The Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser and the Land Rover did battle for sales dominance across Africa, Australia, South America and Asia throughout the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and beyond. No clear winner ever emerged and the modern day supporters of each marque have a hard earned and begrudging respect for one another.
The first Toyota 4×4 was essentially a facsimile of a WWII Jeep that had been captured by the Japanese in the Philippines as they descended through South East Asia. The resulting prototype was called the Model AK, it formed the foundation of Toyota’s beginnings as a 4×4 manufacturer and it’s visual similarities with the Jeep would persist for decades – despite Toyota’s attempts to disguise it.
The FJ40 is almost certainly the most iconic of the Toyota Land Cruiser models, its reputation was established with the FJ series thanks to the insistence by the Japanese engineers that the 4×4 be tested in the Australian outback. They considered the outback to be one of the toughest testing environments in the world, and they’ve been rewarded with a lot of loyalty from the Australians as a result – Toyota 4x4s are still the best selling off road vehicles in the country.
The FJ40 you see here is likely to be one of the finest restored examples anywhere in the world, and it likely has a rather interesting history due to the fact that it was owned by the same family in Colombia for its entire life. It’s just been through a nut-and-bolt restoration by the team at The FJ Company with a strong focus on originality – it was rebuilt with NOS Toyota parts where possible, and original parts were restored throughout.
The original, matching-numbers 4.2-liter 6-cylinder engine and 4-speed transmission have been rebuilt, the four-wheel drive system was rebuilt and Old Man Emu suspension parts were fitted throughout. The original art-conditioning unit was also restored to factory spec and the team at The FJ Company even went so far as to galvanise the nuts and bolts during the rebuild process.
If you’ve always wanted an FJ40 but wished you could buy one that was better than new, you might want to make your way along to the RM Sotheby’s Arizona Auction on the 28th of January – it’s estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of $80,000 to $100,000 USD – so be sure to bring your chequebook.
Photo Credits: Ryan Merrill + Juan Rivas ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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