This Vintage ’81 Toyota Land Cruiser is Perfectly Wild

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Tough, reliable, and endlessly capable—it’s not hard to see why engineers and tradesmen working in the world’s harshest terrain use Toyota Land Cruisers to get around. If a Land Cruiser can get you into the wild, there’s a good chance it’ll bring you right back out too. 

For that reason, plenty of companies have supplied their employees with ‘Cruisers, much like this one… in fact, especially like this one.

Back in 1981, this Toyota Land Cruiser FJ43 was imported from Japan to Columbia for use by a local energy company as one of its rural transport vehicles. Fast forward quite a few years and it has survived its work life, escaped largely rust-free, but now it’s getting pressed into a different line of work—vintage off-roading.

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To those familiar with Miami’s The FJ Company—high-end restorers specializing in Toyota Land Cruisers—it comes as no surprise that this pristine FJ43 is a product of their handiwork. Nicknamed the “Copperstate Overland Edition”, the FJ folks have built this rig for the second annual Copperstate Overland vintage 4×4 rally, held later this year in October and with the picturesque Arizona desert as an off-road playground and backdrop.

If you like it, well… you’re in luck. The spotless Toyota will cross the auction block in August at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach event, and it comes with free entry into the 2016 Copperstate Overland, as well as mechanical support at the race. Not a bad package.

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So what’s new on this ‘Cruiser? Crucially, not the engine. According to The FJ Company, this ’81 FJ43 still retains its original and numbers-matching 2F straight-six engine, albeit fully rebuilt, now fitted with a new carburetor, starter engine, fuel and water pumps, plus a new aluminum radiator. The modern advancements continue with new power steering and front disc brakes as well, creating an overall very usable rig.

Inside and out, things are looking spiffy thanks to new leather upholstery, which is likely much more luxe than the original trimmings, plus a new custom soft top and a lick of genuine Toyota Olive 637 paint. It’s not all for show, however, though it is quite beautiful.

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Given that this is still an adventure 4×4, the vintage Toyota Land Cruiser features new four-point seat belts, a fire extinguisher system, roll cage, LED headlights, PIAA fog lights, a high-lift jack, external fuel cans, and a sturdy Warn winch.

Its running gear is also heavy duty too—a five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drive transfer case, and 33-inch BFGoodrich mud terrain tires mounted on a rugged Old Man Emu suspension. Trails will be conquered, in style.

The price for all this overland excellence? That all depends on the bidding in August, however The FJ Company’s standard classic restorations start at around $55,000.

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