Despite limited initial demand, the Land Cruiser quickly makes a name for itself, and the model becomes the best-selling Toyota in the United States from 1961 to 1965. The famed 40-series Land Cruiser is introduced in 1960; the model also goes by the name FJ40 (F for the engine type, J for Jeep), and subsequent generations follow this naming convention. According to Dan Busey of the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum, the 40-series Land Cruiser is initially sold concurrently with the 20-series. Although the 40-series’ looks are evolutionary, it is a revolutionary product.
New assembly techniques improve the finished product, and the addition of a two-speed transfer case betters the four-wheel-drive SUV’s off-road capabilities. A larger 2F-type 4.2-liter inline-six is added to the model in 1975, and that engine powers the 40-series Land Cruiser until Toyota stops selling the model stateside after the 1983 model year. Decades later, the FJ Company loans us a thoroughly restored and modernized 1981 FJ43 Land Cruiser that includes top-notch build quality and sports a $200,000 price of entry.