La Aduana: 1964 Toyota FJ40/45 Short Bed

All too often the words rare find are little more than a cheeky call-out to draw in the attention of would-be buyers. Few vehicles are worthy of the word, but this 1964 FJ40/45 is if anything––rare. While Cruiser pickups are relatively common, few were offered with a six foot short bed. Even fewer are found in this condition. The current owner claims to have invested more than $22,000 in the update and restoration of this truck, and it looks like that’s not an over inflated estimate. The custom soft top over the bed is a nice touch adding to the era-appropriate look and utility of this fine truck.

To improve on the utility of this truck, it has received a number of key updates: A Chevy 350 V8 does the going, and an upgraded front disc brake conversion from a 1978 FJ does the stopping. Unlike other Cruisers of this vintage, the details have not simply eroded from this truck. All of the fine details and finishes are there. It’s an eye catching rig. Located in Montana, it’s ready to be hurried away on a grand adventure.

You are looking at one of the few FJ45 short bed pick ups in the USA. It was not imported from Costa Rica, it is not sitting in a lot waiting export to Houston. It is a legal, 1964 FJ45, titled in Montana, and in my name, sitting in my garage, and it is beautiful. It is a true Icon that needs to go to an appreciative owner with a nice garage. It starts, runs and drives extremely well. It has power steering, a power brake booster, front disc brakes, and tons of power. It is NOT a tractor, like most 1960’s Land Cruisers, it will reach 60 mph with ease and in a hurry. It IS one of the nicest V8 powered FJ45’s you will ever see or drive.

The FJ45 comes to you in near perfect condition. It went through a full frame off restoration within the last ten years. The original Toyota paint code T403 Lily White, was used, the cap and front headlight ring are the correct off white Toyota used for their trim and was just reapplied this past month, as was the interior silver trim on the inner door panels, dash cluster and glove box. Rims are powder coated the correct Pewter, and with newer Toyota Hub Caps. The front end sports a WARN winch with new nylon rope and stainless tow hook. Under the 45 you will find the under carriage in near flawless condition. Stainless exhaust in new condition. Shocks, leaf springs, gas tank, cables, all in excellent condition. The frame is completely rust free as is the entire vehicle.

If you want an ICON from Dr. Frankenstein, but can not afford $180,000, this unique FJ45 head turner may be for you. I had it sitting in front of my favorite coffee shop here in town, and a black Lamborghini pulled up next to me and parked beside the FJ45. For a second, glances went the way of the sports car and then every one came back to the Land Cruiser. After a few seconds, many walked over to get a closer look at the 45… is Montana, after all. I think the only reason the folks looked away in the first place was that the Italian sports car had a fly rod holder on it……

This 1964 FJ45 comes with pages of documented receipts from TLC 4X4 Service/Repair in Chatsworth, CA. Mr. Ward’s company, TLC4X4 is one of the finest Land Cruiser Restoration, service and repair shops in the world. Building the best, and most expensive custom Land Cruisers ever, at ICON.

A few notable items installed by TLC in 2011, where:

Custom bed cover with front and rear roll up sides. Using 3 ply Mercedes dark gray canvas. Custom made steel one piece bows and J rails powder coated with steel hardware. Parts and Labor $5800

Custom bed mount spare-tire-carrier mounted in bed on bulk head. Parts and labor $990

Front differential replaced inner axle seals, wipers, retainers, grease seals, repack wheel bearings and overhaul front hubs. Parts and Labor $1490

Front and rear break cylinders (all 8) cleaned backing plates, bled brake system and adjusted breaks. Parts and Labor $1410.00

This list goes on for 4 pages and results in a grand total of over $22,000 spent just in upgrades and replacement repairs done at TLC. (see photo of receipts)

The 64′ FJ45 under went a front axle and front disc brake conversion as well, replacing the front axle assembly with a late model FJ40 (1978) factory disc brake axle and late model FJ40 power brake booster and master cylinder. The axles were re geared to match the rear differential, and entirely over hauled with new inner axle seals, burfield seals wipers, retainers, hubs, rotors, calipers, brake hoses, brake pads, all tie rods, and links, and plumed hard brake hoses to the master cylinder.

Since the road test done by TLC in 2011 the 45 has barely been driven. It has a total of less than 6000 miles on the create Chevrolet 350 V8 motor. Compression shows 180 across the board, and the pickup runs like new. As you can see by the photos, this conversion was done professionally, and no expense was spared. The engine compartment is as clean as the day it was built in Japan almost 50 years ago. All phases of the FJ45 check out: Road Test, Engine, Cooling, Ignition System, Transmission, Transfer Case, both Front and Rear Differentials all gone thru as noted. Drive shaft, Universal Joints, all serviced, Brake System, Suspension, Steering, and wheels and tires. The glass, and all exterior components are all in excellent condition.

Check it out on Ebay Motors here:

Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.