It’s auction season in Arizona, which means another round of stratospheric values for old cars. Last year FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser prices reached new heights, going as high as $88,000 for a blueprinted 1981 at Barrett-Jackson. Now a 1977 model as pushed that price past the six-figure mark with a sell price of $101,750.
This particular FJ40 underwent a frame-off restoration at The Finishing Touch of Fountain Hills, Arizona. The body was stripped down to bare metal and a crate motor from Toyota installed. The suspension and transmission have been upgraded and an auxiliary 21-gallon fuel tank added, so not only is this a great showpiece but useful too, in case of zombie apocalypse or similar catastrophe.
Shop owner Glenn Roberts is no stranger to nostalgics, having restored a couple of Mazda Cosmo Sports and an R360 that we’ve covered here at JNC, as well as a $77,000 FJ40 auctioned last year. The work looks absolutely outstanding, and the sale has further cemented RM Auctions as the go-to source for high-dollar classic Toyotas.
Incidentally, RM is also the house responsible for auctioning the IMSA GTO Toyota Celica race car, which sold for $242,000.
Photos courtesy RM Auctions.
That thing is gorgeous. I’d take that over a Jeep Wrangler/CJ any day.
Mr. Glenn does it again!
I’m curious as to what makes an FJ valuable? I’ve seen quite a few of them around where I live and I could probably snatch one up for under 2 grand. Is this one worth so much because of the level of the restoration?
I’ve seen a few FJ-40s on Craigslist for sub-$3,000 price tags. This makes me want to buy one of them, do a good restoration on it and sell it on. I certainly wouldn’t pay double the value of my house for a late 70’s utility 4 wheel drive, but if others will then it may be a great profit opportunity. Then again, I can see this market crashing in the next few years as this is silly money for a mass produced vehicle that was made in the hundreds of thousands. There are low production Ferraris that go for less.
shoulda dropped a cvt into it!
A hundred grand? Really? Are there like, only 100 left in existence? Pick up a ratty-but-solid one, and have it fixed up for SOOOOO much less. Engine’s not matching numbers, which hurts the value, so put in a NEW driveline.
Then get a new one to actually use.
Like Jim-Bob said though: redoing them could be a great investment until the bubble breaks.
I took a good look at this car last week. It was a top example. Still expensive at $100k, but you have to remember the venue – $100 I is what many people were paying just in auction premiums for their million-dollar purchases.
In addition, it’s worth noting that just because a fully restored one sells for 6 figures, doesn’t mean that a clapped out example is worth any more than it was last year. These days, people are paying top dollar for fully finished cars with no needs. “No needs” truly means “needs nothing” – not paint, engine work, no small tear in the upholstry, no chrome work required, every nut and bolt replaced the correct color, factory fresh or better-than-new.
“In addition, it’s worth noting that just because a fully restored one sells for 6 figures, doesn’t mean that a clapped out example is worth any more than it was last year.”
It is my sincerest wish that every automotive enthusiast would fully comprehend this simple truth.
What do you expect of a room full of drunken people with wads of cash?
Swapped out engine, upgraded suspension? Now the numbers don’t match. no way worth over 100. Stupid people, stupid money
Indeed, how can a car with a swapped engine and a “upgraded” suspension even be called restored? Restoring is bringing the car back to is original glory (with as much as possible original parts or OEM replacement parts), not upgrading it. Although the car looks great on the pictures, this is not a restoration, it is a rebuild.
The car still is gorgeous, but it is a shame that they don’t keep the car original. If you ask me these kind of jobs are more about making money than about classic cars.
Some pretty harsh comments here.
Restoring a car using period options is more than exceptable. What’s wrong with using a brand new crate engine, it doesn’t get better than that mechanically. The car looks flawless and looks like it couldn’t be done any better. For all you know the original block may come with the car if you really wanted it. Whether it had the original engine or a crate engine, the fact is it hasn’t hurt the value of this car and it looks like a crate engine was highly valued by the bidders.
Remember an original engine is not the only factor that makes a car valuable. It’s blatantly obvious to me that every other aspect of the car looks perfect !
You’ll easily sink 40K into any restoration without blinking an eyelid. In the US the value for a good landcruiser is obviously there. To hit 88K or 100K in this instance requires more than one bidder.
After reading this blog I took a look through the local classifies (Australia) and used ones aren’t exactly cheap so even over here they must be recognised for their collectibility status.