Landcruiser HJ60

1985 Landcruiser HJ60 featuring the 2H 6 cylinder 4000cc normally aspirated diesel

Source

I found this Landcruiser listed at Charterhouse auctions on the 5th of October 2021. The guide price was £10,000-£12,000. I was travelling at the time of the auction so I put in an automatic bid with the upper limit set to £12,000. The car was sold for £12,500, but the auctioneers did not receive payment on the day, so I was given a second chance to buy at £12,000.

Including auction fees, that brings the cost of the car to £13,728. With Charterhouse located in Somerset there was an additional transportation cost of £658.

All in, the Landcruiser has cost £14,386 as it stands today.

Charterhouse auctions listing

Why pay £14,386 for a 1985 Landcruiser HJ60?

Storytime!

In 2018-2020 I was living and working in Tokyo. Every day I walked past a beige 60 series Landcruiser in Tokyo’s fashionable ‘Daikanyama’ district. In short, these old Landcruisers are considered cool & highly desirable in the wealthiest part of one of the most fashionable cities in the world.

On a sidenote, I remember when I was young thinking beige and brown cars were deeply uncool. Fast forward two to three decades and these colours look great! However, this Landcruiser is red. Not a colour I would normally pick. But in this case it adds emphasis to the lines and I find myself preferring it.

While Japan has the Landcruiser, we in the UK have the Land Rover. As much as you may love them, classic Land Rovers are everywhere. And further, the modern Land Rover and Range Rover image is hardly inspiring. If you compare an old Land Rover 110 county with a Landcruiser 60, the Landcruiser design looks to better to my eye. Considering the improved Toyota reliability and build quality, is it be a better choice? – I think so.

Prices in Japan and the USA

Looking at Goonet; one of the big used car search engines in Japan, you can see values for decent 60 series landcruiers are around the ¥3-¥4 million mark. That’s over £20,000 GBP.

Furthermore, it seems that 60 series Landcruiers sell for US$20,000 to US$30,000 in America.

UK values are hard to gauge with almost zero 60 series Landcruisers coming onto the market.

To my mind this car was undervalued by Charterhouse and the seller by a decent margin. I have been searching for one for around 8 months. In that time only one came up on any of the classifieds. It was left hand drive, priced at £20,000 GBP, and had considerable corrosion.

Condition assessment

The Landcruiser arrived with me on the 14th October 2021.

At first appearance the overall condition is good. As stated in the auction listing it is MOT’d to May 2022. First impressions are:

Good things

  • Engine sounds and looks good
  • Oil looks good
  • Drives well
  • I’ve done a trip of a few hundred miles and no problems
  • Most of the paintwork looks good (Re-sprayed around 2016)
  • Chassis looks solid based on brief inspection
  • The glass is very good, which is a real bonus on an older classic
  • Interior is mixed, but the dashboard is good and very useable
  • Original radio
  • Good tyres

Not so good things

  • The chassis requires cleaning, surface rust removal and resealing
  • Some rust spots:
    • Small part at the bottom of one wing
    • Small part of one rear arch
    • Inside underneath of the upper part of the tailgate.
    • Small spot on the inside top edge of one wing
    • Underneath the front bonnet edge
  • Interior carpets throughout are not the best, the usual kind of stains and wear you would expect on a 4×4 of this age
  • Drivers seat has a hole on the side
  • A few holes in the roof lining and couple of small holes in the rear seats
  • Some rust on the chrome bumpers.

From the web

It’s always a good idea to do a little research on a prospective car purchase. The online MOT history check can be helpful as can a general web search. Another idea is to check in with the owners club.

What do we see on the web for B488 BMJ?

Web search

I did find an archived eBay lising from either 2018 or 2019. The seller at that time was an Edward Young of Young’s coaches.

Based on this advert it appears to have been re-sprayed in 2015/2016.

MOT history

The Landcruiser has only done around 20,000 miles since 2006. Recent advisories include a couple of trickier points that will require further investigation;

  • Steering gear box leaking
  • Front hubs leaking slightly.

I’ve done both of these jobs on Toyota 4x4s. Parts are not expensive. The steering box seal kits are around £20 and front steering knuckle/swivel re-build kits including all the bearings are around £100 per side.

The steering box is easy to rebuild, but it takes some time to take it out. There is a chance seized mounting bolts. If the leak is very slight it might be pragmatic to put an additive into the power steering fluid as an alternative to a rebuild.

For the front hub leaks. These Toyota 4x4s have their CV joints housed inside a steering knuckle/swivel. Inside the swivel housing the CV is packed with a full tub of grease. They have a rubber/felt/metal seal which is only designed to hold grease inside the swivel. However, what happens is the oil seal between the front differential and the drive shaft wears and then oil leaks into the swivel and out through hub. Therefore, whenever re-building these swivels you should always replace the oil seal that sits on the drive shaft where it goes into the differential. It’s not an overly complicated job, but can be time consuming due to it being a messy job. Again; as with the steering box, if the leak is very slight, it may make sense to pack extra grease into the swivels in the short term.

Looking further back at the previous MOTs there are some advisories on the chassis and suspension for corrosion. At first glance it looks in good shape now. I assume good quality repairs were undertaken. However will require a detailed inspection.

History

The landcruiser comes with the original manuals and service schedule, but unfortunately no stamps. Enough documentation to validate the mileage which at around 120,000 is very low for one of these.

Pictures and further details to follow.

Planned work

I’m planning to do a little refresh work on the Landcruiser, however I’m quite busy at the moment, so it may take some time. In the meantime it won’t be out on the salted roads over winter.

Planned work includes at a minimum:

  • Oil and coolant change
  • Fuel, oil, air filter change
  • Steam clean the engine bay and chassis, remove any surface rust and re-seal
  • Investigate steering box and front hub leaks

Potential additional work:

  • Deal with the rust spots on the body
  • Fix the interior rips
  • I am also considering a turbo kit for the 2H, these more or less double the torque and increase HP about 30%, seems reasonable at around £2,000. But its a significant increase in the cost of the car.

Updates

Watch this space, I will post updates as and when things change.