Junkyard Find: 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 toyota land cruiser

The FJ60 Land Cruiser is still a common sight on the streets of Denver, where I live. These things are not anywhere near as comfortable or fuel-efficient as modern SUVs, but they are just about impossible to kill… and that counts for a lot with your FJ-driving demographic around these parts. Being so prized, however, means that you don’t see many of these trucks in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, and when you do see one it tends to get picked clean in a hurry. I went to a local yard on a typically freezing-ass Half Price Day sale last week and spotted this remarkably un-stripped ’82.

Not even 300,000 miles on the clock. What went wrong?

Here’s the likely explanation for the junkyardization of this truck. Rust isn’t a big problem around here, thanks to the single-digit humidity, but vehicles that live in the mountains (or relocate from the Midwest) can get like this.

The pushrod F six-cylinder engine evolved from the licensed-by-Toyota-way-the-hell-back-when Chevy Stovebolt, which means it’s related to the engines used to power Toyota military trucks during the ill-fated attempt to set up the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Shoppers for 21st-century trucks would find this interior absolutely intolerable. By the standards of 1982, though, it’s pretty nice.

The previous owner had some association with a school full of sullen kids forced to sit through PowerPoint presentations about stuff like the difference between “Teacher Voice” and “Outdoor Voice.”

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jan 06, 2015

    My brother-in-law had a dark brown 87 Land Cruiser that he bought new and junked about 2 years ago. It was a manual and although it was not a smooth riding truck it was tough. Great vehicle. I think he had about 400k miles on it with the original engine.

  • Phippsj Phippsj on Jan 06, 2015

    My '05 100 series Land Cruiser is my daily driver and the best vehicle I have ever owned. 160k miles and still looks and drives like new. No rust, since I'm in Dallas. I'd love to have an old 80 or 40 series for weekend offroading, but don't have an extra $20k with two kids in college. Probably will wait to buy a 200 series for a daily driver and keep the 100 series for offroading and camping. That "Iron Pig" in the article is completely rotted. Maybe a few knobs and trim bits could be salvaged, but the rest is ready to be sent to the crusher. RIP.

  • Bd2 The Equus was a decent 1st effort (not-withstanding the prior JV with Mitsu), but the interior was not quite up to par and the US engineers over-corrected the soft KDM suspension tuning.The current G90 is simply leap years ahead.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Low 50Fs" is convertible time?
  • Lou_BC Loose nuts? Too much puffing?
  • ToolGuy "Simply put, the world is changing, and our industry needs to change with it,"Q: How many auto execs does it take to change a lightbulb?A: 'Change???'
  • ToolGuy 134 cubic inch V6 with turbos and Firestone tires? Pass. 🙂