The 1988 Toyota FJ62 4WD Land Cruiser was a part of the “60 series” of Toyota Land Cruiser, which was produced between 1980 to 1990. The FJ62 model, specifically, was introduced in 1987 to replace the FJ60 model. This series was characterized by significant changes to the Land Cruiser line, aimed at making the vehicle more comfortable and convenient for daily driving while maintaining off-road capabilities.
The FJ62 featured a 4.0 liter, 6-cylinder 3F-EFI engine, which replaced the older 2F engine found in the FJ60. This brought along electronic fuel injection for increased efficiency. Moreover, it introduced an automatic transmission to the Land Cruiser line for the first time, allowing for a more user-friendly experience on the road.
Design-wise, the FJ62 was given a facelift to make it more suitable for an urban environment. It had a more modern exterior with squared-off corners and larger windows, and the interior saw updates to provide more comfort, including an upgraded stereo system, power windows, and air conditioning. Despite these changes aimed at improving on-road comfort, the FJ62 still maintained its off-road capabilities, with robust construction and four-wheel drive.
Safety was also a concern in the FJ62, and it boasted front disc brakes, a feature that was still rare among four-wheel drive vehicles of the time.
The Toyota Land Cruiser, including the 1988 FJ62 model, has been the work of numerous designers and engineers over the decades. However, specific designer names aren’t often associated with individual models, especially those from earlier eras like the 1980s. This is due to the collective nature of automotive design and engineering, where entire teams collaborate on a vehicle rather than a single individual.
Toyota’s design philosophy has always been centered on “kaizen,” a concept of continuous improvement, where engineers and designers collaboratively work to refine and improve their vehicles. This philosophy has been applied to all Toyota models, including the Land Cruiser line.
The FJ62 represented an evolution in the Land Cruiser design, bridging the gap between a rugged off-road vehicle and a comfortable daily driver. The key changes made during the FJ62 design process, such as introducing a more modern, squared-off body style and an automatic transmission, were likely the result of a team of designers and engineers tasked with bringing the Land Cruiser up to date with the market demands of the late 1980s.
The Toyota Land Cruiser’s cultural impact is as varied and expansive as the terrains it conquers. Let’s delve into more details about its impact in various spheres of society:
- Global Influence and Impact: The Land Cruiser, known for its robustness and resilience, has cultivated a strong reputation for reliability in the face of the harshest environments. This reputation has led to a deep cultural imprint in numerous countries where the Land Cruiser, including the FJ62 model, is considered an essential tool for survival. In places like Australia, the Middle East, and various African nations, where conditions can be punishing, Land Cruisers are seen as lifesaving assets. They are so crucial in certain remote and rural communities of Australia and Africa that the locals often refer to any 4WD vehicle simply as a “Land Cruiser”.
- Adventure and Exploration Culture: The Land Cruiser’s off-road prowess has seen it ingrained in the culture of exploration and adventure. Overlanding, a type of self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal, has been a significant part of Land Cruiser’s culture. The FJ62, due to its combination of robust performance and relative comfort, has been a favorite amongst adventurers. In fact, entire communities and clubs have formed around the Land Cruiser, like the Toyota Land Cruiser Association, which celebrates these vehicles and organizes events for owners.
- Military Significance: Land Cruisers have seen extensive military usage. They were used by the Turkish military in the Cyprus Peace Operation in 1974 and by the Brazilian Marine Corps, amongst others. The FJ62, known for its balance between toughness and comfort, has served in various roles, from transportation to reconnaissance.
- Media and Pop Culture: Land Cruisers have found their way into films, TV shows, and music videos, often being associated with ruggedness, dependability, and the spirit of adventure. The FJ62 model’s unique retro-futuristic look makes it a visually memorable vehicle that has been used in various forms of media, enhancing its cultural status.
- Automobile Culture: Among car enthusiasts and collectors, the Land Cruiser, especially the FJ62, has gained a cult following. Its rise in popularity is reflected in the growing number of restoration shops dedicated to Land Cruisers and the increasing value of pristine models. The FJ62, considered the last “classic” Land Cruiser sold in the US before more luxurious models were introduced, holds particular nostalgic value.
- Social and Humanitarian Role: In many parts of the world, the Land Cruiser’s role goes beyond transportation. Its dependability in the face of harsh conditions has made it the vehicle of choice for various humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations, for their field operations. In regions hit by conflict or disaster, the sight of a Land Cruiser often signifies impending aid and relief.
The Land Cruiser, and specifically the 1988 FJ62, therefore carries a cultural significance that extends beyond its function as a vehicle. It represents a fusion of functionality and form that has captured the imagination of people around the globe, making it a cultural icon in its own right.
‘This FJ may be one of the best examples anywhere, fully original (bar one respray in the original ‘Royal Blue’ factory colour and any necessary mechanical work, tyre replacements etc.) 1988 Toyota Landcruiser FJ62. With its 6 Cylinder 4WD and only 65K original miles, this vehicle has no history of rust or bodywork, nor any off-road usage.
The Toyota Landcruiser is Toyota’s longest-running series and a premier off-road full-sized sport utility vehicle. Its performance in the harshest of environments, notably the Australian outback’s extreme temperatures and terrain, is well-documented and revered. It’s also Australia’s best-selling full-sized body-on-frame four-wheel-drive vehicle, with over 300K Landcruisers sold worldwide by 1973, further attesting to their legendary status. It was initially offered as a convertible, a hardtop, a station wagon, and a utility truck.
According to Classic.com, in 2020, the top Landcruiser model sold was the FJ40, followed by FJ62 and FJ60. Both the FJ62 and FJ60 experienced over 100% increase in total dollar sales year-over-year, with FJ62 nearly tripling its market size and almost doubling its average sale.
Here’s a brief backstory about why the previous owner poured so much effort into this low-mileage vehicle. His son always liked his FJ40, and he wanted a similar vehicle for him. The FJ60 and FJ62 models are popular among younger generations and are emerging as collectibles. Especially, the FJ62s are gaining interest and value, making them a smart choice over the softening FJ40 values. The previous owner promised his son any vehicle of his choice upon graduating medical school, and he picked an FJ62. This Landcruiser was bought in Oklahoma and driven back to Phoenix, AZ, during which the owner fell in love with it. He wanted to give his son the best possible version of this vehicle, one that would remain trouble-free for years to come.
The vehicle had 61,000 actual miles when it was bought, and then it was meticulously improved to avoid any system failures while increasing its value. Eventually, the son sold the FJ62 to help with a house down payment, and we became its proud owners.
The vehicle underwent mechanical refurbishment and then was disassembled for a sand and buff of the paint, and repainted in its original “Royal Blue”. The door jambs and engine compartment still retain the original paint, showing its pristine and well-preserved condition. The wheels and tyres were original, but the vehicle now sports new tyres. New bumpers, bumper ends, front grill, wiper arms, headlight surrounds, etc. were installed after a base coat/clear coat was color sanded and buffed out.
The interior remains original and well-kept, featuring the original seats, carpet, headliner, door panels, and all trim. The gauges, levers, knobs, needles, etc. all look brand new. All window switches, window motors, interior lights are bright and in perfect condition. The rubber seals were pulled back during the repaint, ensuring the quality of the job as well as maintaining the original installment of glass, rubber, and trim. The turn signals self-cancel as they would when new, and the shifter engages accurately. Even the power radio antenna is a Toyota part, installed by Toyota. The vehicle also received a new starter, a rebuilt alternator, and a replaced water pump. The power steering pump is original but was flushed and filled with new fluid, another nod to the vehicle’s impressively low mileage.’
The 1988 Toyota FJ62 4WD Land Cruiser is considered a classic today due to its unique blend of off-road capability and on-road comfort. Its legacy is seen in the current generation of Land Cruisers, which continue the tradition of ruggedness combined with comfort and convenience. The FJ62 models, in particular, are gaining interest among collectors and enthusiasts, who appreciate their blend of vintage charm and usability.