A Rare 1968 FJ45 Gets a Second Lease on Life

    There’s More to Life Than Smashing Sheetmetal in the Rocks

    Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

    FJ40 Toyota Land Cruisers command huge money these days, and the irony is that the more stock they are, the more they are worth, even with drum brakes and manual steering. Ed Moore had an FJ40 that he modified for rockcrawling with a small-block Chevy and spring-over suspension back when 40 Series were affordable. As the market has changed, so has Ed. He sold the rockcrawler and began his search for a blank canvas he could turn into a restomod.

    A mere FJ40 wouldn’t do though. Ed was looking for an FJ45 pickup. He works at Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers and sees beautifully restored FJ40s every day. While roughly 120,000 Land Cruisers were imported to the U.S. between 1960 and 1984, less than 1 percent of those were FJ45 pickups.

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    Ed searched for over a year for this short-wheelbase (SWB) FJ45 before finding it in Wolf Point, Montana. “I drove two days on ice packed roads to get this thing!” he confesses.

    After bringing the FJ45 home, he and the staff of Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers completely … well, resurrected the Land Cruiser. The paint, body, and interior all look like they just rolled off the showroom floor. The modification part of the restomod involved adding a 3FE six-cylinder engine with factory fuel injection, an imported H55F five-speed manual transmission, disc brakes, and Saginaw steering. Those thoughtful upgrades make the FJ45 much more of a pleasure to drive without ruining the character of the truck. And drive it Ed does, every chance he gets.

    Tech Specs

    1968 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45
    Engine: Toyota 3FE 6-cylinder
    Transmission: H55F 5-speed manual
    Transfer Case: 88 Toyota split case
    Front Axle: 60 Series with 3.73 gears
    Rear Axle: 60 Series with 3.73 gears
    Springs & Such: Old Man Emu leaf springs and Bilstein 5100 shocks (front and rear)
    Tires & Wheels: 255/85R16 Cooper Discoverer ST Maxx on widened factory wheels
    Steering: Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers Saginaw conversion
    Lighting: OEM Toyota
    Other Stuff: Saginaw steering conversion, Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers shackle reversal