HIS­TORY OF THE TOY­OTA FJ SE­RIES

New Zealand Classic Car - - FEATURE -

The Toy­ota Land Cruiser FJ40 was built from 1960 to 1984 in dif­fer­ent ver­sions. Along with the clas­sic Bri­tish Land Rover, the Toy­ota Land Cruiser FJ40 is still re­garded as one of the most dis­tinc­tive off-road ve­hi­cles of all time. Fit­tingly, the FJ Land Cruiser formed the back­bone of the Toy­ota brand, high­light­ing Ja­panese engi­neer­ing and much of the world’s first ex­pe­ri­ence with Toy­ota. The FJ was a ded­i­cated mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle at first — like the Jeep and Land Rover — but quickly spread world­wide as a fan­tas­tic method of trans­port­ing peo­ple or cargo, es­pe­cially in re­gions with in­ad­e­quate roads and poor ac­cess. With a four-wheel-drive sys­tem de­signed to cope with vir­tu­ally ev­ery ter­rain, in­clud­ing the harsh­est desert re­gions, the FJ40 was of­fered in sev­eral body styles and with dif­fer­ent wheel­bases. By far the most pop­u­lar ver­sion was the two-door hard­top.

Type F

The let­ter ‘F’ refers to the en­gine, and ‘J’ stands for ‘Jeep’. Used from 1955 to 1974, the Type F en­gine brought the FJ to global at­ten­tion. It wasn’t ex­actly the most ef­fi­cient mo­tor, but it was vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to break. The en­gine was con­structed as an in-line six-cylin­der and de­lib­er­ately en­gi­neered to be sim­i­lar to a GMC L6 over­head-valve 235 en­gine, but im­proved to suit the FJ’S needs.

FJ40

The Toy­ota FJ40 was of­fered with two dif­fer­ent six-cylin­der petrol en­gines. The 3.8-litre de­liv­ered 93kw (125hp) and was pro­duced from 1960 to 1975. The sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion en­gine (2F) was more pow­er­ful, with 101kw (135hp) and re­placed its pre­de­ces­sor from 1975. The FJ40 de­buted as a short-wheel­base ver­sion and was pro­duced un­til 1984. One of the key fea­tures of the FJ40 is its fold­ing jump seats behind the front two seats, pro­vid­ing im­proved ac­cess for ad­di­tional pas­sen­gers or cargo. Though rel­a­tively sparse on crea­ture com­forts, the FJ40 cap­tured the at­ten­tion of buy­ers the world over who were im­pressed by its re­li­a­bil­ity, stur­di­ness, and of­froad­ing abil­ity.

FJ43

Nearly the same ve­hi­cle as the FJ40, the FJ43 in­tro­duced more ways to con­fig­ure the ve­hi­cle by of­fer­ing a longer wheel­base, as well as more space in the rear for cargo or pas­sen­gers. The FJ43 was pro­duced un­til 1984. In re­cent years, the FJ43 has com­manded a pre­mium from col­lec­tors, given its more limited avail­abil­ity in the US and other core mar­kets.

FJ45

An am­bu­lance and pickup ver­sion was also in­tro­duced with this model. The long cov­ered cabin com­bined with the FJ’S rugged re­li­a­bil­ity made this a nat­u­ral choice. This model also in­tro­duced re­mov­able hard­tops as an op­tion with its pickup con­fig­u­ra­tions. A short-bed pickup ver­sion was also avail­able and is now very rare. The FJ45 was pro­duced un­til 1984, when it was re­placed by the FJ70 se­ries.

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