Time to Pass the Torch: 1976 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser

Update, Nov. 24 2015: The asking price on this sweet little FJ40 has been lowered to $15k. Check it out…

From Nov. 17th 2015: Toyota’s little FJ40 Land Cruiser was not first in the line of offroad vehicles from Japan’s #1 automaker, and it certainly wasn’t the last, but it was one of the most prolific. Out of the wide variety of all-terrain vehicles – from farm implement simple to cushy marshmallow luxurious – the FJ40 leans heavily towards the former end of the spectrum, which might help to explain its perennial classic status. This is the generation where Toyota beat Jeep at its own game, and if you want one, one of our longtime friends has a great example for sale. Find this 1976 Toyota Land Cruiser (FJ40) for sale in Newbury Park, CA for $17,500 via Craigslist. Seller Submission from Andrew.

Andrew is one of the smartest and most industrious gearheads I know, and I’m including DT’s Editor-in-Chief in that reckoning. He’s one of those guys who looks at any used vehicle with a sharp and critical eye, stands back and says “this thing might run fine, but I don’t have any proof that the previous owner followed the strict factory maintenance schedule, so the only choice is a comprehensive rebuild.” OK, maybe he never really said that…but it’s his MO. Sadly, in the words of Tenacious D, it’s time for him to pass the torch. He has sung of wildebeests and angels, he has soared on the wings of a demon…no wait, they were talking about Dio.

This FJ40 came into his care as a decent runner with some needs, and those have (almost) all been addressed. Being a 1976 model year it is subject to California emissions testing, and everything is now complete and functional after Andrew tirelessly searched for original components to replace originals that were tossed by a “de-smogging” previous owner. He’s even throwing in a Toyota factory emissions diagnostic device, so you’ll be able to verify this thing is running as Buddha and Dr. Ferdinand Toyota intended.

The interior of any FJ40 is pretty spartan, but if you’ve been cruising around in a Willys MB or Jeep CJ-3B then it will feel perfectly luxurious. The gray vinyl upholstery is in great shape, complimented by a Tuffy lockable center console, new seat belts, and a repaired dash pad. The stereo is a ’70s Datsun unit that looks at home in the dash but was sourced because it features an auxiliary input from the factory, perfect for hooking up your mobile streaming music device of choice. This Cruiser comes with two aftermarket soft tops plus the original steel hardtop, rear quarter window panels, and rear barn doors.

Underhood the 4.2L 2F engine has been rebuilt, and the whole vehicle only has 66k miles, so this is likely as fresh of a ’76 Toyota as you’ll be able to find. The all-important smog equipment is all present, accounted for, and functional, and Andrew did what the state requires but what many sellers overlook and took the truck in for emissions testing, with a certificate good until Dec. 11th for in-state transfers. Maintenance is up to date and this thing should be ready for any adventure you’d want to take in a 40-year-old open truck.

Bonus to serious ‘froaders and rock crusher buyers – this FJ has ARB lockers fitted to the stock axles, front and rear. An ARB compressor sits under the hood, ready to actuate said lockers or refill tires after a day of wheeling. The 4.11 gears should be a good match with the 33″ BFG Mud-Terrain tires, giving a decent balance between acceleration and engine rpm at highway cruising speed. The power steering features a Saginaw pump Andrew adapted from one of my favorite all time vehicles, the Volvo 240.

With only a minor amount of rust and a bit of paint work to address, plus all the recent mechanical work, there’s no way you could tell this FJ “you’re too old to rock, no more rockin’ for you. We’re takin’ you to a home, but we will sing a song about you.” The truck does deserve to be taken to a home… a good home, of the next happy owner.

The full album of high-resolution photos can be found through this link.

See another classic Japanese mechanical mountain goat? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com