Land Cruiser FJ60 Series — the Energizer bunny of SUVs
We’d like to challenge our worldly Second Daily reader community today…get your cameras out for the next week or so and send us pictures of every Toyota Land Cruiser you see. We imagine (if our readership was vast enough) that we’d hear from the remote community of Kiwirrkurra Australia, to the backroads of rural South Carolina to the upper east side of Manhattan. Land Cruisers are everywhere…remote or urban, 1st or 3rd world…they’re as universal as the golden arches of McDonalds (and just as tasty).
The one that started them all…a 1951 Toyota “Jeep (eventually became the BJ)
It doesn’t hurt that the Land Cruiser moniker has been around for over 65 years. The first “Land Cruiser” series was introduced in 1951 and originally called a Toyota Jeep. Because of the BJ engine, it would eventually assume that name. Depending on where you live, the Land Cruiser has seen 9 different generations to date. Don’t worry, we’re not covering them all today…that wouldn’t remotely give the devotion needed to cover this Second Daily favorite.
Check our for sale ads frequently for ones we find in the market place, and contact us if you are selling
Today we’re discussing perhaps the most popular of the 4-door series, the FJ60 series. If you read our piece on the Santana/Land Rover, you know that in the late 1970’s the world’s appetite for off-road recreation family-fitting vehicles was rapidly growing. Toyota responded to this demand by introducing the 4-door 60-series in 1980, built along side the 2 door 40 series until production ended for the 40 in 1984. This wasn’t Toyota’s first 4-door Land Cruiser, that superlative goes to the 1957 FJ35V.
FJ60 in downtown Manhatten . Photo courtesy and copyrights to CarsAndConcrete 2017
As you’re snapping your pictures over the next week or so, be sure to get some from the front. It’s really the only way to externally distinguish the 60 from the 62. Toyota synched the FJ62 intro with Eddie Murphy’s coming to America in 1988. There’s much discussion on the differences and pros/cons between the brothers, but in short it comes down to this: 62 vs 60 respectively … 4-square vs 2-round headlights, auto vs manual tranny, fuel injection vs not, and lots of electrics vs not.
Great online community support and aftermarket parts suppliers for these. Reader submission of his 1989 FJ62
So how is it as a daily? Excellent, as long as you don’t care about gas mileage. If you have any doubt, check the odometer on any one you find and you’re likely to see something over 200k. That’s over 13000 gallons of gas at 15mpgs. They’re recognized for their reliability but these trucks are now at least 27 years old, so there’s always that risk when you daily anything, though ironically driving it daily helps work out the kinks that might otherwise be surprises if saved for a weekend mall crawler. Fortunately, there are not many electronics to worry about, though comparatively more in the 62 than the 60. The 62 may also require a little more transmission attention given it’s a slushbox. Readers who daily these report them to be excellent highway cruisers, keeps up with traffic with no problems, and with air conditioning it certainly extends the DD seasonality.
Interior of an ’84 FJ60 showing the manual transmission not available in the 62
What to look for? Rust, rust, rust…sounds familiar if you’ve read our other posts but it’s true. As reliable as the Land Cruiser is, they’re not immune from ferric cancer. If you live in an area that requires safety and emissions testing, check those parts well and review the last test results. These rigs are leaf sprung so check for a sagging suspension. And if it has less than 300k miles on it, it still has a lot of life left in it. The online community for these trucks ranks as one of the best, be sure to check out the IH8MUD forum and the TLCA FaceBook group, the guys/gals there are awesome!
The Land Cruiser isn’t just a cool looking rig with incredible off-road capabilities…owning a Land Cruiser is owning a lifestyle. If you don’t think so, you haven’t owned one and you should. So as you’re out and about this weekend, you’re sure to see one down by the river with a kayak on top, or at least in the Whole Foods parking lot you stop at on your way to the camp site. Land Rovers may be the best 4x4xfar, but the Land Cruiser is the most reliable ubiquitous 4x4xfar.
Living the Land Cruiser lifestyle. Reader submission of his 1988 FJ62
Recent sales value of the Land Cruiser FJ60 series (includes 62) is about $8000-$18000 depending on condition. We’re ignoring some of the recent uber low mileage examples hitting the auction blocks. The high production volume will keep them from ever reaching stratospheric pricing most likely, though low mileage one-owners are already commanding $50k+ prices currently.