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Very early FJ40 LandCruiser in Shannons Melbourne Late Summer sale

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MELBOURNE – Jan 14, 2014: A carefully restored and believed mechanically correct 1963 Toyota FJ40 LandCruiser is expected to be pursued by 4WD enthusiasts and collectors at Shannons Late Summer Melbourne Auction on February 17.

The beautiful two-tone green Toyota with its ‘corrugated’ hardtop and trademark white roof is believed to be one of earliest FJ40s sold by then-Australian Toyota distributor Thiess Brothers.

Toyota began building four wheel drive ‘BJ series’ vehicles for the US Army’s military police stationed in Japan in the early 1950s and re-named them LandCruisers’ when they were made available to the public in 1954.

Thiess began importing canvas-roofed FJ20 series LandCruisers from Japan in 1958 after winning the contracts to construct the Tooma Dam and Tooma-Tumut Tunnel for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme and subsequently sold the upgraded FJ40 LandCruiser in Australia from 1962.

With a lineage extending through to the 1980s, the FJ40 wrote the LandCruiser legend, with 121,000 finding their way into the hands of Australian farmers, miners and adventurers out of more than one million sold around the world.

The classic FJ40 being auctioned has been in the hands of its current, believed third owner, for around 25 years and its body and paintwork were restored by him over a period of two years in the early 1990s.

At the same time the vehicle’s mechanical components, including its 3.9 litre six cylinder engine, three-speed column-change gearbox, low-range transfer case, front and rear differentials and radiator, were inspected, cleaned, but not rebuilt and are believed to all be original.

The vehicle presents very well and is fitted with five near-new bar-tread period tyres on its rare 15-inch steel rims, two replacement rear axles and a new, complete period toolbox.

The FJ40’s seats have been re-upholstered in their original pattern and it is being sold with a near-new workshop manual, a new parts catalogue and its original ignition key, making it very attractive for collectors.

Because of its excellent provenance, authentic condition and increasing value as a collectible vehicle, Shannons believe the FJ40 will attract bids in the $20,000-$25,000 range at the February 17 Melbourne auction.