Decided on a classic Land Cruiser? Great. So, how would you like to top it off? Hardtop or soft top? Versatile and rugged, or sleek and tough? Easy questions — not always easy answers. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you arrive at the right answer. Let’s see what we’ve got…
If sticking with the same features as the original is important to you, your decision is already made — as long as you have a solid donor. While most of the early Land Cruisers were available as soft tops or hardtops, most FJ40s sold in the U.S. were originally hardtops. Something to keep in mind, if authenticity is a priority.
Hardtops require more labor to restore than soft tops – so naturally, they’re more expensive. A hardtop means there’s more metal to prep and paint, and more seals and windows to install. This also makes them more expensive to repair or replace.
Love the feel of the wind flowing through your hair as you’re cruising around town? Go with the soft top. Ours are made by our in-house upholstery specialist and are replicas of the soft tops Toyota produced for non-U.S. markets. These tops do not fold back completely. Instead, the side windows roll up, giving you open-air versatility and an authentic look.
The hardtop is going to be much quieter at all speeds, making it easier to talk to your passengers or make a quick, hands-free call. While there are straps to hold the soft top in place, the fabric will flap around slightly at higher speeds. For some, this is part of the charm of owning a classic Land Cruiser, for others, it is an annoyance.
Got lots of extra gear? If you’ve got a surfboard, luggage or ski rack, then you’ll want to seriously consider the hardtop. As rugged as our soft top is, its structure is not made to support a roof rack and a bunch of extra stuff.
In the northern U.S., we’ve seen our share of soft tops roaming around, even in cold temperatures. That’s a testament to just how good modern heating systems have become, and at The FJ Company, ours do a good job of keeping things comfortable. That being said, if you’re cold now, you’ll be even colder in your soft top. You’ll get extra insulation from a hardtop, which means more protection against below freezing temperatures and strong winds. Brrrr!
With both types of tops, your Land Cruiser will come with a standard roll bar or a custom roll cage. The roll cage provides extra protection for the cabin and is worth its weight in gold if you’re planning to do lots of high-speed driving or off-roading. For even more peace of mind, you can consider the all-steel hardtop.
Do you live in an area where break-ins are more common, or plan to take your Land Cruiser to a campground where you’ll use it to lock up valuables? A hardtop will help deter would-be thieves. While our soft top is made of tough materials, it could always be slashed. Then again, many of our customers drive home a soft top and never have a problem. Just consider your driving environment before making your choice.
Oh yes, looks do matter, and sometimes, when you see the top you like, you just know. Some people like the premium look of the hardtop, others prefer the classic look of the soft top. In the end, it’s up to you.
Whatever option you choose, you’ll have one quality roof over your head. So, go with your gut and just let it roll. Or, get both — just make sure you have the space to store that extra top. You’ll also need an extra set of hands and some serious know-how to switch them. If you’ve never worked on cars before, we recommend hiring a pro to put your top on for you.
At The FJ Company, we sell FJ43s with a soft top or an optional hardtop. Back in the day, FJ43s were sold with a factory soft top only – some owners added an aftermarket fiberglass hardtop, but that wasn’t a good look. Our hardtops are made of steel and look just like FJ40 hardtops from the factory – only longer. Definitely a great option, if you’re looking for something unique.
Ready to make your choice? See a visual of a hardtop vs soft top with our online FJ Land Cruiser builder!
By Daniele Zedda • 18 February
By Daniele Zedda • 18 FebruaryNEXT POST → 34
Christopher • 2 years ago
I just purchased a 1974 fj40, needs a lot of work. I just dont know where to begin in this restoration processreply
Jason • 2 years ago
Hi Christopher!! If you still have your FJ and would consider some help with the restoration or just have some questions to maybe help you get started , let us know. My name is Jason and I am with Slow Drifter Customs located in Prattville Al.. Shoot us a call at 334-207-9363. You could also ask to speak to James. We would be glad to help any way we can, even with questions!reply
Daniel • 2 years ago
Just purchased a ‘67 fj40 that doesn’t have doors or a top, looking for help finding both. Would prefer hardtop with hard doors, finding some pretty rough doors online but not finding a hardtop in any condition. Any help would be much appreciated!reply
Kurt • 2 years ago
Hello Daniel, You still looking for a hardtop for your 67 FJ?reply
Alejandro Coyt • 2 years ago
hi just purchased fj 40 1981 with soft top can you please help with a hard top i like hard top better thanksreply
Alexander Wren • 2 years ago
I was wondering if FJ.co sells hardtops or soft tops as a standalone like they do with wheels or mirrorsreply
Chris • 2 years ago
Hi! I’m in Europe and wanting to buy an Fj40. Are all Fjs convertible? Many are advertised over here with the hard tops on but nothing is mentioned about the car being convertible! Thanks in advice Chrisreply
Tahir • 2 years ago
Hi All, Say welcome to me,I got FJ40,I done denting job,soon I will go for paint job but for that I need hardtop for my fj40,I am in Pakistan/Karachi,if any one can help me plz do help me.reply
Daniel Beers • 2 years ago
Just got a 72 fj40 looking for a hard top..240-299-0639 Dannyreply
Jesse Powell • 2 years ago
Hi, I was wondering if I could buy a hard top for a 1978 fj43. Preferably unassembled, so I can transport it easier to the vehicle’s location. Thank you.reply
Ron Everitt • 1 year ago
Hi I just perchased a 1976 fj 40 with a after market soft top. I'm looking for a hard top and doors for it. Do you sell replacement hard tops and the doors and are they bare or painted. Would it be assembled or in pieces?Any help would be appreciated thanks.reply