When looking back on decades past, you’ll often hear the phrase “they don’t make ‘em like they used to,” and well… they’re right, especially when it comes to pickup trucks. Today, pickup trucks still tote a work-hard attitude, but they’ve become feature dense and more complex than ever before.
Long gone are the days when air-conditioning was seen as an option, and nearly all mechanical problems could be fixed on the side of the road with a hammer. Ah, the good ‘ol days; and for those of a certain age, this stoic ’74 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45 epitomizes them.
These were built to be abused, worked hard, and put away wet—all on a regular basis. And if Toyota didn’t think you needed something, it wasn’t included. However, while many were beaten to a pulp over decades of hard work, this one appears to have somehow survived, and now the bare-bones workhorse looks as clean as ever. It’s also up for grabs on eBay.
What makes these Toyota Land Cruisers truly memorable are their looks. It’s hard to see an FJ45 and not smile; they’re timelessly good looking. According to this listing, it underwent a recent restoration in early 2015, only to receive a professional full-on restoration afterward. The fruits of their labor show, the Land Cruiser presents impeccably well in period correct Sky Blue.
Though, while it may be restored to the nth degree, you can bet it still knows how to put in a full day’s work. These FJ40-series Land Cruisers featured a 3.9-liter carbureted straight-six on American shores, which made 125 horsepower and 209 lb.-ft. of torque. Sure, you won’t get there fast, but make no mistake, you will get there. Power is sent to the ground courtesy of a four-speed manual, which motivated the model’s famously bulletproof four-wheel drive system.
Out back, the FJ45 features a built-in headache rack and plenty of room in the bed for lumber, camping gear, boxes of vintage Toyota brochures—whatever you carry in a cleanly restored ute. That said, the fear of scratching this FJ’s lustrous paint may keep its bed empty for the most part.
Mechanical upgrades over the past year are said to include new suspension components, a new gas tank, radiator, carburetor, starter motor, engine wiring, a new exhaust gasket, plus rebuilt brakes. Stopping power is always handy.
A quick look inside surely proves they really don’t “make them like the used to.” You won’t find any frivolities here. No carpet either. Just a singular gauge cluster, what looks to be a new leather bench seat, and a gear stick for rifling through. Sometimes less is more.
All told, it’s a heart-achingly pretty rig, though not a cheap one. Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45s are pretty rare on the ground in the US, and those in this nick demand a premium, as this one does. It asks a tall $87,000.