Even before Toyota discontinued US Land Cruiser sales, vintage models have been continually rising in value. Though given the Toyota SUV’s long-earned reputation for reliability, durability, and off-road capability, that’s somewhat understandable. However, a classic Land Cruiser doesn’t have to cost six figures. And this week’s Bring a Trailer bargain, a 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60, is proof of that.
The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 added luxury but kept the rugged, reliable, off-road utility
Although the latest 300-Series Toyota Land Cruiser is indeed a luxury SUV, the model didn’t start that way.
In its first few generations, including the iconic third-gen FJ40, the Land Cruiser was a hard-working, rugged SUV. And the FJ40-succeeding 70 Series, which is still in production, keeps that spirit alive. Starting with the FJ40’s other successor, the FJ55, though, the Land Cruiser gained some on-road refinements. But the model that truly marks the SUV’s “first tentative transition from agricultural tool to aristocrat” is the 1980-1989 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60, MotorTrend says.
Underneath its squared-off styling, the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60, aka the 60 Series, is essentially a “lightly updated” FJ55, Hemmings reports. With ‘only’ 7.5” of ground clearance, combined with departure-angle-reducing bodywork, the FJ60 is slightly less off-road-focused than the FJ55. But it still has a ladder frame with rock-crawling-friendly solid axles as well as front and rear leaf springs. Plus, standard 4WD with a two-speed transfer case and manually-locking hubs. So, with a lift kit and some off-road tires, the Land Cruiser FJ60 is still an excellent overlanding machine.
However, it’s significantly easier to live with daily than the FJ55 and FJ40. Despite the axle and spring designs, the Land Cruiser FJ60 rides more quietly and comfortably, MotorTrend says. And that’s thanks in part to the interior improvements it introduced. For one, the FJ60 has a fully-upholstered interior, Hemmings notes. Plus, it offered amenities such as power steering, A/C, power windows, rear heating, and a moonroof. Later Land Cruisers offered more luxuries, but for the ‘80s, these were premium features.
There’s an engine-swapped 1987 60 Series listed on Bring a Trailer
But while the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 is more refined than its predecessors, it’s not significantly faster. In 1988, the FJ60 got a facelift, automatic transmission, and a fuel-injected engine, becoming the FJ62 in the process. But before then, it exclusively had a four-speed manual and a carbureted 4.2-liter inline-six. True, the ‘2F’ inline-six is stalwart. However, with only 135 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, on-pavement acceleration is “a source of frustration,” Hagerty reports.
The 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 currently listed on Bring a Trailer, though, shouldn’t have that problem. That’s because, instead of a 2F, it has a 5.7-liter V8 with a four-speed automatic transmission. The seller doesn’t know how much horsepower the V8 makes, but ‘way more than 135 hp’ is a comfortable estimate.
Besides the swapped engine, this 1987 Land Cruiser FJ60 sports Bilstein shocks, Aisin hubs, a steering stabilizer, and aftermarket 15” alloy wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich T/A KTO all-terrain tires. It was also refinished in its current white color in 2017. That’s when it gained headlight washers, chrome bumpers, a locking fuel-filler door, tinted windows, a split rear tailgate, and a wiper-equipped heated rear window. Plus, this FJ60 has an aftermarket Sony stereo with speakers, a B&M shifter, and factory A/C.
While this 1987 Land Cruiser FJ60 has roughly 187,000 miles on the clock, that’s not unusual for vintage Land Cruisers. The seller says the transfer case has a small amount of oil build-up, and the speedometer has an intermittent issue. However, they will address the issue before handing over the SUV. And apart from that, this FJ60 is essentially pristine and has a zero-accident history.
This vintage 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 might be one of the last 60 Series bargains
As of this writing, this 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 is listed on Bring a Trailer for $22,000 with three days left in the auction. That’s slightly below-average for a good-condition FJ60, Hagerty says. But it might be significantly below-average shortly, given how much 1980s Land Cruisers have shot up in value recently.
As always, potential bidders should try scheduling a pre-purchase inspection before putting any money down. That being said, with proper maintenance, high-mileage Land Cruisers can last for decades. And Toyota recently started selling brand-new parts for vintage Land Cruiser owners.
So, if you want to get behind the wheel of a legendarily durable classic SUV, this FJ60 is a fairly inexpensive way to do it.
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