If I had to pick just one Toyota Land Cruiser to own, it would be the FJ60. It's one of the most influential SUVs ever made. It looks great, being nowhere near as bloated as its successors. The FJ60, I'd argue is the perfect combination of family practicality and off-road capability. And it may be the finest example of Toyota's commitment to quality, durability and reliability. How many years and miles will an FJ60 last? We're still trying to find out nearly 40 years later.
So I'm extra-excited to hear that California-based Land Cruiser restorers Corsetti Cruisers has announced they will be doing a new series of Land Cruiser builds. They will be complete 2,200-hour frame-off restorations that keep the look and vibe of the original, but dramatically enhance it to be far more livable by 2021 standards. And their first rebuilt 1984 FJ60 looks exquisite.
Corsetti Cruisers swaps out the classic Land Cruiser engine for GM's LS3 6.2-liter V8 crate engine, mated to a four-speed automatic. That setup puts out 495 horsepower, more than triple the 135 hp of the stock engine. The build keeps the stock Toyota three-speed transfer case. Other modifications from Corsetti Cruisers include an Old Man Emu suspension, 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain tires, and rear disc brakes with a HydroBoost system.
According to Corsetti Cruisers, their FJ60 build can earn 22 to 24 mpg on the highway. The original FJ60, by contrast, was rated for 12 mpg highway under EPA testing — when new.
The Corsetti Cruisers series build also brings the interior to modern comfort levels with custom leather on the seats and door panels, a 10-inch Pioneer infotainment screen, a reverse camera and a modern sound system. This Land Cruiser had rear jump seats added behind the second row.
Corsetti Cruisers says the cost of a series build is $135,000. That's substantially more than you would typically pay for an FJ60 on Bring a Trailer. But those likely have not had a complete frame-off restoration. And it's not that much more than you would pay for a new Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade or Mercedes-Benz GLS.