EVENTS: 2016 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 06 — The Indestructibles

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You would think that some of the most indestructable machines built by humankind would be plentiful. Well, yes, but not in show-like condition. Ironically, because Toyota trucks work so damn well they’re used, abused, and then used some more, and vehicles like that don’t tend to stay very shiny for car shows. Nevertheless, some gems managed to survive lo these many years — like Cabe Toyota’s 30-Series 4WD and FJ Cruiser — and JCCS brought out some of the best.

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What does a top-ranking exec at Lexus drive? An FJ75 Land Cruiser, apparently. Paul Williamsen’s FJ75 was used by the US Marine Corps during the first Gulf War before it was imported to the US. While the exact date of manufacture is unknown and all of its documentation, including the build plate, is in Arabic. It is believed that it was built sometime in the late 1980s.

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While similar in color, Zeki Abed’s 1985 SR5 4×4 Xtra-Cab has led a somewhat less adventurous life in the States. Still, it has just 125,000 miles — barely broken in for a Toyota truck — and a fresh, original interior. 1985 is also a unique year in that it was the first for electronic fuel injection on the 22R engine but the final year for a solid front axle, a highly sought-after combination. Zeki won second place in the best Toyota Truck & SUV category, while Jack Russo’s Back to the Future tribute won first.

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A pair of Land Cruisers represented the FJ60 generation aptly. We drooled at them profusely, as these wagons were basically bulletproof, and have enough cargo capacity to make them high-ranking candidates as a replacement for the JNC Cressida. If anyone knows where to find one that is not rusted and has a clean, original interior, please let us know.

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Steve Kopito’s 1989 BJ74 Land Cruiser was a beaut, and unfortunately the 70-series was never sold in the US. With a removable top and a 13BT turbodiesel four, it’s even more perfect for venturing into the most remote and hostile places on earth. Steve’s short-wheelbase two-door was imported from Japan and, incredibly, has only 25,000 miles on the clock.

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One of our favorites was Sloan Fader’s 1981 SR5 4WD. Finished in proper 857 Medium Blue and garnished with a delectable decal stripe pattern, it is a beautiful example of a classic off-roader. Sloan says it has received a gentle restoration, which is the perfect amount of restoration for such a rig, and his efforts garnered him third place in the Best Toyota Truck & SUV category.

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One of our favorite parts about JCCS is its range of vehicles parked near each other for comparison, something you can’t see otherwise without a time machine. Chris Falcioni’s 1980 2WD Long Bed would have been offered alongside Sloan’s blue 4WD above, highlighting the different bodies (note the fender flares), beds, and range of options one could choose back then. It was like teleporting to an early-80s Toyota dealership.

To be continued…

We have more 2016 JCCS coverage coming. In the meantime, in case you missed it, check out Part 01—Movin’ On UpPart 02—Skyline CityPart 03 — Rotary Power, Part 04 — Fair Ladies, and Part 05 — FiveTens.

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10 Responses to EVENTS: 2016 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 06 — The Indestructibles

  1. Nigel said:

    Some nice trucks, 99 % of what I see here in Canada is rust covered.
    (All of those are like new !!)

  2. Car Nut Seattle said:

    My favourite of the Toyotas are the 1980-81 Trucks. I also like the Land Cruiser FJ75 pickup truck. I’ve always liked the Land Cruisers sold in the USA, except I never liked the lack of a pickup truck in the line-up. I also didn’t like the lack of a turbo diesel engine.

  3. r100guy said:

    These Hilux truck and Land Cruisers have really increased in value lately. Condition is everything as so few have survived the rigors of years of abuse and the associated rust problems (especially in the bed). If this is what you like, buy now as they are not getting any cheaper.

  4. Car Nut Seattle said:

    I agree. For some reason the Land Cruiser was never sold here in the USA, at least I’ve never seen one. I believe that customers should be allowed the choice, not only of body style, but of engine. I’ve always liked the Land Cruiser, but the only body styles available for us American buyers were the FJ40 and FJ60. If diesel engines were offered, they were on the market for such a short time that no-one seemed to notice, nor did they ever flock to buy them.

  5. Randy said:

    Nice to see the utilitarian stuff taken care of/restored. Everybody wants the primo Skyline, or whatever-GT, etc., but how often do you see “Uncle Steve’s old Corolla sedan” rolling along with shiny paint, and not billowing smoke? Last time you saw an ’88 Tercel was…?
    A nice one?

    Hey Ben – if you find a good-condition Land Cruiser, even one with beat-up seats, go for it. Throw some aftermarket covers on them, and get them redone later. If the I’m-certain-they’re-hard-to-find door and side panels are in good shape, the rest will be a relative breeze. Carpet and headliner probably wouldn’t be an impossible challenge, though if you’re going to use it for real off-roading, you may want to just use the roll-on bedliner stuff for the floor. Those faux-fleece covers. Get back from the mountains, throw ’em in the washer, and hose out the floor areas. Thinking about it, a ratty-looking (BUT SOLID!) one could be more fun! Hammerite paint job, bull bar on the front – with fog lights, of course – and a good stereo. A solid one shouldn’t be THAT difficult to find in your quarter of the country… No road salt, etc.

    Maybe a big honkin’ logo airbrushed on the quarter panels, tailgate and hood. (Advertising, and the potential tax writeoff could pay for a later full resto.)

    – Still wanna see what you do with the wagon. –

  6. Gary said:

    Apologies again as I feel this is a little self serving; BUT

    If anybody in the USA wants to purchase Hilux or Landcruiser from Australia, and convert to LHD – we’re here to help.

    We still have an abundance of J60 series Cruisers and also N40 series Hilux.

    Band together and get a few of you buying at the same time – will reduce the shipping costs!

    • Car Nut Seattle said:

      I’d love to buy an Australian Toyota, but I wouldn’t want to convert it to LHD.

      • Gary said:

        Its actually very easy – just buy a parted out rust eaten or crash wrecked USA located vehicle. There’s a small amount you need from the USA donor vehicle (pedals, master cylinder, steering column box and rack, dash arrangement). It all ‘bolts in’ because Toyota were so clever when they designed LHD and RHD to be built on the same production lines.

        Conversely for say Aussies wanting to convert US muscle cars and trucks need to have parts fabricated and engineering approvals!

  7. Charlie said:

    so aside from these trucks were there any toyotas at the show this year?? you know like first gen celicas, old corollas… carinas perhaps a sport 800 or the like.

  8. MH said:

    Will there ever be an update with the winners?

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