Usually, when someone plugs a modern engine into an old car, there are some tell-tale signs that all is not what it seems. However, as you can see, this is not the case with the Legacy Overland Toyota Land Cruiser.
Indeed, underneath the ’82 FJ40’s period bodywork lies a 5.7-litre V8 from General Motors and a four-speed automatic gearbox. Other mechanical upgrades include disc brakes, power steering, a more modern suspension and stronger tires wrapped around 16-inch OEM wheels.
Apart from the tyres, it looks almost exactly as it did when new almost 40 years ago. If you’re a Land Cruiser expert, the differences are undoubtedly noticeable.
Inside it’s a little more obvious that it’s not a standard FJ40, but not by much. The front seats are original but trimmed in vegan-friendly leather, there’s a modern stereo disguised as an old one, and a slim auxiliary air conditioning unit under the dash. There’s even the original steering wheel, which is a nice touch.

This summer marks 70 years since Toyota launched the special model that would become known as the Land Cruiser, which launched Toyota’s global conquest and has sold 10.4 million units to date in more than 170 countries around the world. In its evolution, the family has been split into several branches; of the three distinctly different series (the 70, 150 and 200) currently available on the world market, the latest, the 200 series, launched in 2007, is now passing the baton to a brand new design.

Production of the first generation of Land Cruisers began in 1951. The Land Cruiser was available in convertible, hardtop, station wagon and hatchback body styles. The Land Cruiser’s reliability and longevity have led to its immense popularity, particularly in Australia where it is the best-selling body-on-frame, four-wheel drive vehicle. Toyota also tests the Land Cruiser extensively in the Australian wilderness, which is considered one of the harshest operating environments in terms of both temperature and terrain. In Japan, the Land Cruiser was once available exclusively at Toyota dealerships in Japan under the name Toyota Store.

Adam Gubán

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