The Vintage FJ Cruiser You Want But Can’t Have

Only a thousand or so were brought to the States–wait till you see what it looked like before restoration.


A few months ago, a bolt of common sense saved me from buying a 1986 FJ40 Land Cruiser. It was gorgeous, cherry, restored within a millimeter of perfection, and despite costing a ton of money, it was, if anything, undervalued. And I was caught up in the spell that only a vintage 4WD can cast. But at the very last second, I blinked. I pocketed my money, turned around, and went home. Good thing, too. A month or so later, I had to write a check for college tuition. Sorcery, man.

Of course, it only took a week before a Land Rover Defender caught my eye. “I’m not in the market, I’m not in the market.” No, I’m really not. But like most of my friends, and probably you, too, my little adventurous brain is particularly sensitive to the siren’s song of old trucks–like this one, a 1967 FJ45LV Land Cruiser. Fortunately, it’s not for sale.

The FJ45 spent many years in the garage of a Montana man, who knew how special his rig was, even if it was rusted and in decline at the time. He tracked down the hard-to-find parts to bring it to full restoration, but fell into bad health before he could continue. The TLC ended up, then, in the hands of Miami-based The FJ Company, which undertook a top to bottom facelift for someone from Dubai (we don’t know the price and would probably cough up a hairball if we did). You can see the whole process here.

The rig is on display this week in Carmel, California, and will be at the big SEMA show in Vegas in November. Leave your checkbook home, just to be safe. Trust me on that one.

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Overlandia is the art, science, and romance of driving in the dirt. To see more, visit the Overlandia channel page.

Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
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Showing 2 comments
  • Lindsay Petersen Dakota
    Reply

    The FJ45 and 55 are the epitome of a mans vehicle. I desperately want one.

  • Devon barker
    Reply

    Just started resto on a 1965 FJ45LV…she’s definitely rougher than FJ Companies starting point but i’ve got hope!

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