The FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser is no stranger to high dollar bids, but a recently listed example might just set a new record. That’s because while we have seen immaculately restored examples break (barely) the $100,000 mark, this one is a bone stock, completely unrestored example with only 5,265 miles on the odometer.
The story of how this 1978 FJ40 survived so long without accruing miles is a sad one. According to the auction on Bring a Trailer, the car was purchased new by a Wyoming carpet wholesaler. We’ll let the description tell the rest of the story.
[He] built a carpet-lined wooden crate for this FJ and placed it on cantilevers high up on a wall in his warehouse. He hoped seeing it every day from his office would remind him to fulfill his dream of driving the truck around the country to visit all the National Parks. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2000 before this could happen. His children recalled there was some sort of “old Jeep” in the crate, but when they brought it down and looked inside they realized it was just an old Toyota.
When the family’s attorney reached out to TLC4x4 and Icon founder Jonathan Ward, he bought it sight unseen. Ward sold it to a friend, who added about 2,000 miles and aftermarket aircon (Ward said care was taken to ensure the installation was reversible) in it during his 18 years of ownership. Now that friend is moving it on.
Ward has seen his share of FJ40s — a number he estimates to be around 1,000 — so when he describes it as “absurd original condition, with all original finishes, and not any signs of rust. This is considered the nicest example known in the world by experts in the marque,” you know it’s something special.
Ward claims it’s even better than the examples he’s seen in Toyota’s own museums. And, as a US-spec truck, it has power disc brakes and a bigger carb than many of the ones sold around the world, which are now getting imported but are not register-able in California, New York, and Colorado due to lack of smog equipment. In other words, this is the ultimate collectible FJ40.
At the time of this writing, the bidding is already at $100,000 and there are about 11 hours left. Next to the 2000GT, the FJ40 has thus far been the second most valuable Toyota. Iconic 5,000-mile Toyotas seem to be appearing quite a bit these days. Hopefully the winner won’t call up Akira Nakai.
Images: Bring a Trailer