TOYOTA LAND CRUISER FJ25
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE: 1958 OWNER: TOYOTA AUSTRALIA
THE FJ25 started the Land Cruiser legend in Australia. Back in the late 1950s Sir Leslie Thiess purchased a handful of FJ25S for his construction company, which at the time was contracting the massive Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. So impressed with the FJ25 was Thiess that he founded Thiess Toyota, with the aim of importing Toyota vehicles into Australia for commercial sale.
The FJ25 is powered by the 3.9-litre OHV straight-six ‘F’ petrol engine, driving through a four-speed gearbox. It didn’t have low range, just selectable two- or four-wheel drive, but the extra-low first gear helped make good this shortcoming. Vacuum indicators, windscreen wipers and ultra-skinny bar-tread tyres are some of its notable features.
Toyota Australia acquired this vehicle in the early ’70s and it subsequently underwent a restoration by company apprentices, before a full bare-metal respray in 2013. The vehicle makes regular appearances at 4x4 shows and the like and is well worth a close look if you ever come across it.