There’s a Chevy V8 Under This Toyota Land Cruiser Brute
If you’re looking to invest in a classic car—believe it or not—one of today’s hot-ticket items is the venerable Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. These overtly utilitarian SUVs have become icons of the off-roading world, and in recent years values of well-preserved models have skyrocketed, some even north of $100,000. This brutish Toyota Land Cruiser likely doesn’t fall under that category. It’s undergone a hearty dose of off-road modifications and now houses a Chevrolet V8 under its bonnet. But what it lacks in by-the-books Toyota originality, it surely more than makes up for in fun. Like it? Best bring a ladder—this 1970 FJ40 has as much attitude as it does altitude, and it’s currently standing its ground on eBay. RELATED: Take a Closer Look at the FJ40 Toyota Land Cruisers
According to the owner, the pumped-up Land Cruiser is the product of Napa Valley’s CM Customs, which helped outfit the Toyota with its Chevrolet 350ci heart. The small block V8 is by far and away the most popular engine swap among all classic trucks, and for good reason. Parts are plentiful, and much like the Toyota’s original straight-six, the V8s have earned a reputation for reliability.
This V8 boasts an Edelbrock intake and Holley carburetor, which help generate enough power to turn those massive 37-inch tires up to 80 miles per hour. A GM SM420 manual transmission delegates that power to the ground, and oddly enough a Chevrolet Camaro power steering unit ensures those mud terrain tires can be spun from lock to lock. The lift? That height is said to be courtesy of Old Man Emu springs, fit for an FJ60 Land Cruiser.
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While the exterior screams hot rod rock-crawler, the FJ40’s interior is wonderfully sedate, that is, apart from the massive add-on tachometer sitting above the wheel. The dashboard comes covered in a black sheen, a shellacking of Line-X coats the floor, and another cog is made available with a long throw of the gearstick.
Truthfully, it looks as if the market on FJ40 Toyota Land Cruisers has begun to calm. Hagerty Insurance shows values on similar models dipping from highs observed in early 2015. But all it takes is one look to know these 4x4 icons will remain classics for a long, long time.
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