Land Cruiser or Land Rover: Which Would You Buy?
In a competition of the world’s toughest four-by-fours, two names typically get thrown around the most – Toyota’s Land Cruiser and the venerable Land Rover. Which is best? That will be up for debate as long as there are two running trucks to pit against one another. We won’t even attempt that firestorm. A better question is, if given the chance, which would you buy? Here we have an iconic model up for sale from the former camp: a 1970 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ55 (see link below). If it were your money, would you take the Cruiser or a Land Rover Series IIA? RELATED: Toyota relaunched this retro 70 Series Land Cruiser for the Japanese market
Colloquially called the ‘Iron Pig,’ the rugged FJ55 might not be the prettiest or most recognizable in the Land Cruiser family tree, though it certainly has aged well. The FJ55 entered the US market in the late ‘60s and sported a capable troop carrier body style, with seating for five to seven, making it an ideal utility wagon for the family on the go.
However, unlike the muscle cars of the late ‘60s, the FJ55 was not a horsepower-making machine. Output from the carbureted 3.9-liter straight six measured in at 125 horsepower, which was later upped to 135 horsepower in 1975 with the new 4.2-liter 2F engine. But that didn’t detract from its off-road prowess. Fed initially through a three-speed manual, the FJ55’s four-wheel drive system powered it through and over the rough stuff. A propensity to rust and a huge cult following have made these lovable utes quite the coveted find on these shores.
RELATED: The Land Cruiser FJ40 Series is the quintessential Japanese off-roader
Conveniently, the Land Rover Series IIA wasn’t exactly a speedster either; however it was arguably as tough and revered as its Japanese contemporary. The Series IIA came about when Land Rover upped the size of its rugged engine in 1961, from 2.0-liters to 2.25. The majority of US-bound Rovers emigrated in 88-inch short wheelbase format, though a limited number of 109-inch long-wheelbase Series IIA station wagons made the trip equipped with a larger 2.6-liter straight-six, good for 123 horsepower.
Inside, there were few creature comforts, but that just meant fewer things to go wrong. And in a utility vehicle that was both the lifeblood of rural England and an envoy to the developing world - durability was an absolute necessity. The esteemed Series IIA would morph into the Series III by 1971 and eventually evolve into the Defender by ’83, which sadly might not be of this earth for much longer.
So there you have it, Internet. Two pedigreed off-roaders with more globe trotting experience than most 4x4’s could dream of. Find the eBay link here — which would you buy?
RELATED: Check out photos of the original Land Rover Series I 4x4
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