A staple of the American classic car market for many years, with 6 figure prices for 'Singer-esque' ground up restorations not unheard of in the States, the FJ40 has yet to be fully appreciated here in the UK. Possibly down to the generally rusty workhorse, few and far between RHD models here, the alternative being LHD Portugese models. But who wants to drive LHD in the UK unless its absolutely necessary....you can just about reach the parking barrier ticket in a Giulietta spider, not so in a LHD FJ40. With a design that remained essentially unchanged bar engine upgrades from its introduction in Japan in 1960 to its demise in Mexico in 2001 (yes, really), these FJ40 and later diesel BJ were built in huge numbers. Like the Land Rover they were modified for all uses, from fire tenders to ambulances to pick-ups. Yet these vehicles are a far more usable prospect than an early Landy and if anything are better compared to a period Range Rover. With the original 135 bhp/285n.m 4.2 litre 6 cylinder petrol engine, a canvas or hardtop FJ40 is a powerful machine with effortless torque and relaxed motorway cruising that leaves any Landy in its wake. This 2f engine is notoriously hardwearing when well maintained and so unstressed that engine noise in the cabin is not an issue, making for a relaxing drive. Bodywork is key on an FJ40, as restoring a rusty one will easily exceed the final value of the car. The engine and drivetrain being fairly bulletproof, its the body that needs to have been properly restored off the chassis to make owning one an economically viable proposition. Buy a good one and they will more than hold their value. With so few made in RHD in comparison to LHD, sourcing a rebuilt and usable FJ40 in the UK is far from easy. If you're reading this, you probably already know that. Japan and Australia are the obvious choices for RHD FJ40s as the cars have on the whole been well maintained and cared for, remember these were very expensive when new. With prices for nicely chassis-off restored FJs creeping ever upwards in price, this Spring is the time to pick one up at an online classic car auction - after all, why pay dealer prices? Eclectic town or country transport that all the family car enjoy. Banzai...!