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In the Garage: 1980 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

1980 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 owned by Ed

1980 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 owned by Ed Maloney. (Credit: Handout)

THE CAR AND ITS OWNER

1980 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 owned by Ed Maloney

WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING

Long before they morphed into posh suburban transportation, Toyota Land Cruisers were making history worldwide for their ruggedness and amazing off-road capabilities.  According to the manufacturer, the Land Cruiser’s origins go back to 1951 with the introduction of Toyota’s Jeep-like BJ series.  The highly popular FJs were offered between 1960 and 1984 in markets around the globe.  They later became so coveted and collectible that the company introduced a modern-day imitation, the retro-style FJ Cruiser, which has been sold since 2005.  Gentleman’s Quarterly magazine has cited the earlier FJ as one of the “coolest” collectible SUVs, calling it “the most classic of Cruisers” and “a plusher version of the military original.”  The magazine notes that many have traveled over 300,000 miles before needing an overhaul.  In the brutal 1980 road rally from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, eight Land Cruisers were among 105 vehicles that completed the entire 6,000-mile route.

HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT

Maloney has owned his Land Cruiser for 18 years.

WHERE HE FOUND IT

He bought it from an owner in Riverhead.

CONDITION

“The truck has been highly modified for off-road,” Maloney says. “It has a winch, 35-inch tires, a snorkel, lockers front and rear, off-road lights and custom racks.”  The snorkel relocates the engine air intake higher to keep out water, mud and dust.  Lockers are locking differentials that allow the pairs of wheels to drive in unison and increase traction.

TIPS FOR OWNERS

“It helps if you have a mechanical background when you own a vehicle like this,” he advises.  “I have a couple of friends who do most of the work on the truck.”  

VALUE

“It’s hard to say, since it’s been so highly modified,” says Maloney.  It’s probably between $15,000 and $20,000.”  The NADA Guides puts a “high retail” value of $17,400 on a 1980 Land Cruiser before options.  Restoration shops specializing in the FJs bring them back to like-new condition and charge about $80,000 a copy. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

“Toyota FJ40s in stock condition are highly sought-after,” Maloney says. “Mine’s been modified to suit my needs and it's just a lot of fun to drive.”

IF YOU HAVE an antique, classic or collectible vehicle to be considered for this page, please submit your information and photo(s) at www.inthegarage.net or contact David Fluhrer, Newsday Cars, at thegarage@optonline.net.

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