HISTORY OF THE TOYOTA FJ SERIES
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.