Truck Thursday: 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser is expedition ready

Land Cruiser side
Each February, my wife, kids, and I spend a week in southern Florida. This year is no different, and like last year, I am now checking the local craigslist for the next potential family car before I get there. This gives me time to, in the event I do find something amazing for an amazing price, to convince the boss of it. No, despite many conversations, I have still not bought a new or used family car – my decade old Acura MDX runs too damn well to simply replace it with some appliance.
So I found this, what appears to be a well sorted, expedition ready 80-series Land Cruiser.

Land Cruiser front
From the ad:

1997 Toyota Land Cruiser Landcruiser FZJ80 – $16000 (Loaxahatchee)

1997 FZJ80 Toyota Land Cruiser Expedition Ready Locked Lifted Roof Rack Snorkel Landcruiser
$16K or best offer
ARB Front and Rear Bumper Tire Carrier with Highlift Jack
Dual Battery Optima
Locked Push Button 7 pin Mod
Computer Programmed by Jegs Performance
DVD/Rearview Camera, Upgraded Speakers/AMP
Fully Serviced
Pocket fender Flares
New Paint
New Windshield and Window Seals
Powder Coated Running Boards
Custom Roof Rack
$16K or best offer.

Land Cruiser rear

Everything seems fantastic and if I was the only driver, this would be high on my list, but I am not. We’re a one-car family (not counting the two other cars I own) and for her I would want something with modern safety features. The price seems high, but none of the stuff attached to that truck is cheap and the right buyer will pay close to the asking price, if the mileage (not disclosed) is reasonable. But if it’s like most other LC’s, it’s likely to be in the 200k range.

I wonder if these series of Land Cruisers will appreciate in value. The 60-series prices are beginning to creep up now, so in a few years these may too.

Source: Miami Craigslist

Land Cruiser front 34

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  1. Batshitbox Avatar

    That's all rock crawling kit, I'd suspect the gearing is a bit low for highway use. But you can ask "Brando" about that! (Gawd I wonder if he owns a Rambler Marlin? "Name's Brando, this' my Marlin!")

  2. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    I love this era in LCs. The engine is sweet as honey and the'll go as long as there's a frame under them. But good god, $16k?
    I mean unaltered ones sell for $12-15k, so it's not that it's unfair, but I can get the 2003s for that price with less miles, sure they're the 4.7L V8s, but they also get Nav and heated seats.

  3. engineerd™ Avatar

    The 80 and 100 series LCs will probably see some appreciation in the next 10-15 years. Sadly, they may be the last ones to do so. The US never got the 120 series in Toyota trim (the Lexus GX470 is the 120 Series in lux trim) and skipped up to the 200 series. While still more than capable, the luxury aspect of it makes it less and less desirable for expedition travel…more things to break and go wrong.

  4. karonetwentyc Avatar

    One of the best pieces of advice I received when I first got into 4WD vehicles: always buy a stock vehicle and build it yourself. The only exception to this: if it's a vehicle you've known for a long time that has belonged to a friend or family member, and you've had direct experience with it and/or are familiar with its history.
    Looking at what went into this one, some reasonably-decent parts have been thrown at it, but a few things stand out:
    – No mention of mileage. As mentioned earlier, it's probably over the 200,000 mark. Would want some service history to go with that.
    – No mention of which lift kit was used or who fitted it. Not all kits and shops are the same in terms of quality.
    – No mention of any modifications to the steering or brakes to compensate for altered geometry or tyre weight, respectively.
    – No mention of changes to the differential gears to compensate for larger tyres.
    – The snorkel. I'm always wary of these: if fitted wrong, they can be worse than having a stock air intake for a number of reasons.
    These really are excellent vehicles, and built properly they can be extremely capable. Unfortunately, there are a lot of them out there that were put together for looks, not capability. Anyone calling on this one would be well advised to find out what parts were used for the upgrades that weren't specifically named, and who performed the work to install them. Further, my guess is that the seller is trying to recoup as much of what he's put into the modifications as possible, which goes some way towards explaining the high selling price – but this is one that you do not want to buy sight-unseen.

  5. gerberbaby Avatar

    Kamil – I just re-read your post from a couple years ago threatening to trade off the MDX. Think of all the cash you saved holding off. Mine just became a teenager, 282 turns on the mile-o-meter and still runs and drives perfect. Instead I keep the motorcycle around so I dont "give up on life" as you put it.

    1. Kamil_K Avatar

      Thanks. It's still running strong, knock on wood, and if we had more than one car, I wouldn't even think of getting something newer, but this is my wife's primary vehicle and our kids get driven around in. Ten years in New England equates to twenty in Florida; salt, potholes, city driving. It all takes a toll.