1980 TOYOTA HJ45 Land Cruiser "Troopy"View vehicle description
The Toyota Land Cruiser and its British rival, the Land Rover, were developed in the early 1950s and based on the Willys M38 Jeep. The third-generation, 40-series Land Cruiser was launched in 1960 and remained in production for an astonishing 51 years.
Originally offered only with the OHV inline-6-cylinder F-series petrol engines (produced by Toyota between 1955 and 1992), a diesel joined the range in 1972. In line with its role as a working tool, the 40-series had a choice of three final drive ratios, depending on the intended use: ‘full’, ‘economy’ or ‘moderate’ being available, along with a low-ratio transfer gearbox that gave a total of six forward gears.
Four different wheelbases were also on offer, along with a variety of different body styles. First officially sold in the UK in 1975, Toyota had shifted a total of a million worldwide by 1980. 40-series Land Cruiser production finally ceased (in Brazil) in late 2001!
This late (Japanese) production two-door, ‘troop carrier’ Toyota HJ45 Land Cruiser station wagon has had over $60,000 of restoration work done on it by Blalock Customs of Marietta, Georgia, USA. Once you’ve had a good look round the truck, you might dispute that, saying it had to be more, but there it is, and there’s a comprehensive photo-record to back up the claim.
Originally finished in Dune Beige (Toyota colour code 416), the Land Cruiser now wears a darker shade of sand/beige, and the roof is white. Motive power still comes from the original issue 3.6-liter diesel in-line six-cylinder coupled to to a four-speed manual transmission (and a two-speed transfer case).
‘Upgrades’,where there are any, are subtle. There’s the Smittybuilt XRC 9500 winch on the front bumper - solid, workmanlike and not over the top - while inside there’s a discreet bluetooth/USB hifi as well as air conditioning (believe us,these things can get warm inside in Summer). An electric cooling fan and an alternator are also fitted, though much else, including drum brakes all round, remains standard.
As you can see, the truck is right-hand-drive.
On the Outside
By any standards, this is a good-looking truck. It maintains just the right balance between that ‘, quasi-military slightly more satin sheen and a more muted Sixties’ gloss. Either way, the paintwork appears almost flawless. No colour inconsistencies across panels present themselves and that intentionally subdued gloss is constant across the vehicle.
Looking back at the pictorial record of the restoration, you will see that (as well as being shot blasted) some panels had new metal welded in. Looking down the flanks of the Land Cruiser or at the bottoms of doors, you will see no evidence of this in the surface of the metal nor in the paintwork - everything is smooth and highly consistent. You will also notice how straight the vehicle appears and how consistent the shut lines remain - actually probably not this good since it rolled out of the factory.
Those big hinges and the mirror mounts are secured by (very) clean bolts and mounted onto strong, un-warped metal. All the over-centre catches are also clean and smooth operating and what few items of polished steel/chrome there are on the Toyota are in first class condition. It looks as if all the window rubbers were replaced, the present ones looking eminently healthy.
Badges all round, as well as the front grill, look to be original. All are in very good order, perhaps partially restored, though actually, it’s their faintest signs of weathering that keeps the whole package looking real. Just outstanding.
On the Inside
Being such a utilitarian beast in its day, a lot of that sand/beige paintwork that flows into the cabin remains very much on view - no hiding under the soft fixtures and fittings of more modern 4x4s and SUVs.
As with the exterior, the consistency and finish of the paintwork remain superb. The y show no significant scuffs (if any), even along the extensive and quite angular leading edges which run down the cabin.
The original seats (it was missing a few) were swapped out for tough Bestop bucket seats up front as well as two rows of bench seats behind. All seats appear to be more or less as new and retain maintain the character of the vehicle nicely. Their black vinyl is matched in tone and crisply outlined smartness by the door cards. There is black ‘chequer-plate’ style matting on the floor and, yes, this is also in top condition.
Like the exterior badges, one aspect of the interior that has remained more original - if very clean - is the instruments,well; and the controls. The steering wheel, gear and ratio levers, as well as the door handles, carry just the right amount of (small) scuffs and nicks to keep the vehicle feeling like a workhorse (Try to get that ambience in the latest Mercedes G-Wagon). Again, it’s just the right balance to maintain the perfect vibe for the Land Cruiser. Taking a look at the slightly thumbed instrument binnacle, you’ll see that the wagon’s miles read some 97k kilometres (60k miles), though the actual mileage is unknown.
If you’re wondering, the air-con system is mounted under the dash, but, while you’re looking for it, it’s good to know that the Toyota is fitted with the luxury of sliding windows all the way down the body.
Sometimes restored engines and engine bays can look unnervingly glossy, but there’s something about this admittedly glowingly healthy (and yes; very clean) motor that looks somehow very workmanlike and just… right. Hoses look new, wiring fresh, and that alternator looks like it could charge/power a decent-sized yacht. Nothing looks like it would be so uncouth as to leak, and the paintwork around the bay - and under the bonnet - looks as good as on the outside of the vehicle.
Unsurprisingly, the underside of the Land Cruiser is of a similar order. One of the great thing about this is era of four-by-fours is that you can see most of the parts - what you see is largely what you get - and the chassis/running gear inspire tremendous confidence.
Everything has obviously been shot-blasted and powder coated/repainted. The thick chassis rails and cross-members look strong, with all appendages welded to or hanging from them in similarly good order. Dumb irons/out-riggers are good (front bumper is new) and spring hangers strong and solid. As mentioned, the new Smittybuilt winch is a nice addition, though it might seem a shame to spoil this wagon with anything as vulgar as using it outside. If you do decide to do just that, the BF Goodrich 235/75 T/A KM2 Mud-Terrain tyres look virtually brand new. The Toyota is equipped with manually-locking front hubs.
The huge attraction of this vehicle (besides being an iconic Toyota 4x4) is that restoration, which is, as we’ve said, well documented in a pictorial record. All other values are more or less reset to zero and the truck is good to go again, so to speak.
What We Think
Toyota FJ/HJs don’t turn up for sale as often as one might like, and when they do, their values seem to be strengthening all the time. This example holds all the cards when it comes to desirability; colour scheme, layout (including right hand drive), condition and recent restoration by an established and respected name. You have to use the phrase carefully, but, realistically, it probably doesn’t get any better than this - so expect to pay between £35,000 and £45,000 for the opportunity to take this one home.
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Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
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