Toyota Land Cruiser | Spotted


On Monday we brought you news of the Rezvani Tank. Available with up to 1,000hp and options including thermal night vision, ballistic protection and electrified door handles, it claims to be "truly a vehicle for the apocalypse." Of course, if the end of the world really were nigh that would be the last thing you'd want; the only sensible choice in a desperate fight for survival would be the Toyota Land Cruiser.

So reliable is the Land Cruiser, the oft-told story goes, that at the time it was launched in Australia Land Rover claimed a 90 per cent market share; within a few years that had been eroded to just 2 per cent. Or perhaps that's more an illustration of just how shockingly unreliable the Brit turned out to be when driven upside down...


Nevertheless, future generations were widely regarded to offer, if not genuine Rezvani-style ballistic protection, then at least bulletproof operation of the metaphorical kind. So much so that while Japanese production of the 80 Series (of which today's Spotted is a member) ended in 1997, they kept producing it in Venezuela until 2008. That's a car which was first manufactured at the same time as the R32 GT-R, still being bought new by the time the R35 GT-R, which is still around today, came along. Remarkable.

So what's so great about it? Well, the 80 Series continued to offer the rugged, go-anywhere dependability of previous models, but with concessions to comfort and usability for the first time. Coils replaced the previous leaf-sprung setup, Panhard rods and anti-rolls bars improved stability and it had a far more refined cabin, replete with optional leather - it even became the first Land Cruiser to offer a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The result was a model so popular that for the first six months after launch, the Toyota factory had to run around the clock to meet demand - this in an era before the popularity of the SUV had really taken off. Despite the changes, the 80 lost nothing in the way of off-road capability, as evidenced by its one-two finish in the 'unmodified production' class of the 1996 Dakar Rally.


You'll have to excuse the photos of today's Spotted, which are shockingly low-res even for PH. It's the quality of what the pixels display, rather than the quantity of them that you should be focussing on here, though. The example you see here is currently en route from Japan with a Super Lift suspension kit, Super Swamper tyres and a super-Japanese wide-body kit. As a 1992 car, it benefits from the 4.5-litre six-cylinder FZ engine which was introduced in that year; all 212hp and 275lb ft of torque likely required to rotate those enormous tyres.

Yes it's a bit silly, no it isn't really necessary, and sure, it flies slightly in the face of the Land Cruiser's no-nonsense approach. But it's hard not to find something appealing about this oversized JDM blast from the past. In case of an apocalypse, there's only one place we'd want to be.


SPECIFICATION - TOYOTA LAND CRUISER (FZJ80)
Engine: 4,477cc, six-cylinder
Transmission: four-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 212@4,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 275@3,200rpm
CO2: N/A
MPG: N/A
First registered: 1992
Recorded mileage: 76,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £12,995

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Comments (35) Join the discussion on the forum

  • andy43 4 days ago

    Yes it’s more than a bit silly. Buy a standard one then take it to Jonathan Ward at TLC for an LS conversion.

  • Walter Sobchak 4 days ago

    I’d love an 80 series some day but they’re getting pretty expensive now, I’d take mine in standard looking spec with the 4.2 TD.
    The real best 4x4xfar.

    Edited by Walter Sobchak on Wednesday 14th August 09:05

  • Dafuq 4 days ago

    I am sure it's a 'spotted' back in blighty but they are two a penny over here, love 'em...., all of them.

    There is a well used and very true saying in Aus;

    If you want to go into the outback, take a Land Rover, if you want to come back, take a Land Cruiser.

    Never a truer word.

  • Bill 4 days ago

    Dafuq said:
    I am sure it's a 'spotted' back in blighty but they are two a penny over here, love 'em...., all of them.

    There is a tired old trope first used by Toyota marketing

    If you want to go into the outback, take a Land Rover, if you want to come back, take a Land Cruiser.

    Never a truer word.
    EFA. smile

    I had an 80 series, it was a bit bland and then it broke down. I can't say I gelled with it.

  • deadtom 4 days ago

    Dafuq said:
    I am sure it's a 'spotted' back in blighty but they are two a penny over here
    Not uncommon I’ll grant you, but two a penny? In anything resembling good condition These things are not even close to shed money. Even tatty ones are rarely shed money

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