This is an interesting question and one to which the answer has changed quite a bit over the last couple years. As the economy has been improving, more people have jobs and money to spend on things like the car of their dreams (60 Series Toyota Land Cruiser). This has caused prices to go up higher than what I remember from before the economic collapse.
Prior to the U.S. economic collapse in 2008-2009, $10,000 was probably a fair price for a low-miles, excellent condition, late model FJ60. I’m sure people were paying more and less for this type of vehicle, but I happened to be shopping for mine in the summer of 2008 and this was the conclusion I came to. And like I said, I’m sure some people were paying more, like myself. I paid $12,000 for mine at a dealership. What can I say? I was naive and swayed by my own excitement about owning my first Land Cruiser.
The great recession created an increase in supply and decrease in demand for 60 series Land Cruisers. People either didn’t have money or were afraid to spend it, and many 60 series owners were selling theirs’ because they needed money. This pushed prices down. If I had to guess, I would say that a fair price for that $10,000 FJ60 mentioned above would probably be about $6,000 to $8,000 during the deepest part of the recession.
Now it’s 2014 and the U.S. is slowly working is way out of its financial debacle. The Dow and S&P indexes have reached all-time highs and people have more money in their pockets and are less afraid to spend it. Enter the $40,000 FJ60 I re-posted from another site recently. In my post I made a comment about how ridiculous the price was. However, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it sells for somewhere close to that. If you read the original post you would have seen that the current owner took it to TLC to get checked out and maintenance done, and I’m sure they told the current owner it was worth that much. TLC can actually sell FJ60s like this for that much money because $40K is pocket change to their clientele. So all they have to do is reach out to their customers and let them know they have a perfect, low-miles FJ60 for sale and they are bound to get some interest. So the question is, if you or I owned that 60 and posted it on craigslist, IH8MUD or eBay, how much could we expect to get for it. My guess would be somewhere around $20,000 if we waited long enough for the right buyer to come along. And, this is what I would say its real market value is right now.
What Are They Really Worth?
If you follow Land Cruiser prices you know they vary wildly. This is partly due to owners overvaluing their precious Land Cruisers, partly due to ignorance about the current market for these vehicles, and sometimes due to greed.
This is what Nadaguides says a 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser is worth:
Here is what they say a 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ62 is worth:
I think this is a pretty good estimation of what one could expect to pay for a U.S. model, stock FJ60 and FJ62. I think the high end is a bit higher, closer to $20,000, like the example above.
Non-U.S. 60 Series
What about all those non-U.S. 60 series Land Cruisers that are being imported to the U.S. right now? These will obviously fetch a higher price than a U.S. model FJ60 or FJ62 because they are rare and desirable. They came with lots of cool features that Land Cruisers in the U.S. didn’t come with. A quick check with some foreign Land Cruiser and 4×4 specialty importers’ websites can give us an idea of what one of these gems is going for these days.
Cross Country Cruisers past inventory has the following 60 series listed:
- 1988 Land Cruiser HJ61 w/ Roof top tent SOLD $14,999
- Toyota Land Cruiser HJ61 / Right hand Drive – SOLD $16,999
- Toyota Land Cruiser HJ60 / Right hand Drive – SOLD $14,999
There are a few others listed, but $14,000 to $17,000 seems to be the price they are selling for.
JDM Land Cruisers past inventory shows the following:
- 1987 LHD HJ61 AC Locking Differential Toyota Land Cruiser – Asking $12,500.
- 1983 HJ60 Toyota Land Cruiser – Asking $14,750
Based on these examples, it seems that one should expect to pay $12,000 to $17,000 for an imported 60 series in good shape.
Heavily Modified 60 Series Land Cruisers
Pricing for heavily modified Land Cruisers can get a little tricky. Just because someone spent $30,000 on a professional engine swap, a new lifted suspension, and new tires doesn’t mean it is worth $30,000 plus the value of the Cruiser before the work was done. In this case, the price of the Land Cruiser would probably only be worth several thousand more than it was worth before the modifications were made. Why? Well because before the the diesel or V8 was swapped into it, it was a Land Cruiser that ran and drove fine. After the swap was done it was a Land Cruiser and ran and drove better than fine. It turns out that the difference in value between fine and better than fine in the marketplace isn’t $30,000. In other words, it’s hard to find someone that values all the time, money, and energy you put into your Land Cruiser as much as you do.
Besides main components of the vehicle, like the engine, suspension, and whatever else it needs to operate, there are upgrades likes aftermarket bumpers, roof racks, winches, lights, center consoles, and stereo equipment that can add value to a Land Cruiser. A good way to judge the value of Land Cruisers with lots of extra bits and bobs is to try and determine the value of each part as if it were going to be sold as a used part. I try and keep all my old parts so I can easily swap them back incase I ever need to sell my FJ60 (It makes me sad just to think about it). Then, I can offer it at a price with all the extras and without.
Of course all of this has to be taken with a gain of salt. There is a sucker born every minute and there are good deals out there. If you are in the market for a 60 series Land Cruiser, check out the 60 Series Buyers Guide.