If America's favorite off-roader is the Jeep, then Japan's is the Toyota FJ. But this Japanese-American hybrid 1966 Land Cruiser successfully crosses the Pacific with its box-shaped bodywork that's instantly identifiable on six of the seven continents, plus an equally bulletproof driveline that will take it just about anywhere.
It's hard to call the FJ “styled” because it's simply the bare minimum required to carry people and gear to inhospitable places. However, that's the appeal, a go-anywhere, do-anything kind of vehicle that has become iconic with its abilities. The light blue paint is older, but combined with the white top and fender flares, it actually looks awesome. Fit and finish are what you get when you go off-roading, with decent but not perfect paint and Toyota build quality that you can still feel when you slam the door. It's got the right look for a vehicle that's used as intended, not relegated to the show field, and we like it a lot better that way. The body is quite solid with no issues in the usual places, and the truck obviously hasn't been beaten to death off-road. There's a heavy-duty bumper up front ostensibly designed to push large objects out of its way, and a winch means you're always able to get out of a jam. Out back, there's a full-sized spare and a hitch, making this a truck that really can do it all.
The interior is nowhere near as bare-bones as you'd expect, with comfortable bucket seats and a pair of folding jump seats in back. Sure, all the hard panels like the doors and dash are painted to match the body, but it's easy to get comfortable in there for long hauls along the trail. All the controls are original Toyota, including the big steering wheel that makes it easy to put the front wheels exactly where you want them and a column-mounted shifter for the manual gearbox. The factory gauges are still in place, too, and they all seem to work properly to keep an eye on the engine's vitals. The white canvas top and doors open up for alfresco motoring, or you can remove them in a matter of minutes to go completely open. You'll probably find there's no better vehicle for tailgating than this!
At some point, the original inline-six was yanked and replaced, but the original character and durability is completely unchanged. "Matching numbers" isn't really a thing with these trucks and the quality of the work means that this off-roader is still just as reliable as it was originally. Clearly a lot of work went into the freshening, as it has a recent tune up, new fuel pump and carburetor, and all new fluids throughout. The industrial-strength air cleaner remains in place and the radiator is big enough for a semi-tractor. Underneath, it's 100% Toyota reliability, with original axles fore and aft suspended on a 2-inch lift that looks awesome and adds ground clearance, and with 4.11 gears inside, it's zippy around town and capable in the dirt. Cool Blacked-out Ultra Motorsports wheels have an industrial look and carry giant 33x10.5-15 BFGoodrich radials that look like they could climb Everest.
Go ahead, take this one out and tear up some dirt, it won't mind. Icons are like that, and with unbeatable reliability, you'll always be the first to the top of the hill. Call today!