Arizona | Lot 129
1966 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser
$49,500 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
15 January 2015
- Offered from an esteemed collector from Southern California
- Presented in the highly attractive color combination of a Spring Green exterior and Salmon interior
- A highly capable and very original example restored to an exceptional level
125 bhp, 235 cu. in. OHV inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with low-range and part-time AWD, front and rear live axle suspension with semi-elliptic springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.
Even though Jeep had proven to be the go-to choice for American off-roaders and Land Rover had developed a keen following in the UK, Toyota decided to enter the FJ40 Land Cruiser into the fray in 1960 as an affordable off-road vehicle that was ready and willing to take the road less traveled. The FJ40 quickly proved to be an excellent alternative to its western rivals and definitely helped to put Toyota on the map. The car proved to be incredibly versatile and reliable, and its styling was incredibly cutting edge for an off-road vehicle. The FJ40 was built to be ruggedly worn into the ground over hundreds of thousands of miles, and as a result, highly original examples are rare to find, let alone ones that have benefited from a complete restoration. Therefore, these examples are seldom seen today and are tremendously desired among collectors looking to add an element of fun to their collection.
The 1966 Toyota FJ40 offered here has been in the collection of a female classic car enthusiast, and she has used it as a regular driver throughout the narrow streets of the Venice Beach, California, community. While this example features an incredibly nice restoration, it also runs and drives extremely well. The engine and transmission operate and shift with ease, and it is reported to idle perfectly at stop lights, with no incidents of overheating either, even in Los Angeles traffic. The gauges all function, the lights shine bright, and even the heater is functional (although it rarely needs to be used). It is finished in the period-correct and very attractive 1960s color combination of a Spring Green exterior and Salmon interior.
In preparation for the auction, the vendor decided to commission a complete cosmetic freshening by specialists at Vintage Coachworks in Palmdale, California, who paid close attention to factory correctness. Correct turn signals were installed, the door latches were rechromed, brakes were rebuilt, and the FJ40 also received a complete engine-bay detail. This vehicle is fitted with a three-speed manual transmission and a heater, and it currently sits on Hercules Trail Digger M/T tires, making it equally capable both on and off the road. It is also important to note that all the glass in the hardtop is original and the windows maintain consistent stampings. In addition, the original knobs on the dash, the brake levers, and the steering wheel have not been replaced, as it was deemed during the restoration that these items were so rare and desirable that it would be best to retain the original ones in order to attest to the vehicle’s authenticity.
Early-production vintage FJ40s are vehicles that are right at home both on and off road, and they’re quickly becoming a mainstream vehicle in the collector car scene. In recent years, this well-restored example has spent its days with the top removed, the windscreen folded down, and friends loaded in the back, cruising up and down the streets of various Southern California beach communities. Is there any better way to spend the summertime and warm-weather months?