Hemmings Find: 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser Turbo Diesel

“Large and in charge” should be the phrase that comes to mind when thinking of Toyota Land Cruisers. The hulking behemoths of steel loomed large in international adventures, from Australia to South Africa to India, where the well-regarded drivetrains and sturdy body-on-frame designs gained respect and loyalty from anyone who happened to set foot inside one. In fact, a duo of Land Cruisers made a mad dash in the DAKAR Rally in 1996 and wound up taking first and second place in the unmodified production class.

Today’s find is from the Hemmings Classifieds (no. 1633718). It’s an ’88 FJ62 fully restored by the trusted TLC company, which you may recognize as the firm founded and owned by the eccentric Jonathan Ward. Ward’s other wildly successful business, ICON 4×4, has made the man the legend he is today, but it’s clear that Ward never stopped caring for the vehicles he restores, as we can see in the details about this particular SUV.

TLC first received the FJ62 in May of 2009, the odometer reading 151,000 miles. The client wanted Ward and his team to “comb through the mechanical systems” and essentially spruce it all up with loads of upgrades and improvements, which TLC was more than happy to oblige.

The first thing to go was the gasoline engine, a tired old 3F-E inline-six powerplant capable of just 155 hp and 220 lb-ft. of torque. The crew installed in its place an International 2.8L turbo diesel four-cylinder, which cranked up the torque to 276 lb-ft. and, according to Ward, managed to squeeze out a remarkable 24.5 miles-per-gallon in the right conditions. It can even run on biodiesel when it has to.

Elsewhere, TLC beefed up the axles with ARB air lockers, while the suspension was upgraded to an Old Man Emu setup, also from ARB. A fresh H55F five-speed tranny went in to make use of the new engine.

A Stage II cosmetic restoration was ordered by the client as well, so TLC went to town with a high-quality repaint, new liners, new quarter panels, new weatherstripping, new carpet and upholstery, and much more. It’s plain to see that for all intents and purposes, this big gray FJ is a reborn off-road warrior.

We hope it finds the right home, but it may have to wait a while until someone can manage to slap down $89,000 for it. What do you think? Is this Land Cruiser worth the green? Or is it priced to oblivion? Leave your two cents below.

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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