Jay Leno discovers the Land Cruiser's classic status
In a recent episode of his garage-based show, Jay Leno found out about the cult status of the Toyota Land Cruiser
Jay Leno recently learned about the merits of the Toyota Land Cruiser as a classic collectable, and posted the results on his YouTube channel.
The 68-year-old teamed up with Brian Corsetti, the owner of 12 Land Cruisers ranging from 1981 to ‘90. He brought three of those to Leno’s Garage, where they talked through the surprising collector status of the car and Corsetti’s history with the four-wheel drive vehicle.
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Corsetti’s interest in Land Cruisers stems from his team being driven to school in one, and his collecting days started because it was an affordable way of getting to understand the mechanical underpinnings of older cars.
Oldest of the three cars Corestti brought along is 1987 FJ60, one from the final year of the car’s production line. Despite being a road orientated model rather than an offroader, this is the vehicle that Corsetti cites as starting the Land Cruiser’s cult following. It has a 135hp 2563ci (4.2-litre) inline straight-six engine that has locking hubs as a result of being four-wheel drive. Original designs of the car actually based it on a Chevrolet engine.
Corsetti is the second owner of the car, completing a full renovation without taking the frame off, and repainted it in its original colour. It looks like it’s just come out of the showroom, and with increasing popularity for FJ60s, is riding a wave of inflation. Surprisingly the rarest part to find when restoring it is the cap for the water tank that cleans the headlights, despite the car being the last from Toyota to feature a carbureted engine before stricter emission laws were enacted in the United States.
The seals have been changed, and the air intake has been rebuilt on the engine, which Corsetti describes as ‘bulletproof’. Its top speed is just over 60mph, which is easily eclipsed by his 1988 FJ62 car (with technicolour stripes), which has a fuel-injected 244ci (4.0L) inline six that puts out 20hp more. It also has an automatic transmission, and can cruise at highway speeds of 75mph according to Corsetti. Difficulties in finding replacement automatics means many collectors put five-speed manuals in their cars now.
The third car is another FJ62, with raised suspension, some passenger luxuries such as electric windows and a beefier stereo system, not to mention a torquey 244ci inline six. Although all three are roughly similar, primarily because they are the same car, it shows the different features Land Cruiser collectors look out for in this era of the car. To Corsetti, it also demonstrates that you don’t have to break the bank to achieve this quality for a classic.
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