Is This 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 the Boxy Runabout You Crave?

Hagerty Marketplace/TimRTipton

The Toyota Land Cruiser probably belongs in the pantheon of automotive greats for at least two reasons: How prolific it’s been throughout history, and how charming just about every iteration has been. Even the newest one, back in the North American market after a brief hiatus, carries with it the sense of go-anywhere adventure that seems to permeate the cabin of every previous Cruiser.

But those early models, engineered to imitate the original Willys Jeeps, carry a unique appeal. Launched in 1960 and first imported to the U.S. in 1963, the FJ40 was a no-nonsense machine built to get the job done, not unlike a farm tractor with a closed cabin. It offered four-wheel-drive, relatively little in the way of creature comforts, and the now-famous all-day dependability. Rust was more likely to kill your FJ40 than any mechanical malady. The Cruiser’s rugged durability made it the prime candidate for service all over the globe; regardless of the climate, the infrastructure, or the terrain, a Land Cruiser was often—and still is—your best bet.

As a result, the vehicle grew a cult-like following that, once enough time had passed, began to celebrate those early Land Cruisers as collectibles—some of the earliest SUVs to deserve the moniker. Nowadays, we see FJ40s in collections worldwide, some bone stock, others the subjects of six-figure restorations.

This example, a 1974 FJ40, located in Beverly, Massachusetts, and currently listed on Hagerty Marketplace, wears many of the traits that make this platform so charming. According to the listing, this green and white two-tone FJ40 was imported from Colombia. (In the Land Cruiser world, your car hailing from another country—particularly one with an interesting history—can score you bonus points.)

Power comes from a 3.9-liter “F series” (No, not that F-Series) inline six with a cast iron block. Interestingly, the F series engine drew a lot of engineering inspiration from GM’s inline-sixes (think Chevy’s Stovebolt Six and the like). This FJ40’s engine mates to a three-speed manual transmission that drives the rear wheels, or all four corners through a dual-range transfer case. The simple 15-inch steel wheels feature Pirelli Scorpion S/T tires and there’s a matching spare out back.

Inside, you’ll find a vinyl-upholstered bench seat up front and two folding benches facing each other in the rear. This one has the “ambulance” doors at the rear that open sideways to offer better ingress/egress. Other features include an aftermarket Kenwood stereo, sliding rear windows, gauges for oil pressure, coolant temp, amperage, and fuel level, a locking fuel door, and more.

According to the listing, the FJ40‘s five-digit odometer shows roughly 19,400 kilometers (around 12,000 miles), but the true mileage is unknown. On a vehicle this straightforward and reliable, we’re inclined to think that’s the number that matters the least here. The sale will include the Land Cruiser owner’s manual, a set of four keys, and a clean title. At the time of this writing, the leading bid sits at $5000 with six days remaining in the auction.


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    I’ve been a Jeep guy since the ’60s, but I also always admired the FJ40s (and 45s, too) for their looks. I worked with a lady that had one in the ’80s (not sure what year the truck was) and she used to give rides to a few of us to go for lunch, etc. It was kind of fun sitting on those back bench seats (no seat belts – we were fearless in those days). As off-roaders, I’ve seen some FJs that seemed pretty capable, but they were viewed more a grocery-getters for suburbanites than as serious climbers or hunting rigs in my area.

    It needs a tree growing through the middle of it and rust holes the size of basketballs before the purists will take any interest in it

    I have continually owned both 40 series and 60 series TLCs for almost 50 years. They were all diesel versions BJ and HJs as I love on Canada and got the really good motors. Easily the most reliable and serviceable off roaders ever made. And yes I have owned Jeeps too! Rust is their only enemy Rust Check, Fluid Film and even clean engine oil undercoating are the only way s to beat the salt on Canuk roads.

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