1976 Toyota FJ55 was Japan’s Version of a Luxury Off-Roader
The FJ55 was the America-bound SUV for the masses.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is an iconic SUV known for its bulletproof reliability, off-roading prowess, and boxy design. The Land Cruiser was the brainchild of the Japanese military that requested something similar to a Jeep that’s capable of being a reliable off-roader that could do it all. This 1976 Toyota FJ55 we found on Mecum Auctions still features the beat-Jeep mentality but is one of the more luxurious offerings.
The 50 Series of vehicles were manufactured from 1967 to 1980 and were aimed towards drivers looking for something a little more luxurious. As Four Wheeler claims, the station wagons received changes over previous models that allowed them to be more comfortable on the highway and carry more passengers. The FJ55 was also the first vehicle from the automaker to utilize a fully-enclosed box cross-section welded members, claims the outlet.
The wagon was available with two engines, a 3.9-liter inline-six making 125 horsepower and the more potent 4.2-liter 2F generating 135 horsepower. Two transmission choices were on hand, as well, with a J30 three-speed being standard, while the H41 four-speed gearbox was an option.
The stunning example we found on Mecum may be one of the cleanest examples we’ve seen and it starts with a gorgeous two-tone paint job that sees an eggshell white sandwiched in between a beautiful shade of baby blue. Looking at this paintjob has us questioning why automakers ditched two-tone paint schemes.
The exterior also has some off-roading touches, including a black bull bar, winch, safari roof rack, and Hella LED rally lights. The changes don’t detract from the FJ55’s classic exterior, but add some nice, off-roading touches to the boxy exterior.
Under the long hood rests the original 4.2-liter 2F motor, which is also attached to the original 4-speed H41 four-speed gearbox. And while other FJ’s from the period have been neglected and abused, this specific model has what the listing claims are 47,700 actual miles. The engine bay looks immaculate and the underbody shows little sign of rust, which leads us to believe this machine hasn’t spent much time off-roading.
The few pictures of the interior reveal that the previous owner retained the majority of the original components, as well. And parts that got used a lot, like the steering wheel and shift knob, appear to be in superb condition for their age. The white headliner shows no sign of sagging, while the rear bench seat looks like it was never used.
As the listing states, only 2,000 FJ55 wagons were imported to the U.S., making this extremely-capable model a rare beast. A modern Land Cruiser may be more comfortable, but when it comes to raw off-roading capability and looks, this FJ55 has it and a lot of other modern vehicles pegged.