By on August 24, 2013

toytruck

Obviously this isn’t the new Lexus GX460. Obviously. You know that because there’s no Predator grille up front. This is actually the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Talk about being visually challenged. It looks sort of like a developmentally handicapped chipmunk. But if you’d like to see the Lexus GX460, that’s fine too. I just kind of wanted to ease you in to the whole thing. Are you ready? Okay, one… two… three…
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By on January 30, 2013
 
I must have been a kibbutznik in a past life. Whenever I buy something of value, I never have the urge to keep it for myself.

Perhaps it’s due to too many bouts of suburbia. A neighborhood with twenty lawnmowers. Thirty The Lion King videos, and fifty to seventy vehicles. All this redundancy seems to be a bit much for a guy who hates to see things unused by my family 98+% of the time.

Yeah. I know that most folks aren’t willing to share their ride. Some won’t even loan you Simba. But if I lived in a place where we all put a smaller chunk of our change into a ride, I wouldn’t go cheap . . . except for possibly an old Volvo wagon.

These would be my top picks. All used of course!

By on August 12, 2012

Toyota Land Cruisers don’t last long in self-service wrecking yards, as we saw with this ’85 earlier in the summer. When I saw this ’71 FJ40 a few weeks later, I could see the scavengers circling overhead. Now look at it! (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2012

While the regular junkyard visitor might run across the occasional FJ60 Land Cruiser in a cheap self-service yard, especially here in 4WD-centric Colorado, there are some Toyota trucks you just don’t see in such junkyards. One is the 4Runner (I’ve found exactly one so far) and another is the FJ40 Land Cruiser. But wait— look what I just found! (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2012

The Land Cruiser is one of those vehicles that washes up in self-service junkyards only after its body and interior become so thrashed that even bottom-feeder truck shoppers can’t stand the idea of being seen in the thing. Contrast this with the legions of great-looking 1980s Jaguars you’ll find in the very same yards. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2012

 

Cody writes:

Dear Sajeev and Steve,

I work as a research scientist, and currently we have a visiting scientist from South Africa working with us for six months. Normally visitors stay in university housing and are able to take the shuttle bus to our lab, but our current visitor is bringing her husband with her and staying in a house they found themselves. She should have about a 30 minute 20 mile drive to the lab and just looking for reliable transportation around a medium sized city, and maybe the occasional weekend sightseeing trip. She does already have a rental scheduled at the airport for the first week (probably an Impala), but for more long-term what type of newer car should she be looking for that will retain its value when she goes to sell it at the end of her stay, or would it be more reasonable to rent for six months? I will mention she drives a Land Cruiser most of the time in South Africa and seems to like it a lot.

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By on December 1, 2011

 

Ryan writes:

Sajeev and Steve,

I find myself perplexed by a vehicular conundrum. A year ago I purchased my first new car, a 2010 Subaru WRX STI SE. It is a great car. Previously I daily drove a 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser. Another great car. I drive about 20,000 miles a year, mostly on the highway.

My wife and I both work. We contribute heavily to our 401K’s and IRA’s. About a month after I purchased the car my wife decided to go back to school, for an MBA. No problem. She now has a year left. For the year we will be setting aside just shy of $1000 per month to pay for her schooling. This leaves us saving very little over the next year. We have emergency funds to last a few months should the need arise. I want to eliminate debt as soon as possible (currently 2 car loans and a mortgage, nothing more).

My inner cheapskate has become uncomfortable with the nearly $1100 a month operating costs of my beloved STI. My inner car guy misses the Land Cruiser terribly. I’m without a truck. Replacing the STI with another 80 series Land Cruiser or Land Rover Discovery I do not save much money because of the fuel costs.

I am contemplating selling the STI, and picking up a truck and a commuter. The commuter would need to be somewhere around $10,000 or less. Cash for one vehicle, maybe a loan for the other. The ideal commuter would be more comfortable than the STI, get around 30 MPG, have four doors and possibly be all wheel drive (for ski trips). Cadillac CTS? Lexus something? Nothing soulless, please. I can turn a wrench and can maintain both vehicles no problem.

What say you? Do I keep the STI and buy a truck when I can? Sell the STI, buy the truck and commuter? If so, what kind do you suggest?

See the attached spreadsheet. (Ryan’s Car choices)

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By on July 28, 2011


Well, here’s a truck you almost never see in junkyards. In Colorado, FJ60/62s have been considered sufficiently desirable that even beat ones mostly get snapped up at pre-Crusher auctions. Perhaps that’s all changing now, what with gas prices knocking down the prices of newer, more modern/less “truck-y” SUVs. (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2011


In my first Denver winter after a driving lifetime in coastal California, I’m now experiencing my first real taste of driving in snow. My ’92 Civic is doing pretty well (i.e., I haven’t crashed or become stuck yet), but I’m starting to eyeball Craigslist listings for IHC Scouts and FJ40 Land Cruisers. After spotting this Toyota in my neighborhood, I may have to forget about the Scouts. (Read More…)

By on September 18, 2010

References to the “DNA of a brand” is a long overused cliche, and perhaps finally on the way out. But it can be a valid consideration, depending…In thinking about Toyota and its early genetic roots, one might well conjure up images of the first Corona, or the Corolla, whose modern descendants (Camry/Corolla) still reflect the basic mission of their ancestors. But isn’t the true Urquelle of Toyota’s reputation its legendary reliability and durability? Well, the following historical tidbit may cement the idea of where I’m going: in 1965, the year this FJ40 Land Cruiser was built, it was Toyota’s best selling vehicle in the USA as well as the rest of the world outside Japan. This is the car that Toyota sent out to conquer the world. And this well-worn original example typifies it better than any other I’ve ever seen: it’s literally exuding ruggedness through the pores of its patina. How many folks has it sold on the brand over its long life? Hang on for a longish bumpy ride as I recount the history of the FJ and my own initiation into the cults of off-roading, hitchhiking, and Toyota. (Read More…)

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