Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 128

1978 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser

  • Chassis no. FJ40-266294
  • Engine no. 2F-231878

Sold for $66,000


135 hp, 4.2-litre OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension with single-acting hydraulic tubular-type shock absorbers, full-floating front axle and semi-floating rear axle with hypoid drive, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

  • In the consigner’s possession since 1989
  • Frame-off restoration using OEM parts in 2013
  • Consistent 1st place award winner
  • Equipped with the optional radio and rear heater


Toyota built its original BJ Series of all-terrain vehicles at the request of the U.S. Military beginning in 1951. The specs called for an all-wheel drive utility vehicle to be used by soldiers and military police stationed in Japan. Though regular production did not commence until 1953, the vehicles were constantly upgraded and refined. Starting in 1954, the Land Cruiser name appeared, with the Series 20 introduced that year and on the Series 40 in 1960. Land Cruisers were not imported into the United States until 1963. They quickly became the best-selling Toyota model stateside during the mid-1960s.

Eventually, Land Cruisers were offered in various wheelbases along with several different styles, including pickup, hard and soft-top configurations, and a station wagon with seating for up to seven passengers. Toyota gasoline and Hino diesel engines were offered, too. Initially powered by a 125 horsepower “F” 3.9-liter inline six-cylinder engine, Land Cruisers received an upgraded powerplant to “2F” 4.2-liter capacity, producing 135 horsepower beginning in 1975. These durable vehicles were produced in Japan and available until the 1984 model year, and they remained in production in Brazil until 2001, where they were known as the Bandeirante.

The consigner is believed to be the second owner of this FJ40, which he purchased in 1989. He began restoration of the vehicle with the frame and motor in 1996, after which time he placed it in storage. Starting in 2009, the Land Cruiser was taken out of storage with the goal of completing the restoration using OEM parts wherever possible. The vehicle emerged complete in 2013.

The list of new parts used in returning the FJ40 to original is extensive. The engine has been rebuilt, and new parts include the camshaft, lifters, and all bearings and seals; water, oil, and fuel pumps; and oil pan and motor mounts. The radiator has been replaced along with the blower motor, wiper motor, wiper links, all hoses and belts, and the windshield washer and coolant overflow tanks. The vehicle was repainted using DuPont DTM epoxy primer and finished in DuPont Imron Polyurethane Topcoat.

All lights, glass, weather stripping, hinges, body mounts, and exterior badging have been replaced with new along with a new front bumper, rear step, and door panel trim. Brakes and suspension have been rebuilt, including master cylinder, brake discs, calipers, drums, shocks, rims, and lug nuts. New leaf springs and clutch have been installed.

Since restoration, it has been garage kept and never driven in rain or inclement weather. It has been shown at Granby and Beaconsfield, where it received 1st place honors along with Best Restoration at Chambly, all in 2013. Additional 1st place honors were secured at Chambly in 2014 and Beaconsfield in 2015, as well as a 2nd place at Longueuil in 2014.

This is an exceptionally well-restored example of one of the most popular all-wheel drive vehicles.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more