NEWS: Classic Toyota Land Cruisers go for record prices at 2013 auctions

FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser Gooding Auction

Earlier this week we asked what classic Japanese car would be the best investment. Turns out the answer may not be a car at all, but a Japanese nostalgic truck. During the height of the Arizona auto auctions this past week, FJ40 Toyota Land Cruisers continued to fetch ever-higher prices. When all was said and done at Gooding & Co. the 1979 FJ40 above went for $61,600 including fees.

RM Auctions 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

Every January the Scottsdale, Arizona area is ground zero to bidding frenzies held by no less than five major houses. Last year they brought in a combined $182 million. This year, at RM Auctions, the gavel came down on a beautiful Freeborn Red 1978 FJ40 restored by our friends at The Finishing Touch — known best around these parts for their Mazda Cosmo Sport and Mazda R360 restos — for 77,000.

Barrett Jackson 1981 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

And finally, at Barrett-Jackson’s money spewing free-for-all a 1981 FJ40 with blueprinted 4.2L straight six crossed the block at a whopping $88,000. It’s interesting to note that none of these cars appear to have their original suspensions.

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12 Responses to NEWS: Classic Toyota Land Cruisers go for record prices at 2013 auctions

  1. cesariojpn said:

    I have to wonder what is causing these berserk bids.

    Also, alot of these Trucks that i’ve seen in my area are owned by the fringes of society. Political Activists, hippies, etc. Who will let these things get clapped out and rust to the ground.

    • Ed Graves said:

      Toyota Landcruisers have been great investments as compared to their American counterpart, the JEEP for 20 years. The vast majority of owners of TLCs nationwide are divided into two camps; rock crawlers who don’t enjoy breaking down (like their Jeep buddies), and those who enjoy factory original TLCs and buy them as investments. I fit the second category, and have made money on every one I’ve owned. Can’t say this about JEEP !!!

  2. mister k said:

    i can’t believe i actually agree with cj up there… well, the rest of you don’t get all excited they’ll be a “trickle down” increase in your jnc

  3. Benjamin said:

    One word: showpiece. “Hey babe, check out the new showpiece I got for the auto collection. I needed something rugged and manly to park between the 356 and the GT40, so I picked up this old red Jeep. I bet you didn’t know that back in 1978, Jeep used to own Toyota. In ’79 Chrysler went bankrupt, and Iacocca sold off Toyota to the Japanese. I blame Carter. It took six years of Reagan for Toyota to come back to America, but it was never the same. What you are looking at here is piece of automotive history.”

  4. Super X said:

    Believe it or not a lot of buyer of the FJ’s at these big US auctions are foreigners from Brazil and other South American countries. They trucks are BIG out there.

    • Benjamin said:

      That is strange, since Americans are just as eager to import many of the TLC varieties offered in South America that were never sold in the US. I’d rather own a well-used 70 series over an impeccably restored FJ40 any day.

  5. Nigel said:

    Retired South African businessmen trying to re-live the “glory” years.

  6. ben_s said:

    Landcruisers are legendary. They’re just about all you see across the outback of Australia.

  7. Benjamin said:

    If there is one correctly restored FJ40 that would be worthy of the ridiculous bids it would receive should it ever cross the auction block, it is this one: http://www.tlca.org/trails/2012/0910/toyotafest.shtml

    Oh wait; it isn’t red, and it doesn’t have Warn locking hubs. Never mind.

  8. Greg said:

    I like original trucks with original paint better than restorations. I have seen some that still look like new with less than 10,000 miles.

  9. Ed Graves said:

    You guys have no clue as to WHY TLCs bring such high prices….
    First of all, they engineered and manufactured to be reliable in the worst possible conditions. On my recent trip to Tanzania, the ONLY vehicles used by ALL safari companies on the Serengetti Plain is the Toyota Landcruiser. Why?? They stated that it was the only vehicle over the past 30 years that was reliable. They tried Land Rovers and JEEPs with no success.

    Secondly, the quality of construction of the TLC FJ40 far exceeds its American rival, the JEEP. Toyota puts more steel in their battery box (40 Lbs) than JEEP puts in their engine!!!
    When one bolt would suffice for JEEP, Toyota uses three.

    Thirdly, if you want a vehicle that REALLY can travel to hell and back, you buy a Toyota. They are predominant in the Middle East, South America, Africa, Canada. Jeeps are cheaper; why isn’t the world using them to cross the wilderness (instead of Toyota)? Because you can’t depend on a JEEP to do so.

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