Weekly Craigslist Hidden Treasure: 1990 Toyota Land Cruiser With Chevy Turbo Diesel

Car Culture

This thing is a beauty.

There’s no question the Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the best and most iconic SUVs on the planet. From its humble beginnings in 1951, the Land Cruiser, like the original Land Rover Defender, can trace its ancestral roots back to the World War II era Willys Jeep. In 1941, the Imperial Japanese Army found an abandoned US military Jeep in the Philippines and sent it back to Japan to be reversed engineered. The Japanese government assigned the task to Toyota.

When the war ended, Toyota continued to develop and evolve the design. Today’s Land Cruiser is very different from a modern Jeep Wrangler, but they share one key ingredient: off-road prowess.

Over the past couple of decades, the Land Cruiser has become a luxury SUV in every way. A new one begins at $85,000. At the same time, older Land Cruisers, such as this 1990 FJ62, continue to gain fans. Like just about any Toyota, older Land Cruisers, when properly maintained, hold up extremely well. Many choose to restore them while others opt for the restomod treatment. Firms such as Icon 4x4 will be more than happy to sell you a bespoke FJ.

Unfortunately, that’s also not the cheapest way to own a vintage Land Cruiser, but this ’90 FJ62 up for sale on Craigslist is a solid alternative. Not only has it been restored inside and out, but it also has something somewhat unexpected under its hood. In place of the original 4.0-liter inline-six is a Chevy-sourced 6.5-liter turbo diesel, paired to a five-speed manual transmission.

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An exact output wasn’t given, but a quick search reveals total output could be around 215 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. There’s only about 24,000 miles on the odometer since the restoration. As you can see from the photos, this FJ62 Land Cruiser is in incredible condition, which it ought to be considering the recent restoration. It’s also a California vehicle (Los Angeles), so it already lives in a nice climate away from harsh winters. The seller claims there’s zero rust. Other upgrades include a 2.5-inch lift kit and Toyo M/T off-road tires with less than 2,000 miles on them.

Another huge plus, especially given California’s strict emissions laws, is the fact this Land Cruiser is already good to go with the state’s DMV and meets all smog regulations. One look at the photos and it’s immediately clear the seller has taken very good care of it. We can’t make out any blemishes in the dash or the seats. All of the gauges look as good as new. The exterior looks just as pristine.

One of the things we like about the J60 generation, launched in 1980 and lasted for a decade, was its modern yet rugged looks. It’s boxy but the lines along the wheel arches, notably up front, add some simple elegance. It doesn’t look old fashioned, but vintage. It’s the type of SUV you want to take to a weekend cabin far away from city life.

We know, it sounds great, but how much will this 1990 FJ62 Land Cruiser, Chevy diesel V8 and all, set you back? A darn reasonable $28,500. Heck, a well-equipped 2019 Jeep Wrangler costs more than that.

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