The Toyota Land Cruiser is about as timeless as they come, having been introduced to the market in 1951 with continued production into the present. But some Land Cruiser models aren’t as well-known as others, like the FJ45, for example.
Introduced in the United States in 1963, this particular model didn’t stick around long, being retired in 1967. But that’s exactly why we like it! Not only was the FJ45 part of the famed 40 line of Land Cruisers it remains a rarity today, making it the perfect topic of this week’s Vintage Monday!
With the availability of FJ40 Land Cruisers in the United States lasting over 20 years, its no surprise that a number of sub-models came out of its run. One of them was the rare FJ45, available for just four years.
Built with the same drivetrain as the FJ40, the FJ45 was produced simultaneously with the more famous model; the difference was that the FJ45 offered different body-style options for a number of differing needs. These included a short bed pickup, long bed pickup and a four-door wagon.
For the larger long bed pickup model, consumers would get a two-door cab (with removable doors) and a squared truck bed with side tie-down loops and a removable hard top. Similarly, the short bed pickup also came with a tow-door cab but featured a rounded bed with beveling around the top rim.
Just like the long bed, the smaller truck could be had with a removable hardtop and doors, but also came with a fixed top (and door) option. The wagon featured the most interior space, with four doors instead of the FJ40’s standard two-door setup.
Because of these differing styles, the FJ45 models had a seating capacity of three to six people.
Constructed atop a semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension system, the FJ45 models offered cargo carrying capacities not seen in the FJ40s with the bonus of four-wheel drive and 3,500 pounds of towing capacity.
Depending on which model was purchased, the FJ45s could range in length from 166.5 inches to 183.5 inches with wheelbases stretching between 95.7 inches and 104.3 inches. No matter what the sub-model’s size, however, they were all equipped with hydraulic drum brakes on all four corners and an 18.5-gallon fuel tank.
Powering the FJ45 models was the same carbureted 3.9L inline-6 F engine used in the early FJ40 models, offering 125 HP at 3,600 RPM and 209 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 RPM. This was backed by a three-speed manual transmission. Gas mileage for the model was in the range of 11 to 16 MPG, depending on where you were driving.
Much like the FJ40s, the FJ45 models are known for their undeniable reliability, sparked from demands on the Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1950s to create a 4WD military/police vehicle for the troops stationed in Japan. This is how the original Land Cruiser came about and the FJ40 sub-models followed suit.
As we stated before, the FJ45 didn’t last long in the market and was replaced in 1968 by the FJ55, another Land Cruiser sub-model manufactured simultaneously with the popular FJ40 model. This model provided more space for passengers and more luxury amenities. But that’s a model for a different Vintage Monday!