Wants & Desires | Old School Land Cruiser

The streets of Aspen were littered with awesome old trucks – Wagoneers, Range Rovers, Broncos, Suburbans and this really great looking Toyota Land Cruiser. As you may remember, I really like the old school smaller SUVs and I’m going to need to add this to my wish list of classic rides. I have to think one of these Land Cruisers would be a cinch to park in Manhattan – and that winch might even come in handy. The only question is, where to start? Defender? Bronco II? Scout? Willys? More photos after the jump. Ride Colorado, ride.

Comments on “Wants & Desires | Old School Land Cruiser

    nick on April 2, 2010 1:31 PM:

    My friend and I bought a Bronco II while we were in high school. Drove to from CT to Brooklyn to get it. Kept it for about 4 weeks before we sold it. I really regret letting go of that car.

    Thomas on April 2, 2010 1:32 PM:

    I have wanted one of these for a long time. There is a company in the LA area that specializes in them and has different levels of restoration available. I visited them once on a business trip to LA and then wanted one more than ever. Their site is http://www.tlcfjcruiser.com/

    Thomas on April 2, 2010 1:45 PM:

    Disregard the first link. I messed up. Go to http://tlc4x4.com/

    Andrew on April 2, 2010 1:47 PM:

    Me too. The Defender is the most cost prohibitive out of all of them. I’m leaning towards the Scout… possibly the Bronco.

    I would snatch up a Defender in a second if I could find one for a reasonable price.

    Scott on April 2, 2010 1:56 PM:

    Cooper Technica (out of Chicago, IL) has a beautiful, fully restored 1961 Land Rover 109 Series IIa Station Wagon for sale. The only thing more amazing about the restoration of this Rover is the history of this particular vehicle… check it out:


    JRS on April 2, 2010 1:59 PM:

    They are awesome trucks. Check out this one that was parked under my hotel during a recent trip to Austin: http://redclaysoul.blogspot.com/2010/03/austin-tx-from-my-camera-phone.html

    Cobby on April 2, 2010 2:01 PM:

    I owned a ’76. While I regretted selling it, it was too small to live in (which would have happened absent a sale). The one in the photos looks like a ’77 or later, when the rear wing glass was added.

    ...love Maegan on April 2, 2010 2:20 PM:

    my ex had one …it took us an hour to get up the short and not very steep {hollywood} hills where we lived … and it ate all the gas in the world. just sayin’ cute but not efficient in the least. But totally get one ;)

    Thad on April 2, 2010 2:25 PM:

    You can find these old trucks on eBay for a couple thousand, if you are willing to get your hands dirty re-building them … which is really the only way to go!

    Fjorder on April 2, 2010 3:02 PM:

    The International Harvester Scout is a nice ride. Especially the ones w/ the optional diesels, they’ll run forever. Sure the Land Rovers are just gorgeous but parts and labor costs will be astronomical. The Ford Broncos from late 1960s to the mid-1970s are also quite nice and easy to work on compared to the Rover; not to be confused with the underpowered, poorly styled and not coveted Bronco II of the 1980s.

    I love that the Scout has the removable hardtop and those curved back windows on the LandCruiser are a nice touch, along with those big bay doors on the back.

    brook on April 2, 2010 3:25 PM:

    I currently own a Bronco(77) and have it in Brooklyn. Maybe the perfect city car but why a Bronco II? Lame and ugly vehicle. Scouts are great but haven’t seen one in good enough shape to buy in years. The were made from imported steel that rusted far quicker than their american counterparts.
    Defenders are great but a completely different price range

    Andrew on April 2, 2010 3:31 PM:

    1970 Original Range Rover (when they were 2-door)

    Nick on April 2, 2010 4:12 PM:

    These guys are in Maine and restore to better than original…no idea of price.


    Kolby on April 2, 2010 4:46 PM:

    Why not just get a postal jeep? The look similar and if you don’t take it offroad no one will think you’re a poser.

    e on April 2, 2010 4:49 PM:

    Neat 40. I had a red ’78, but with lots more rust. The thrill factor can’t be beat. Cruisers make great woods rigs, and are often built as rock crawlers. You can outfit them for camping too (common in Oz). City parking is hard unless you upgrade to Saginaw power steering. The top is a bear to get off and on (grab 3 friends), and the F/2F gasser is thirsty. Diesels are highly-desirable and spendy, but you can find a cheap gas FJ40 runner for $4000. The motors are bulletproof (mine had about 240k, and my FJ60 had 289k, with minimal wear in the cylinders when I did some head work). IH8Mud is the cruiser nut playground, but careful as they don’t take kindly to posers. Most 40 owners get them dirty and can drive the pants off a stripper. They talk more about birfield replacements than just about anything else.

    Broncos and Scouts…cool but not as functional in my opinion. My pops had a Scout…horribly unreliable. Broncos look cool though. 40s are fairly refined in appointments, but the ride sucks and yes, they can be slow. Gearing is low, so you can climb anything as long as there’s grip. Parts can be super cheap – I replaced a tranny for $300, and they sell stuff at NAPA. Try that with a Rover. The Series IIs and IIIs are cool, but they leak too much and parts are ridiculous. Lifting them looks ridiculous too. We’ve wheeled with all manner of vehicles, and the Toyotas are by far the most reliable in the woods. Lastly, don’t call them J**ps.

    David on April 2, 2010 4:54 PM:

    I recommend a Jeep CJ7. I have driven them since I was 16 and still have the 1986 that I had in high school. My Dad and I spend lots of time driving on the old passes and railroad beds in the mountains around Aspen in CJs and all kinds of other 4WDs. If you want something classic, that will run off road with the best of them and still looks pretty sweet at a parking meter in town, look no further.

    e on April 2, 2010 4:56 PM:

    Don’t listen to David.

    Ryan on April 2, 2010 8:44 PM:

    Whoever owns this one has the front bezel on upside down; the bezel (the white trim piece that surrounds the grille and headlights) counterintuitively goes thick-side up.

    It’s a sticking point for ‘Cruiser nerds like myself.

    Jordan on April 3, 2010 10:25 AM:

    my neighbors have one just like this (sans winch). i often think about jacking it and heading south…

    Stone on April 3, 2010 1:29 PM:

    oh man! I had a 71 Toyota Landcrusier FJ40 and I sold it last summer … not the best car to have as your only car … but a fun one to have in the Colorado summer!

    Noah on April 3, 2010 5:21 PM:

    My mom bought a ’96 Land Rover defender off eBay a couple years back. Front vents, side facing bench seats, brush guard and all. We drove it back home to the Gulf Coast all the way from Tennessee.

    Best and coolest SUV I’ve ever seen

    heart charlie on April 3, 2010 5:27 PM:

    Yes please, I would like a land cruiser as well :) I love the literal name, so perfect. It is quite something when just seeing a vehicle can ignite imaginations of travel.

    Erik on April 3, 2010 7:17 PM:

    I’ve driven friends Scouts, Bronco II’s, and Defenders, and owned at ’77 Landcruiser. Had to sell it last Fall. Hands down, I’d take the Landcruiser over all the other options. I love everything about them, even the unique whine they make.

    Zog on April 3, 2010 7:38 PM:

    Not to be too practical, but this is one where you have to think about function as well as form. I love the looks of these machines as well, but remember where you are seeing them, Colorado. These trucks were made for off-roading. You will find they have incredibly rough suspension, lousy gas mileage, and many features that are impractical in the city. The old Jeeps were drafty and had a kidney-jarring ride. For Manhattan, how about a Mini?

    Jonas on April 3, 2010 9:14 PM:

    I have owned a lifetimes worth of vintage 4×4’s and early SUV’s. I currently drive a ’84 Toyota FJ60 wagon. I commute 200 miles round trip to work in Seattle a couple of times a week. It gets about 16 MPG highway and I’ve extensively modified the original 6 cylinder engine to accomplish this and maintain reasonable power.
    If I were looking for a classic removeable top type SUV at a reasonable price, I would go for a late ’60’s early ’70’s International Scout 800. It comes with a small V8 engine that produces good power and gets the same economy as a 6. It will also come with a 4 speed transmission and Dana 27 front axle and Dana 44 rear axle. Most came with a limited slip rear differential, some in the front also. All robust options for a 1/4 ton vehicle. I would stay away from the scout diesel of 1980. It’s a Nissan motor and terribly underpowered.
    Land Rovers are stupid expensive and maybe not so reliable? They have “the look” though. I’ve always wanted one but never could bring myself to open the billfold far enough to buy one.

    Jonas on April 3, 2010 9:16 PM:

    BTW My forte’ are the old Dodge Power Wagons of the 1940’s- 1950’s Some of my stuff be viewed at: http://www.imageevent.com/rockinjwranch

    ron thompson on April 3, 2010 9:44 PM:

    110 Defender for sale. If anyone is interested send me an email.


    Aron on April 3, 2010 10:59 PM:

    When we were in Costa Rica we saw so many of them. I wish we had collected photos for a collage!

    Chris Leeuw on April 4, 2010 3:25 PM:

    I’ve got an 82 diesel land cruiser and it’s fantastic. Great mileage, turns on a dime and is stylish as hell. The only bad thing is they ride like you’re on safari, but I guess that’s part of the charm.

    Noah on April 4, 2010 4:09 PM:

    Also, the Italian State police all drive supped up Defenders

    Jordan on April 4, 2010 11:08 PM:

    I was looking for a Toyota FJ40 a few months ago. I ended up getting a 1980 Jeep CJ5, which I love and is a lot of fun, but I still hope to own an FJ some day!

    bork on April 5, 2010 12:41 AM:

    Oh, do I get to be the guy who spoils everyone’s fun here?

    If you drive one of these, you’re just as much an asshole as the guy in the Ed Hardy shirt driving the Hummer H1.

    James Brown on April 5, 2010 8:21 AM:

    Yeah…the Land Cruiser/Defender are great for Brooklyn.

    Hipster faux manliness hits a new peak.

    Bryan Stone on April 5, 2010 10:20 AM:
    doug on April 5, 2010 3:22 PM:

    some one is seeking an image with this –in NEW YORK?? do u think that is where an fj40’s soul would reside?? in new york??? and im starting a horse ranch in tokyo! you should get a honda element, and remove all the plastic.. your wish has been granted.

    theWild&Free on April 6, 2010 3:13 AM:

    oh weird, negative comments.
    BTW- I am obsessed with early 80’s single cab american trucks.

    mike on April 6, 2010 3:29 PM:

    I’d love a newer Defender, but they have not been imported into the U.S. since our nanny government required air bags. Even better would be a diesel one, but they can’t be imported because our pollution standards are so much more stringent than Europe. Pretty soon all we’ll be allowed to own will be electrically powered and made out of plastic.

    Andrew on April 7, 2010 4:37 AM:

    I have a 1983 BJ-42 Toyota Land Cruiser for sale in the Equality State.


    John on April 8, 2010 1:19 PM:

    if you got loot, this company ICON does custom fj40 like cruisers. i seen a caravan of these going down sunset blvd. stunning.


    Robert on April 9, 2010 11:30 AM:

    I just got a Scout a couple of weeks ago, im planning on fixing it up a little bit, but the only down side is its an automatic.

    chad on April 15, 2010 12:29 AM:

    Man up and get an AMC 360…………..Of course I’m talkin bout the Wagoneer……..wood panels………can’t go wrong.

    Check for rust………there’s always a lil bit…..

    ryan on April 15, 2010 2:16 PM:

    which make/model is best on gas while still at least somewhat accomplishing the look of these older SUVs?

    Tex on April 16, 2010 5:56 PM:

    I drive, and have for many a year, an ’84 FJ60 LandCrusher. Just my preference. Need a Post Apocalyptic Combat Tourer big enough to fit my XL size Hound in…..

    Anyhow, check out Cool Cruisers of Texas. Commonly known as CCOT to Crusher Nerds. They specialize in FJ40 Restoration. Spendy but definitely sweet. Also a good source of parts for old Crushers…….

    Too much of a semi luddite to be able to make these hot but here goes:


    Also, a good source for old rigs:


    Later Gators……..

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