The Jeep, the Land Rover, the Land Cruiser. This is the classic triumvirate of small, capable, 4-wheel-drive vehicle that originated in WWII and was iterated upon ad infinitum thereafter, forever and ever, amen. James May did a witty and insightful analysis of this whole genre in a recent episode of James May’s Cars of the People on BBC – check it out if you haven’t already. My favorite of the three happens to be the one with the best track record for reliability, but I really love its quirks and faults as well. Find this 1968 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser for sale in Scottsdale, AZ for $36,900 via craigslist, and also here on eBay with bidding over $10k, reserve not met with 1 day to go. This post is part of DT’s 2016 Birthday Celebration of 100 cars; enjoy the ride!
The FJ40 wasn’t the first incarnation of Toyota’s famous SUV (that honor goes to the “Toyota BJ Jeep” – yes, seriously), but it is the quintessential classic version and one of the longest running. Before it was supplanted by the 70 Series in the early 1980s, it enjoyed over 20 years of production in various forms (hardtop, softtop, pickup, troop carrier) and wheelbases.
A 40 Series Cruiser will be like an alien planet to someone who drives around in a Highlander or Sequoia every day, but those vehicles owe their existence to this little tractor. The cast iron inline six cylinder “F” engine is like the 22R’s big brother and will run for-literally-ever with simple maintenance. The three speed manual transmission is rudimentary, but with part-time 4WD, solid axles at both ends, good ground clearance, and short overhangs, this trucklet will bounce right over just about anything in your path.
Restored examples like this one are fetching pretty pennies as you can see, but scour your local craigslist for a project, and you can still find them under $10k in operable condition.
See a better alternative to an MB or Series II? email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
CFlo is Daily Turismo’s co-founder and Technical Editor. When he’s not reading the news (HIS news) on the DT Radio Show, he’s resuscitating a Volvo 240, turning a BMW E36 into a V8 powered Brougham LeMons racer, and restoring a Honda Motocompo. Daily drivers are a whole ‘nother story.