HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: This vintage SUV is far from ordinary

Pick of the Day: This vintage SUV is far from ordinary

1976 Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40 has diesel engine


Vintage sport-utility vehicles are hot commodities in the collector car world and the Pick of the Day is such a vehicle, though one that is rather uncommon. It is a 1976 Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40, but instead of the usual gasoline engine, so typically found in US-import models, this one has a 3.0-liter turbo diesel, a 4-cylinder powerplant. 

An automatic transmission sends the engine’s output to a part-time 4-wheel drive setup.

One other fact that makes this BJ40 special: It’s located in Costa Rica. So if the next owner is located in the United States, the engine and the car’s location both would be talking points at car shows and off-road events.

The private seller in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, advertising the SUV on ClassicCars.com notes that it has power steering with tilt, disc brakes, air suspension, air conditioning, custom bumpers, fender flares, LED lighting. BlueTooth audio, and a back-up camera.

The seller adds that the BJ40 has been driven 12,000 kilometers, less than 7,500 miles, since its restoration.

The Toyota Land Cruiser dates to the rebuilding of post-war Japan and the Korean Conflict on a rugged, mountainous peninsula. The U.S. Army needed Jeep-style vehicles and, to produce them closer to the conflict, turned to Toyota on updates on the original Willys model.

The “BJ” name came from the Toyota Type-B engine (an inline 6) used at first and the fact that the vehicle was based on the Jeep. 

Though there was some criticism of the vehicles early on, Toyota test driver Ichiro Taira put such talk to rest by driving one up to a high hiker’s checkpoint on Mount Fuji and then up the steep stairs of the temple in Okazaki City.

The Pick of the Day example from 1976 is being offered for $54,500. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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