspired by America’s Willys M38 Jeep that saw service in World War II, Toyota’s FJ40 Land Cruiser quickly found success among civilians in the United States when it was first introduced in 1960. The capable off-roader more than held its own against the likes of products from Land Rover and Jeep, proving to be just as rugged and much more reliable. FJ40s were quick to find homes with outdoorsmen and other individuals with an active lifestyle, and the model quickly cemented itself as a cultural icon and gained an excellent reputation as one of the best off-road vehicles money could buy.
This 1976 FJ40 Land Cruiser, originally sold new in Arizona and later sold to an individual in New Mexico, is currently with its third custodian, located in the Midwest. It is in immaculate condition following a full concours-level restoration undertaken by a previous owner, and it is surely one of the best examples in existence, especially when considering that it spent the majority of its life in southwestern United States and is completely rust free as a result. During its two-year restoration, which was completed in early 2013, every nut and bolt was restored on the car to concours specifications. Factory originality was a priority, and all the correct factory details are properly affixed to the present original engine. Its distinctive Mustard Yellow paint is in outstanding condition, and the underbody and interior are just as fresh.
A large file of documentation accompanies the car, which includes Arizona and New Mexico titles, previous service receipts, and photographs of the car both before and during its restoration, as well as receipts from its restoration. The odometer shows over 67,500 miles, which are all confirmed as original by the accompanying service receipts. Of those miles, less than 200 have been accumulated following its restoration. It is also important to note that this FJ40 is emissions compliant in all 50 states.
As many FJ40s were subject to hard use when they were new, it is rare to find one in such excellent condition. FJ40s are quickly becoming hot commodities to enthusiasts worldwide, and they will surely be considered a must-have vehicle for the next generation of collectors.
This particular example is surely an FJ40 to be treasured, as it is equally at home amongst other beautifully restored vehicles as it is showing off its off-road capabilities, as its creators intended.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.