Toyota Land Cruisers: Searching for the oldest in use

Who would have thought a simple request by Toyota’s in-house magazine for people still running old Toyota Land Cruisers could have produced such a response? writes Nick Gibbs.

Despite the fact it was only sporadically imported here, the FJ40 (the big-winged, narrow-nosed model running from 1960-85) can apparently be found all over this country – and still running, too.

“Daily use” was a common phrase in replies. Many were bought new back in the 1970s and just never broke. One owner even shipped hers from the Emirates in 1979 and still uses it for towing trailers.

The furthest reply came from a farmer in Kenya growing wheat and flowers. He counted six Land Cruisers in his family but reserved his fondness for his 1976 FJ45 (the pickup), still running with 143,000 miles on the clock.

But we chose a pair of brothers farming near Shrewsbury for the article. Donald Price drives a 1977 pickup, while brother Rob has three FJ40s in his barn, the best a recent import from Indonesia.

Rob keeps his for nostalgic reasons, whereas Donald’s Land Cruiser is pure workhorse. No classic-car pampering here the green paint is part moss and the rear bed was pinched from an old Land Rover.

And there’s still plenty of life in it: He recently had to tow a delivery lorry out of the mud. “It just keeps going, that’s why we keep it. It never goes wrong,” he says.

  • Nick Gibbs is a freelance motoring journalist who writes for Top Gear and Auto Express.

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