With enthusiasm for classic Land Cruisers at an all time high, it was only a matter of time before Toyota itself got in on the resto-mod craze. For the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon, they’ve Frankensteined a classic FJ40 with a classic-but-still-new J70 chassis to create the ultimate Land Cruiser resto mod.
To be specific, the truck is being built by Toyota Auto Body, a manufacturing subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. In 2004 it absorbed another Toyota-owned subsidiary, Araco, which built Land Cruisers going as far back as 1953. It’s a complicated web of acquisitions within the Toyota empire, but suffice it to say parts of Toyota Auto Body have been responsible for Land Cruiser production since the very beginning of the model. They even build and campaign Toyota’s Land Cruisers competing in the Dakar Rally.
Anyway, the Land Cruiser 70 is seen by many as the ultimate Land Cruiser. It was never sold in the US, but it has been in constant production since 1984. It left the Japanese market in 2004, but was so popular that Toyota brought it back in 2014, on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. Unfortunately its revival was short-lived, as in 2015 Japanese road law required all new cars to have traction control, which the J70 didn’t have.
Nevertheless, the popularity of the J70 has never waned. It’s still sold new in markets like Australia and Africa and is seen as the true heir to the Land Cruiser name as newer generations have gotten more luxury-oriented. Many are still built in Japan by Toyota Auto Body as well, even though they’re not sold there. They haven’t released any info on it but if built to Australian spec it would have a 4.5-liter turbo-diesel V8 under the hood. That would be a torque-tastic, smog-exempt dream for many FJ40 fans.
Sadly, this is likely a one-off for the Tokyo Auto Salon. But with Toyota remaking FJ40 parts you never know. Or, with some aftermarket companies making entire FJ40 bodies, you could just build your own.