1978 Toyota Landcruiser FJ45 LWB Utility
|Engine||4230cc six-cylinder diesel|
|Gearbox||Four-speed manual dual-range four-wheel-drive|
An iconic name in the history of off-road vehicles, Toyota's Landcruiser evolved from a vehicle designed to fulfill an order by the US military during the Korean War in 1951. The first civilian version, the 20 series, gave way to the now classic 40 in 1960, with numerous improvements designed to give the Landcruiser broader appeal and more versatility. Sold with unburstable four-cylinder diesel (BJ) or six-cylinder petrol (FJ) engines, the Landcruiser proved hugely popular in the United States and many other export markets, including Australia where the model was first seen in action on the famous 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 for the likes of Land Rover in the off-road stakes. Toyota made running changes to the Landcruiser’s specification through the 1970s and into the 1980s, adding a disc brake front end (it wasn’t until 1981 that Australian buyers benefited from this change) and power steering on certain models, while the diesel option proved popular in many markets. Toyota’s petrol 3.8-litre six gave way to a new 4.2-litre unit in 1975, raising the power output to 135 horsepower, with 210 lb/ft of torque. In 1984 the venerable 40 series Landcruiser was finally pensioned off, replaced with the all-new J70 model. There is burgeoning interest in early 4WDs today, with Toyota's seminal 40 series Landcruiser at the forefront of this movement. There are now specialists all over the world performing big dollar restorations on early Landcruisers to show standards and examples are beginning to appear - and fetch serious money - at major auction venues. In short, the FJ-series Landcruiser has become highly collectible.