As a kid, I was fascinated by 4×4 trucks. I convinced my dad we needed one, and in 1981 he bought a new Jeep CJ-5 Renegade. It sure looked the business, and everything about it appeared to say, “Don’t mess with me.”
Looking inside, however, we were surprised by the bare metal floors. “Looks like the factory forgot to install the carpet. Happens all the time,” the salesman assured us. On the ride home from the dealership, the battery fell out of its tray and spewed acid under the hood. Apparently, the factory forgot the battery hold-down as well. Dad didn’t understand the “Jeep Thing” after all, and the CJ-5 had to go.
We tried an FJ40 Land Cruiser next and quickly discovered it was an industrial-strength Toyota. We were hooked and our family hasn’t been without a Land Cruiser since. And we aren’t alone in that. For 60 years, the Land Cruiser, in all of its shapes and sizes, has become a cult classic.
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Back in the 80's I bought a 1966 Toyota 4 x 4 pick up truck. Wish I had been smart enough to keep it and restore it. It had no seats, no doors, no top, no rust and ran really strong but the brakes went out and I sold it. You opened the hood and it looked just like a Chevy Blue Flame 6.
Nice article! We can expect to see the "best of the best" break through $100K in the next few years. https://www.lcnation.com/1988-fj62-enigma
In the meantime, you can still buy some great examples today. The low-miles survivors and great restomods are experiencing healthy admiration and appreciation.