From The Archives #98

by Wes Kibble on July 22, 2011

fj25, tlc, toyota land cruiser, land cruiser, fj25 land cruiser, toyota fj25

This photo is tagged “1958 FJ25”. What does the writing say? Does anyone have more information about this photo? It looks like it is a press photo of a 1958 Toyota FJ25, which preceded the FJ40. Via

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Paolo Armando November 29, 2011 at 10:50 am

This old model resembles closely to an Italian 4X4 vehicle of the fifties:Alfa Romeo “Matta”,especially the front fenders shape.
Pilot model of Alfa Matta,as generally named in Italy,was tested on a Land Rover 86″ frame but equipped with better Alfa Romeo 1900 engine.
Production models where completely new,except engine.
Main features where:front torsion bar indipendent suspensions,dry sump engine lubrication,four speeds gearbox with sincromesh only on third and fourth speed,front wheel drive engageable only in low gear.
This was done because she was also widely used as “parade car”,allowing slow
movment.Rear diff.was manually lockable.
Many scrapped Alfa Matta donated there rear differential to Land Rover 88″,gear ratio was identical.
At this time very few survive,production stopped at 2050 items,2000 for various Italian Military Forces,50 for civilian market.
Surviving vehicles are generally restored to original conditions.
She was able to negotiate a slope of 120%,more than 45′ degrees incline,only if driver had courage to do this!
At the beginning of seventies my father and me completely overhauled one of them,engine,transmission,brakes,electrical,body was not restored because I intended use the vehicle for off road only.
We installed a front axle vibration damper to avoid frequent and dangerous shimmy even with front wheels perfectly balanced and aligned.
Shock absorbers were “Houdaille” rotary type similiar to WW2 Dodges.
When my father died I sold the vehicle.


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