1981 Toyota HJ47 Landcruiser Trayback Utility
|Engine||4.0 litre six-cylinder diesel|
|Wheels||Sunraysia multi-spoke steel|
An iconic name in the history of off-road vehicles, Toyota's Landcruiser evolved from a vehicle designed to fulfil an order by the US military during the Korean War in 1951. The first civilian version, the 20 series, gave way to the classic 40 in 1960, with numerous improvements designed to give the Landcruiser broader appeal and more versatility. Sold with unbreakable four-cylinder diesel or six-cylinder petrol engines, the Landcruiser proved hugely popular in the United States and many other export markets, including Australia where the model was first seen being used in the Snowy Mountains Scheme. Variants included the short-wheelbase J40, mid-size J43 and long-wheelbase J45 and by the 1970s the Landcruiser was considered a serious contender to the likes of Land Rover in the off-road stakes. Although diesel-powered Landcruisers were already in production in Brazil using local Mercedes-Benz engines, the first Japanese model exported was the HJ45 of the early 1970s, using an in-line six-cylinder unit and this was supplemented with a 3-litre four-cylinder on the BJ40/43 models in 1974. The B-series engine was an overhead valve unit displacing 2977cc, developing 80 horsepower and 141 lb/ft of torque. Various improvements were made to the Landcruiser range into the 1980s before the venerable 40-series finally pensioned off in 1984. There is burgeoning interest in early 4WDs today, with Toyota's seminal 40 series Landcruiser at the forefront of this movement - helped no doubt by the release of the retro-styled FJ Cruiser a few years ago. There are now specialists all over the world performing big dollar restorations on early Landcruisers to show standards for the first time and examples are beginning to appear - and fetch serious money - at major auction venues. In short, the J40 and its derivatives have become highly collectible.