By Mark Williams for PickupTrucks.com
If you were in charge of training all the product specialists at Toyota and Lexus — as well as probably being one of the most knowledgeable people in the U.S. concerning just about every Toyota or Lexus ever built — what type of vehicle would you drive?
If you happen to be Paul Williamson, the national manager at Lexus College at the University of Toyota, that vehicle would have to be something very special. We recently had the chance to see one of Williamson's most recent additions to his small but growing collection of cool vehicles.
Of course, it’s a Toyota. In fact, it’s part Land Cruiser, part pickup and part military refugee. Williamson found this diamond in the rough through friend a short time ago, and he had been storing it in the Midwest. Recently, though, he took a short vacation to visit some relatives, and he swung by to grab the single cab FJ pickup to bring it back to his Southern California homestead.
Speaking of SoCal, Williamson’s Land Cruiser reminds us of the Icon FJ45 — the California-built, $120,000 "Rolls-Royce of Rock Crawlers" — that we drove in March.
Although Williamson isn't exactly sure what year his Land Cruiser is from, he does know it had to be sometime in the mid- to late '80s and that it was most likely built in Saudi Arabia.
At some point, based on the removal of quite a few military numbers and names that have since been scraped off the truck, the FJ75 was used by the U.S. Marine Corps, which likely worked the rear 10-leaf spring pack hard.
Williamson pointed out that a section of the rear bumper was removed to allow for a military-issue pintle hook rear hitch, and that the bed came with a bed-mounted Hi-Lift jack as well. Under the hood sits the same 3F 4.1-liter inline-six-cylinder engine, complete with a unique power-assisted clutch mechanism. The only modification Williamson made to this classic Land Cruiser was adding a set of current-model FJ Cruiser rims and some new 265/75R16 BFG all-terrain tires.
Paul expects to keep this little pickup for quite a while, possibly driving to some corporate events or upcoming SoCal car shows, where we’d imagine he’d draw quite a crowd. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, keep your eye open for this very rare Toyota pickup.