Monday, October 19, 2020

1997 Toyota Land Cruiser Purchase

Several years ago, we went on a family vacation to Colorado and visited the Great Sand Dunes, which is a destination I'd highly recommend.  While there, my wife found information on nearby Zapata Falls and wanted to visit.  The description warned of the "Gravel Road" leading to the falls area and that an SUV or truck was strongly recommended.  I didn't shy away from most roads in our Honda Accord so we made the attempt.  The gravel road was filled with fist and softball sized rocks and we had to turn around in less than 100 feet.

I didn't like being turned around and vowed to come back one day with something like a Toyota 4Runner and see all the places we couldn't see with the Honda Accord.

It took a lot longer than I anticipated due to some tough economics in our household.  However, recently a member of one of my motorcycle forums was posting about some of his restoration projects and the guy who is a certified mechanic was doing some amazing work.  I noticed in one of his photographs an old Toyota Land Cruiser that looked in good condition.  We had some conversation about it and I told him to let me know when he wanted to sell it.

Fast forward several months and he says he's thinking about selling it as he doesn't drive it much, so we start talking.  The previous owner had thrown a lot of money at it in genuine Toyota parts, even skipping Safelite when his windshield cracked and taking it to the dealer and paying big money for an OEM windshield.  Add on to that, the mechanic that was currently owning and caring for it, I knew this was a good specimen to buy.  I went over to check it out.

Previous Owner's Photo taken the day I looked at it.

We made a deal, I worked with my bank to get an official check FedEx'd to me to exchange.  The owner and his wife were nice enough to deliver it to my house as I was having a hard time figuring out how to go over and get it.

One thing he lamented about owning this truck was that he didn't drive it much and had a lot of trees over his driveway which put sap, sticks and leaves all over the truck, including bird poop.  He'd cleaned it up for me to come see it but in the short week the trees had returned it to it's previous state.  I got to spend some time with the new truck getting it all cleaned up while I waited for Monday to come so I could get it inspected and take care of the title and registration.

With all that taken care of, I was able to take the family out for the first ride.  It's a bit tall getting in but my son loves it.  He keeps telling me that I bought a "Monster Truck."  I've already ordered a few odds and ends to fix a few things.  Got some more stuff to fix on it as it's an old truck that's been well cared for but still has a few blemishes for me to take care of.  I look forward to taking it out on some adventures.  Now to figure out which direction to point the compass and take it somewhere.