All About the Toyota FJ40

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

With the big three auto manufacturers producing new “retro” versions of old enthusiast cars (Mustang, Camaro, Challenger,) it’s easy to overlook who seemingly started this trend. Although it’s far from a muscle car, Toyota developed the FJ Cruiser in 2006 as a modern version of their old Land Cruiser FJ40.

The Toyota FJ40 is still an enthusiast vehicle today, being coveted by collectors all over the world. Produced from 1960 to 1984, the FJ40 had a healthy lifespan, which makes it no wonder Toyota wanted to get some of that enthusiasm back for the FJ Cruiser, which sells moderately well today. So what made the Land Cruiser FJ40 so great to command such a loyal following?

1968 Land Cruisers

Many of the features in the FJ40 were unique, and gave a lot of room for enthusiasts. Most FJ40 models, for example, had removable doors, roof, and even the windshield, allowing for a completely open-top experience. The folding jump seats attached to the roll bars allowed for two more passengers as well as maximum cargo space, unlike the competing Jeep at the time, which had folding rear seats and limited cargo room. One of the most interesting benefits of the Toyota FJ40 was its compatibility with GM’s small block engines, allowing for engine upgrades and swaps.

The 1960-1984 Toyota FJ40 were revered for its outstanding rugged ability and reliability, no doubt given away by the fact that there are many still on the road today. The FJ40, as well as its replacement FJ70 (not sold in the States,) are still very popular as work trucks in many third world countries, where their owners use them as daily drivers.

Most people would question the viability of another FJ40 today, which was a compact two-door SUV, but the current FJ Cruiser is selling fairly well, along with mostly all Toyota cars. The FJ Cruiser may not have the same loyal enthusiast following as the original FJ40, but similar to the other modern-retro cars on the road recently, definitely have their buyers.

  1. My 1978 Cruiser- the Booger-goes everywhere with me! He's sort of like an old dog who's been part of the family forever!! Love it!

  2. it's easy to overlook who seemingly started this trend

    What about the PT Cruiser, VW bug, Chevy SSR, and all the other retro throwbacks that came out long before the FJ cruiser? Apparently it was easy for you..

  3. The horribly ugly Chevy HHR and SSR have retro styling, but are not based on any particular model.

    The VW Beetle, and I'm assuming you're referring to the "New Beetle," began production in the late 90's as somewhat of a reinterpretation of the old Beetle. I don't by any means consider that a modern-retro version, as it's simply a new model inspired by the old car, not a throwback.

    And the awful PT Cruiser…what's it based off of?

  4. We are doing a 1967 Toyota customization at our shop right now.

    We have put the body on a 2005 TRD chassis, supercharged it and we are putting a stake bed on it.

  5. Why is it "infamous"? For the record, 'infamous' does not mean 'even better than famous'-'infamous' has a negative connotation, and means 'having an exceedingly bad reputation; notorious', which hardly describes the FJ40. Hitler, for instance, could correctly be described as 'infamous'.

  6. I remember riding around with my uncle–the crazy, black-sheep-with-a-heart-of-gold uncle we all had–in his FJ40. We went from one end of Metro Manila and a whole bunch of other places in the Philippines (some not found on a map). The Land Cruiser's mechanical difficulties were few and far between. He promised me I could have the Cruiser (nicknamed Wander or, in certain instances, "The Rolling Junk Shop") when I was old enough to drive or when he died but, sadly, it gave up the ghost when he did (after thirty years of service).

    1. My Dad bought a 1970 Fj40 in '73. He drove it about 7 years, and then it went to my brothers. By 1989, it became mine. Right now (2010) is facing a restoration to return to as-new. It it a member of the family and all my friends love it too. When I tell anyone that I own a 1970 Land Cruiser, instead of a fancy new car, everyone says "well, that really is a muscle ride".

  7. Hi,I have a 1974 FJ 40 for sale.Its a lhd model with a 302cu Ford V8 motor.Its in a good condition.Offers around R50 000.00 will be looked at.


    Martin-0832518374-South Africa

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