Lexus Trainer Drives a Rare Toyota Pickup Truck

Lexus Trainer Drives a Rare Toyota Pickup Truck
By Mark Williams for

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.


They are everywhere in Australia, unless there's something different about it that I can't see (other than the side the steering wheel is on). I don't miss them either. If you're behind one, you get in the other lane because they are so slow!


@Tar Ball

Why are you yelling? It isn't that bad of a truck, unless you had a horrible personal experience with one......

that is a thing of beauty.

Cool truck. I thought I saw 1990 on the VIN tag. I bet there aren't too many like this in North America.
He should get someone to tanslate the Arabic script.

Well I hope the frame is still good... and no sludge in the motor lol. All kidding aside it does look like a neat little truck.

Does the VIN say 1990? I hazard a guess these would be pretty hard to find in the United States. Does anyone read Arabic?

notice the ratings? in KILO's. hefty little bugger.

Cool truck.

Frame Number FJ75-0092806 puts it coming off the workshop line in 09/1990

As to Tar Ball's comments a quick trip to will prove your supposition quite false...

Very Nice!

The 70 series work vehicles are an off-roader's Holy Grail. They are small enough to fit on narrow trails, able to carry heavy loads (double the capacity of a Wrangler), and very capable in poor traction situations. With a diesel engine, they have great low rpm torque. Unfortunately, Toyota never imported the 70 series trucks to North America (save a few vehicles for mining companies). It's difficult and expensive for a private party to import a 70 series model to USA.

Jeep makes a Wrangler for military customers called the J8 that has many of the qualities of the 70 series. There's a small chance that the J8 will be available as a kit through

I wish Toyota would make these trucks available in the U.S.
The soccer mommy rubbish they offer certainly isn't

For those of you that like this goofy looking thing, you might not have to wait very long to get one of your own? I heard that they are trying to bring a newer model to the U.S....under the name Mahindra?

wow nice truck i've ever seen .. it is very compact and seems multifunctional

@Flintstone the latest version has a 4.5 Litre diesel V8.

These might not be "lookers", but they have one thing that I wish every pick-up, big and small, had; a straight front axle.

Rue the day when Jeep and Ford finally nix their SFAs on their Wranglers and SDs. There's probably a whole marketing team at Jeep/Chrysler who want to turn the Wrangler into a full IFS rig. They did it to the Cherokee replacement (the Liberty) and they finally killed the Grand Cherokee with front IFS. "Trail Rated" my ass. Have you seen the new Grand Cherokee commercial where the GC is going up the rock face, bouncing all over up and down? Is that the way to rock crawl? No, that's the way to swap front ends and end up rolling back down the hill. Keeping the wheels firmly planted on Terra Firma and not kissing the ground with the center of the suspension going over big bumps (i.e. IFS) is the key to traction (and therefore safety).

For all their faults, Toyota knows how to build a serious, HD off-road truck. So does every other manufacturer, for that matter. Whether or not they actually do build it is another matter. Or should I say whether or not they offer it FOR SALE IN THE U.S. is another matter.


I know what you mean. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is worse than the previous model. The new one not only has an I.F.S. but it is also plagued with an I.R.S.

Thank goodness, for now anyway, the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Super Duties, AND Ram Heavy Duties all still have solid front axle 4X4s!

That's a very cool truck. Non-USA Toyotas are always built with way tougher frames and body panels. It may be small, but that's a tough truck.

this model is still popular in saudi arabia, and one can get a brand new one too.
available at the local toyota dealer:

My father bought a 77 FJ40 new in 1976 for $5600, I was 6. In 1986 it was mine for 4 years, then it was my brothers. Finally my father sold it in 1998. I of course have kicked myself ever since. I always wished they would sell these and the BJ series here, but no luck. Chicken tax and holding the LC name/price up won out.

There are no FJ's exactly like these few that accidently made it back to the States. The ones in Austrailia are not this heavy duty. The Arabic VIN, as translated by my Arab client, says, in addition to the "hefty" weights & capacities, "Officially Certified for Heavy Duty Commercial use in the Middle Eastern Countries". My client added, that it means that includes special anti-sand infiltration for the engine & drive train. Air-born sand is like talcum-powder over there & makes the sky green 3 months out of the year.
Heavy Duty is an understatement.

It's a beauty, it looks really cool.

" the 4,2 liter, 6 cyl. diesel; there are a lot of ones that lasts more than 1,000,000 kms. (600,000 + miles)" BEFORE REBUILDING IT !

The 4.2 liter diesel engine is the option here in my country (COSTA RICA) for this truck. Here you have more options to buy TOYOTA trucks than in USA; TUNDRA, TACOMA, HILUX or LAND CRUISER. I'm an " V8 CHEVY and Ford engine builder", most the engines I buid (350´s and 383´s Chevys) are in "old" Land Cruiser´s ( "jeeps or trucks"), and the powertrains remain the sames; you only need to lift the suspension, put 38" or 40" tires and you get a seriuos 4X4, ready to eat a Wrangler, CJ or anothers well known brands trucks!

translation from arabic:

2nd line from the top year of production: 1990

the car is made to meet special specification for the Arabian Gulf

"(Williamson pointed out that a section of the rear bumper was removed to allow for a military-issue pintle hook rear hitch")
Just FYI, this truck comes brand new with the pintle hook and the bumper manufactured as two pieces to allow for the pintle hook and truck tag to be visible. The rear bumper was not removed to allow for a military issue pintle hook. This is standard equipment and all the trailers here are pintle hook style tow. You would think someone in Williams position would know this or at the least research his truck before assuming. If you are a trainer etc... do a fact check before you assume.

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