Friday 24 September 2021

Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser: A Car You Should Drive Before You Die

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Ready to go anwyhere, rain or shine, My FJ40 Landcruiser, 1975

RICO’s JOURNAL – The original Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser, predecessor to the FJ Cruiser or the Land Cruiser Prado, common on the roads of Costa Rica, is listed by is of the best utility driven vehicles every produced and used throughout the world and one of 15 cars you should drive before you die.

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“It is not uncommon to find models of the FJ40 still driving with more than 40 years of service under their belt, and that makes it one of the few SUVs to make our list of cars that you should drive before you die,” says the website.

Every word is true.

In the driveway in sunshine mode.

Let me tell you about my FJ40. It is a 1975 model that I have had for almost 10 years. My license plate is 1972 – since in Costa Rica the license plate stays with the vehicle from the first day it is registered, it means my FJ40 is one the first cars in Costa Rica under the current registration system.

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In the driveway in rainy season mode.

When I point out the fact, many tell me it is missing numbers since most common six digits, that went to alphanumeric after 999999.

Nothing fancy here, Very little in plastic. The dash is all metal, the knobs all original. Some years back I traded in my Mercedes 300E for the “chapulin”, a Spanish term for a farm machine that runs and runs. And then some.

A contact at Toyota calls the new Landcruiser Prado as a “chapulin with corbata”, that translates to the farm machine all dressed up. These modern Landcruiser, like the FJ40 are work horses.

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All original

The Toyota J40 is the series was made from 1960 until 1984. Most 40 series Land Cruisers were built as 2-door SUVs with slightly larger dimensions than a Jeep CJ.

If you look up the pictures of the FJ40 you will see it came factory as a hardtop. And most of the FJ40’s on the road are such, unchanged. Mine was modified, the hardtop removed. For most of the year it goes open, for the rainy season, I have a canvas cover with plastic for windows I hand-roll up and down.

Avia loves to sit behind the wheel. No leash, she won’t move, waiting for me to go for a ride

One of the best features of this vehicle is you can literally drive it anywhere. It doesn’t go very fast, my top speed is 100 km/h, though I prefer to keep it between 70 and 80 km/h, to avoid excessive the rattling and vibration.

Basically, this is my go to car. I prefer it over my Mercedes 300SE, even when it rains. It is just a fun car that gets me where I want to go and back.

More on the FJ40 from wikipedia.

The list of 15 cars you should drive before you die:

  1. Bugatti Veyron 16.4
  2. Ferrari 250GT SWB
  3. Mini Cooper S
  4. 1963 Split Window Corvette
  5. Volkswagen Bus
  6. Jeep Wrangler
  7. Ford Model T
  8. Duesenberg SJ
  9. BMW 2002 Model
  10. Citroën DS
  11. Porsche 911 Carrera RS
  12. Plymouth Hemi Barracuda
  13. Lotus Elise
  14. Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser
  15. Aston Martin DB9

Article originally appeared on and is republished here with permission.

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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