eBay 1980 White BJ40 (Diesel) for sale

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Hi,
I have a White 1980 BJ40 for sale on Ebay. There is no reserve, and the current price is $13,500. The auction ends Monday.
Thanks for checking it out. It's located in Costa Rica, where I live, though I'm from the US. I do have references from previous customers who have bought from me. Shipping to Houston or Miami, plus customs fees is included in the winning bid price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Toyo...cks&hash=item2a2fe876ce&vxp=mtr#ht_500wt_1022

white BJ40 Naranjo 030.jpg
 
I joined this site recently and am amazed at the depth of knowledge here regarding classic landcruisers. I am in the process of buying an FJ40 in Colombia now. I am doing it as a hobby but also am looking to import them for resale at a profit. I am a bilingual US citizen with an operating business in Colombia and have traveled in Central and South America for over 10 yrs and reside in Tampa, FL although I travel to Colombia 10 times a year.

I am following these posts with great interest. I do believe that there is a great potential for those that love these vehicles to find them in the other countries despite the risks and percieved (and real) lack of quality of the body and paint work in central and south america.

Let's first have a geography lesson though and realize that Costa Rica is within central america and Colombia is within South America. Most US citizens think of all places south of the border as a grand Mexico (semi joking). I have been to Costa Rica and it is a lovely country of 5 million people. Colombia on the other hand is 50 million people with 2 major cities of Medellin and Bogota at 4 million and 8 million each.

While I am certain that you can find nicely preserved or original examples of vehicles in CR, Colombia to me has much more affluent population with larger cities and a larger population. This is generally true of South America vs Central America. Again I am making my observations not bashing central america just basing it on my 10 years of travel. I prefer South America for both personal reasons (access to large cosmopolitan cities) and business.

I just spent that past few months investigating these vehicles and spent recently 12 days in Colombia reviewing over 12 vehicles. I decided on a 1976 yellow FJ40 one owner soft top that has had a body off restoration and was never rusted. I will confirm with my body shop and buy the vehicle in a few weeks and ship it to Miami. This is a test run.

My experience in Medellin is one that confirms some of the fears that are expressed here. I saw several examples of FJ40s that had been quickly painted and were rusting. Again they were priced cheaply (I'd say around $10K). They looked great in pictures and were disappointing (same goes for USA too). A paint job can be had cheaply down south and in fairness to the local market they generally still USE these vehicles so a fresh paint job and some good mechanical work keeps them running.

However, I think many in the US would be surprised atleast in Colombia that I found about 2 out of the 12 were in very good condition. One was an 1983 with the original clean shiny paint. I didn't want to buy it bec I felt the restored yellow one I bought looked nicer. Also the 1983 one was being sold by a Colombian middleman/ used car dealer and I felt it was better for me to deal with the original owner.

I also found a nice original paint faded one that was in poor condition but all original. had rust on the 2 floor pans and the rear tub but was a great candidate for restoration.

Based on my last visit I am contemplating only buying either 1. very well maintained original owner and yes repainted ones like the yellow one I bought or 2. buying a straight possibly rusted one but then contracting with a local high quality body shop to do the repairs to a high standard and to document and oversee the restoration. or possibly 3. source original ones to ship as is with as much disclosure as possible (not so sure about 3). The middle ground area of quick "restore jobs" I believe is what gives our neighbors down south a bad reputation.

I passed by a shop that was quickly painting one and sending it off to Norway. Granted it was only $10k plus shipping but why bother? it would have to be restored all over again anyhow.

I don't believe that the way to look at CR or Colombia or wherever as a lost gold of 'cheap' land cruisers. I believe however that it should serve enthusiasts here with a much greater spectrum of potential interesting vehicles to purchase at possibly affordable (not cheap) and possibly high quality.

I am testing this with my own investment and only time will tell.

I will say that I am very excited about the possibility of sending interesting high quality preserved or high quality restored land cruisers to the US market. My meetings with a local independent mechanic and body and paint expert with over 20 years experience repairing land cruisers was very exciting and informative.

Please understand that I am new to the forum and that I am not selling anything at this point. I do look forward to sharing my knowledge about the Colombian market for these vehicles and maybe Colombia in general (fascinating up and coming country). I also hope to overcome some of the worries about buying an imported vehicle and look forward to hearing some input in order to allay those fears.

The vehicles are being exported out of Central and South America to the US and Europe as we speak whether we want to particpate in it as a buyer (or an importer) or not. It seems like a forum such as this would benefit in this discussion as these are somewhat rare vehicles. Thanks!
 
As someone new to this forum as well, and someone who is in the market for a land cruiser myself, I was intrigued by the diesel variants as I love Diesel engines for their long life and many other benefits etc. I saw the above cruiser and the desperate write up but still was intrigued enough to write the lister a message asking for more information.

I waited and waited... Nothing. I began looking around and found the red FJ45 p/u listed by the same guy TreeClimer and now Asade. I did not know either of them before this vehicle. As a piece of advice, and only a suggestion, I would respond to any and ALL requests for information about your posts / sales as these two people did not. I never received anything back from them. I as only asking for clarification on the overspray I saw on this white cruiser. I asked for more photos to see under some of the areas they clearly painted etc. nothing...

Clearly I was not going to bid on their vehicle based on this lack of response. It was then I began my search of the Internet and came across another guy I did not know... Greg Mushro out of Flagstaff... I do not now much about him other than he had a cruiser for me, no doubt.

Continuing my search of the Internet, I located this forum... I joined and started reading... ALL my suspicions were confirmed... I am soo glad I did not commit any of my hard earned money for a cruiser from either one of these people.

Honesty & Integrity are hard to come by... And once you attain it... It can EASILY be lost by one instance like what is displayed above... This forum will do an invaluable job of notifying those who read it of the unscrupulous people we all know are out there.

Thank you to this forum from me for all you have done. My hunt continues for my first Land Cruiser and I know I will soon be driving one that I will be proud to drive.

Good luck to you sir on you importation from Columbia, I hope you have nothing but success in your endeavors. I agree with you based on everything I have read already on this forum, no be will disagree that keeping the cruisers population going is a good thing... Just be honest about the product you are selling and price your product accordingly. There are CLEARLY a lot of talented people out there who will purchase what you are selling and truly bring the inner beauty of the cruiser back and pass it on to another happy cruiser owner like I hope to be soon...

Take care,

DT
 
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I saw one diesel in Colombia that is still for sale. I would like to bring one over. Motor sounds fantastic but it is the original B series engine with 85 hp. I know that diesels have torque but I think those B series models top out at about 55 mph. I did discover that they get 20 mpg, are dead reliable and you can find the parts online. I guess it depends on how you plan to use it.

There are several well known outfits in the USA now that are selling "south american" and "unique" models of the land cruiser (FJ43) which are sourced from Colombia. I actually met the Colombian middle man who has provided them vehicles. He seemed like a straight forward guy but I honestly plan to cut him out of the product chain because I can go directly to the private sellers.

I can't imagine anyone sending money to anyone in CR or Colombia whether a gringo or not. I plan to purchase them with my money and register the vehicle in my name and sell it in the USA. If I do several of them I will need a FL dealer's license. I guess with a growing reputation you could take a deposit.

In theory it should be no different that a FL resident buying a Colorado FJ40. This is already happening bec buyers want a certain type and color of these semi-rare vehicles.

Once I get mine ready I am going to post photos of it on here. I look forward to having the experts here pick apart the restoration and give me an honest opinion! I am buying a nicer one not the one I saw where they used Home Depot screws to attach the bezel!

We will see.
 
I like the 43's... I actually spoke to Crusher on here about a Diesel option and have a working plan in mind for my diesel 40... A clean 43 would definitely be cool... Diesel or gas... I would consider that as a second / project vehicle for me to "refurbish" as Crusher (Wayne) said... I will definitely be looking for your photos here and see what my moderately trained eye can see...
 
Hi Asdae, I am not sure if your will read this or not, but have read several posts about your and what you are doing down there in CR. If you truly want to bring in "fresh" cruisers and try to sell them respectably... Read my post above. Sorry for some misspellings, I was using my iPad and between auto correct and my fat fingers, I made some mistakes.

That said, the above land cruiser was my first EVER encounter with you or your selling of land cruisers from CR. I did not know of IH8MUD yet and though I could locate a cruiser on my own. Let me tell you, even before finding IH8MUD and knowing anything about you, I saw some things that almost made me turn around and forget about trying to find a clean cruiser for myself. Money is too hard to come by and throw away on garbage that people cover up with a fresh coat of paint!

I contacted you, or "TreeClimber" on ebay about the above white cruiser. I asked for a few more picture to see under the dash and see what problems white be there is I did bid on the vehicle. The vehicle looks really good on the outside. You created more problems for the buyer when the painter ran in there and sprayed EVERYTHING he could not take out white. Look at my information here. I am only two or three days on this site. I did not know anything about you or the things they talked about here until a couple days ago! But it is plainly obvious to even a novice, or as my title states, a Rookie like me!!!

I think from all that I have learned here after finding this website and doing a lot of reading, your best approach would have been, and should be to leave the vehicle in the condition you find it in, and let the perspective buyers see what they have to potentially work with. So you may not get as much money for the cruisers you are selling... REPUTATION, and INTEGRITY are everything. Don't compromise those for a quick "big" sale! because the reputation will come back and get you in the end... You want a name that people will come to when looking for a CR cruiser... Not run from!

I think the thing that has most seller intrigued about the CR and CA area of retrieval for land cruisers is the money they can potentially fetch. However, the only person you can fool are the fools who know no better... I mean anyone who is looking at the photos above can plainly see the dash was over sprayed onto the e-brake handle and the glove box was poorly painted silver over the label originally mounted there...

One last thing... I saw the red FJ45 "TreClimber" and you were claiming as a "Frame Off" restoration... I said I am no EXPERT by any means... Go back and look at the clutch, gas, and brake pedals... Those are NOT originally RED in that vehicle, EVEN if the vehicle was originally RED!!! I told CHAS404 the same thing I am telling you... Be honest with what you find and over time, you will get an idea of what the vehicle is worth. I am not sure you have any other accounts on ebay or not... But on the "private" bidding is a red flag for me as well that this might be a scam. If you are going to post a cruiser there and have no reserve... Leave it alone or at least tell those that bid that they cannot be anonymous... Reputation and Integrity again... The appearance of this type of activity is suspect in and of itself... I have bought several things off of ebay and I have never seen that before until this cruiser above... I have said enough...

And one last thing, I never did receive any of the additional pictures of this vehicle I requested from ebay... Look on this cruisers ebay page and you will see my same screen name as my ebay handle. I honestly was looking at... If you sent me those photos and other information, maybe something could still happen..??
 
Hi Asdae, I am not sure if your will read this or not, but have read several posts about your and what you are doing down there in CR. If you truly want to bring in "fresh" cruisers and try to sell them respectably... Read my post above. Sorry for some misspellings, I was using my iPad and between auto correct and my fat fingers, I made some mistakes.

That said, the above land cruiser was my first EVER encounter with you or your selling of land cruisers from CR. I did not know of IH8MUD yet and though I could locate a cruiser on my own. Let me tell you, even before finding IH8MUD and knowing anything about you, I saw some things that almost made me turn around and forget about trying to find a clean cruiser for myself. Money is too hard to come by and throw away on garbage that people cover up with a fresh coat of paint!

I contacted you, or "TreeClimber" on ebay about the above white cruiser. I asked for a few more picture to see under the dash and see what problems white be there is I did bid on the vehicle. The vehicle looks really good on the outside. You created more problems for the buyer when the painter ran in there and sprayed EVERYTHING he could not take out white. Look at my information here. I am only two or three days on this site. I did not know anything about you or the things they talked about here until a couple days ago! But it is plainly obvious to even a novice, or as my title states, a Rookie like me!!!

I think from all that I have learned here after finding this website and doing a lot of reading, your best approach would have been, and should be to leave the vehicle in the condition you find it in, and let the perspective buyers see what they have to potentially work with. So you may not get as much money for the cruisers you are selling... REPUTATION, and INTEGRITY are everything. Don't compromise those for a quick "big" sale! because the reputation will come back and get you in the end... You want a name that people will come to when looking for a CR cruiser... Not run from!

I think the thing that has most seller intrigued about the CR and CA area of retrieval for land cruisers is the money they can potentially fetch. However, the only person you can fool are the fools who know no better... I mean anyone who is looking at the photos above can plainly see the dash was over sprayed onto the e-brake handle and the glove box was poorly painted silver over the label originally mounted there...

One last thing... I saw the red FJ45 "TreClimber" and you were claiming as a "Frame Off" restoration... I said I am no EXPERT by any means... Go back and look at the clutch, gas, and brake pedals... Those are NOT originally RED in that vehicle, EVEN if the vehicle was originally RED!!! I told CHAS404 the same thing I am telling you... Be honest with what you find and over time, you will get an idea of what the vehicle is worth. I am not sure you have any other accounts on ebay or not... But on the "private" bidding is a red flag for me as well that this might be a scam. If you are going to post a cruiser there and have no reserve... Leave it alone or at least tell those that bid that they cannot be anonymous... Reputation and Integrity again... The appearance of this type of activity is suspect in and of itself... I have bought several things off of ebay and I have never seen that before until this cruiser above... I have said enough...

And one last thing, I never did receive any of the additional pictures of this vehicle I requested from ebay... Look on this cruisers ebay page and you will see my same screen name as my ebay handle. I honestly was looking at... If you sent me those photos and other information, maybe something could still happen..??


I'm sorry you felt slighted that my husband or I didn't respond to your question. We tried to answer everyone's questions, but there were a ton. Were you the one who wanted the video?
First of all, to get things straight. The only cruiser we have ever had painted was the Troopy listed on this forum. The only reason why is because it was a neon green and I couldn't stand it that color. Most of the cruisers we find are already painted. The thinking goes something like this. "Well, I want to sell my truck, time to paint it".
One thing I dislike about the forum is that people instantly assume that because it was painted, it's hiding a bunch of rust and problems. Just because it's newly painted doesn't mean it's a rust or bondo bucket underneath.
You guys contradict yourselves. You bash the Costa Ricans for painting the truck or restoring it, because "oh, they must be hiding something", and the minute you get a truck that needs painting, you paint it or restore it. WTF, you guys aren't the only ones who can paint and restore cruisers! Is there varying levels of restore, of course. As I said about the red FJ45, this guy told me he took it off the frame, and listed a hundred other things he did to it. He then showed me a white HJ45 that was completely taken apart, it didn't have anything in the engine compartment, everything was taken apart, and told me that was his next project. So I believed the guy. I still do. Did he spend $40k? Not hardly, but he restored it the best he could. Did he try to do the restoration according to stock, red petals and screws, no. Stock doesn't really matter here. A good running, nice looking truck does.
And lest you think I'm in the business to sell junk cruisers, all of my customers are happy with their trucks. The truck that they bashed on this forum a while ago was bought by a guy who loves his truck. It has a strong 2H motor, runs awesome, very little rust.
Yes we are newbies, and I as a woman may see cruisers differently than you guys. We want to learn more so we can be sure to always chose a good cruiser to sell, which is why we are giving Crushers a free trip here to help us. Beyond all that, I wish the Columbia guy the best success and hope he has all his importing ducks in a row. 2 American guys came here to Costa to send cruisers to the states. They got totally screwed over by a Costa Rican customs broker and payed thousands of dollars more than they should, and still didn't have their trucks after 3 months, I don't know if they ever got them.
The fact is, there is no where else in the world to find LHD, diesel, little rust generally, and most low miles in the case of Costa Rica, but if Americans think they can come down here and easily import a Land Cruiser, they are greatly mistaken. My husband is Costa Rican, I've been coming here for 22 years, and we had to threaten to call the police to get our first Costa Rican customs broker to ship a cruiser they said they had shipped 3 weeks before. Of course now we have a group of honest, good people we work with.
Having said all that, I hope you find a great cruiser, best of luck in your search.
 
I think these conversations are instructive. I am certain that the situation in CR and Colombia are similar. The local market demands a certain level of finish that is lower than that of the USA. By the same token, if the end product as delivered to the USA is a good price given the condition (even if a medium restore) then the customer should be happy.

I only caution Asdae to help educate her US clients with her descriptions and differences in cultures. In Colombia (and I am sure CR) they do indeed do 'frame off restorations'. I was quoted by a shop to do one for a price that I believe was low. They quoted to remove the body from the frame. sand the frame and body and make repairs and repaint. Also remove the engine and rewire the dash. That is a TON of work. I think the minimum wage in CR is more than in Colombia but in Colombia a worker makes $400 a month! I am guessing a good body man may make double that.

So there is an opportunity to do a cheap restore with medium results (as many of them seem to be) or possibly I hope to do a quality restore for a good price taking advantage of local economy and prices.

When she says that the car was frame off restored she is technically correct. Also I agree after driving around for 10 days to find one really nice one that this is not an easy business. You have to have a spanish speaking local contact down there or you will get burned.

I guess in the end the main difficulty is describing something via text and photos and distinguishing between the different cultures.

This may frustrate US buyers but I agree with her that CR and Colombia offer a great variety of FJ/BJs to chose from. I just want to stay away from the misconception that they are all cheap in price and cheap in quailty.

I spent 10 days looking at over 12 FJ's in one city in Colombia. Where can you do that in the USA?

The answer is nowhere.
 
I agree with what you are saying here CHAS404. I think one of the bigger issues that was not address in your post above is this... They may be doing a "Frame Off" on the vehicle, but restoration is another thing. I like what you said about sandblasting the frame and repainting etc. But, what do they do when they find rust or a "weak" spot..? Especially in the body which is what is seen first... When you see the overspray and just the lack of cary for the work they are doing, CALL it what you will... People here are not that blind or dumb to realize something could be covered up. The Red FJ45 Asdae had listed on Ebay did not get a hit at all... Not one bid... Why? Because one, looking at the pictures, seeing all the wires hanging down under the dash and and the clear disregard for the vehicle etc and the way it should be causes people to question the validity of the "frame off" restoration... Once that happens, you have lost your audience and potential buyers in my opinion. That was what clearly happened to me when I saw Asdae's BJ40 above. I really was considering that vehicle to purchase as the outside looked great. I felt safe with the body with the original stickers on the outside etc. But then came the inside photos...

It was not frame off in my opinion... Okay, let caveat that with yes, the body may have come off the frame... But what good was that really...? Maybe something better to consider doing down there with the cruisers is this... Look for the cruisers you want to send to the USA and maybe have your mechanic look it over and give it a clean bill of health. Ne fluids, but if going to the USA, maybe not paint it and show the vehicle as is... Or, paint the outside, and call it a "Fresh coat of paint!" But honestly, look around this site a little and see and see the photographs of the cruisers "Frame off refurbished" here, and you would be hard pressed to say anything more than, the tub was taken off the frame cleaned up and repainted... It was NOT RESTORED by any means. PAINTED is all it sounds like they are doing down there...??

You spoke about body work... I would question what they have done to the body etc... Did they fill holes with bondo, did the cut out rust spots and fill with new metal or what...? A true repair from my limited knowledge involves cutting out big rust spots and patching in another piece of metal... Sanding the welds down and then, with a limited amount of filler making the surface smooth for new paint. Bondo, although it does smooth a surface should not be used in any Restoration except as a light surface smoother. My opinion of course. But it is there to enhance the smoothness of the metal that is already there... Not to hide imperfections.

As I typed this e-mail and thought about this more... May a simple remedy is to document through photographs as EVERYONE on here does what you are actually doing to a vehicle. Simple pictures in ALL stages etc would go a long way to boost credibility. Video as well... I watch a few videos on the internet by TLC Cruisers I believe it is out of California and what they were doing to a vehicle etc. It is a great booster of confidence as well for customers bidding on your product!

Yes Asdae, I was the one who did ask for a video on the BJ40 above. I wanted to make sure it started and ran. Although I was not physically there, maybe something would have been seen for me by that. Maybe even confidence in your vehicle and resulted in bidding on it.

Good luck to both of you, again, I am completely new to this site and NEW to the search for a land cruiser. I hope you guys experience much success in you bringing of land cruisers to the USA.
 
I think these conversations are instructive. I am certain that the situation in CR and Colombia are similar. The local market demands a certain level of finish that is lower than that of the USA. By the same token, if the end product as delivered to the USA is a good price given the condition (even if a medium restore) then the customer should be happy.

I only caution Asdae to help educate her US clients with her descriptions and differences in cultures. In Colombia (and I am sure CR) they do indeed do 'frame off restorations'. I was quoted by a shop to do one for a price that I believe was low. They quoted to remove the body from the frame. sand the frame and body and make repairs and repaint. Also remove the engine and rewire the dash. That is a TON of work. I think the minimum wage in CR is more than in Colombia but in Colombia a worker makes $400 a month! I am guessing a good body man may make double that.

So there is an opportunity to do a cheap restore with medium results (as many of them seem to be) or possibly I hope to do a quality restore for a good price taking advantage of local economy and prices.

When she says that the car was frame off restored she is technically correct. Also I agree after driving around for 10 days to find one really nice one that this is not an easy business. You have to have a spanish speaking local contact down there or you will get burned.

I guess in the end the main difficulty is describing something via text and photos and distinguishing between the different cultures.

This may frustrate US buyers but I agree with her that CR and Colombia offer a great variety of FJ/BJs to chose from. I just want to stay away from the misconception that they are all cheap in price and cheap in quailty.

I spent 10 days looking at over 12 FJ's in one city in Colombia. Where can you do that in the USA?

The answer is nowhere.

FINALLY!!! someone understands! I guess it takes someone who has been there to know what I'm talking about. Yes the average monthly wage here is around $400. That is working 40-50 hours per week. I tell people that I can have a cruiser painted for them here for $400 and they get scared. I've had to explain that is a monthly wage for most. As I explained, the FJ45 that had the frame off restoration, did he spend $40k to do it? No. Did he have the whole thing taken apart, frame off, engine compartment compeletly taken apart and fixed everything, replaced parts, ect. Absolutely! He showed me his next project which was a white HJ45 all in pieces. Nothing was intact.
Cruisers aren't dirt cheap here. Look on encuentra24 and you'll find a turbo diesel HJ45 for $22k.
I'm glad you know as well that if an American thinks he is gonna waltz into any of these countries and come back with a cruiser, he is sadly mistaken. Thats where we come in. We are both in a unique position to obtain these rare cruisers for the US people who want them.
Best of luck to you Chas404
 
Hi Asdae, I completely understand what you are saying as do many of the readers here... What you are missing is the value of what you are doing to them as you get them.... Painting or "frame off" means absolutely nothing if you are using incorrect parts of bolts to hold a hood on or a door etc... Better to leave the rusty parts there and sell it for what you can get. In as close to original condition is what most consumers here I believe are looking for. If it is untouched, no rust... EVEN better... The careless over spraying of vehicle to PAINT them appear... APPEARS as if you are hiding something as you want to sell it in the USA. To them in CR, the paint job might look like a million bucks... But here, a photo looks good until you really try and look at it... That is what they do here...

All consumers of these vehicle will eventually find this forum... I did after seeing the product you portrayed as a frame of RESTORATION... You cannot even call it a REFURBISH... only a PAINT JOB really!

I do not think there are TOO many Americans looking to "waltz" into CR or CA and try to buy a cruiser without some form of learning curve... What you need to do is realize that your REPUTATION, INTEGRITY and anything else you can muster are on the line when you continue to say FRAME OFF RESTORATION... The cruisers, the Red FJ45 is all I can really relate to are FAR FROM THAT... Yes, the FRAME WAS OFF... YES, it was painted... But with NO documentation (photos) of the condition as the body was brought to bare metal, or the frame brought to bare metal... You might as well say it was 24kt gold plated under the black, or red paint for longer life and rust protection... NO ONE KNOWS WHAT YOU OR YOUR MECHANIC have done to the vehicle...

I can only hope this makes since and will help you be more productive in your sales, because even if YOU can WALTZ in there and construct a DEAL with someone from CR, if you cannot sell the product here where you want to sell it... What have you accomplished...? I do want a LHD, BJ series cruiser... But quite honestly, I will wait until I find one from anywhere or anyone else right now until I can be sure of the quality cruiser I am getting... Documentation is key in your business...

I hope this makes since (??) and good luck to you over there...

DT in Scottsdale, AZ
 
Hi Asdae, I completely understand what you are saying as do many of the readers here... What you are missing is the value of what you are doing to them as you get them.... Painting or "frame off" means absolutely nothing if you are using incorrect parts of bolts to hold a hood on or a door etc... Better to leave the rusty parts there and sell it for what you can get. In as close to original condition is what most consumers here I believe are looking for. If it is untouched, no rust... EVEN better... The careless over spraying of vehicle to PAINT them appear... APPEARS as if you are hiding something as you want to sell it in the USA. To them in CR, the paint job might look like a million bucks... But here, a photo looks good until you really try and look at it... That is what they do here...

All consumers of these vehicle will eventually find this forum... I did after seeing the product you portrayed as a frame of RESTORATION... You cannot even call it a REFURBISH... only a PAINT JOB really!

I do not think there are TOO many Americans looking to "waltz" into CR or CA and try to buy a cruiser without some form of learning curve... What you need to do is realize that your REPUTATION, INTEGRITY and anything else you can muster are on the line when you continue to say FRAME OFF RESTORATION... The cruisers, the Red FJ45 is all I can really relate to are FAR FROM THAT... Yes, the FRAME WAS OFF... YES, it was painted... But with NO documentation (photos) of the condition as the body was brought to bare metal, or the frame brought to bare metal... You might as well say it was 24kt gold plated under the black, or red paint for longer life and rust protection... NO ONE KNOWS WHAT YOU OR YOUR MECHANIC have done to the vehicle...

I can only hope this makes since and will help you be more productive in your sales, because even if YOU can WALTZ in there and construct a DEAL with someone from CR, if you cannot sell the product here where you want to sell it... What have you accomplished...? I do want a LHD, BJ series cruiser... But quite honestly, I will wait until I find one from anywhere or anyone else right now until I can be sure of the quality cruiser I am getting... Documentation is key in your business...

I hope this makes since (??) and good luck to you over there...

DT in Scottsdale, AZ


First of all, just to reiterate. I am an American woman living in Costa Rica for the past 4 years with my Costa Rican husband. 2nd, and most important, we have not fixed up or painted one cruiser. We have just had our Troopy painted by someone with 25 years experience painting cars. The FJ45 restoration was done by the original owner. He told us he had done way more to that FJ45 than take the frame off and paint it. The whole engine compartment was taken apart. Parts were replaced, not bondo. He showed us his next project that was a white HJ45 completely in pieces. Not one thing in the engine compartment. He showed us a fender and explained that it was one he had to buy because the other was in bad shape. Once again, did this guy spend $40k to restore it, like the guys here do? No. But he did a heck of a lot of work on it, call it what you want, restore, refurbish, frame off, whatever. I'm not trying to convince you to buy from me, other people do. And for the record, All of our customers are happy with their cruisers. We haven't gotten one complaint. So all this crap on the forum that I'm a scammer, and sell s***ty cruisers lacks one shred of evidence. Just because the FJ45 restore isn't up to the high standards of the forum experts doesn't mean the work wasn't done and the guy used bondo. This is all supposing things without any evidence. That is ridiculous.
 
ladies and gents, take a breath.
Angel, people have no pics or are able to take a look at the trucks in person to they HAVE to assume that fresh paint = POSSIBLE problems or poor workmanship. That doesn't mean there ARE issues hidden under the paint, it means there MIGHT be.
When you are trying to sell a vehicle, over spray on pedals, painted bolts on the hinges, missing bolts, wires dangling under the dash, engine bay areas that are not painted, painted shocks and bushings etc SCREAMS "quick splash job" to most shoppers.

that doesn't mean it is, it just LOOKS that way in the pics.

i can understand why people here don't want fresh painted vehicles from there, or anywhere for that matter, without a history of pics showing what was there in the first place.

you like veneer, i like veneer with the knowledge or what was there in the first place. Fleabay is fine for selling vehicles. most that shop Fleabay and Craigslist etc have no idea what they are looking for, most just see exactly what you do, a pretty truck.

i do high end refurbishments, labor is a huge part of the cost. proper parts is the other. if i could hire a guy for $400/month that WOULD DO THE WORK THE WAY I WANT IT DONE. i would hire him in a second. sadly, we don't get labor for that rate. i know quality when i see it. i know a splash job when i see it.
the pics of the 45 SCREAM splash job, whether it is or not isn't the question. it is WHAT it looks like that is causing you problems.

don't take it personal, you need to step out and look at things from a buyers view, a Cruiserhead point of view. then you will understand.
 
ladies and gents, take a breath.
Angel, people have no pics or are able to take a look at the trucks in person to they HAVE to assume that fresh paint = POSSIBLE problems or poor workmanship. That doesn't mean there ARE issues hidden under the paint, it means there MIGHT be.
When you are trying to sell a vehicle, over spray on pedals, painted bolts on the hinges, missing bolts, wires dangling under the dash, engine bay areas that are not painted, painted shocks and bushings etc SCREAMS "quick splash job" to most shoppers.

that doesn't mean it is, it just LOOKS that way in the pics.

i can understand why people here don't want fresh painted vehicles from there, or anywhere for that matter, without a history of pics showing what was there in the first place.

you like veneer, i like veneer with the knowledge or what was there in the first place. Fleabay is fine for selling vehicles. most that shop Fleabay and Craigslist etc have no idea what they are looking for, most just see exactly what you do, a pretty truck.

i do high end refurbishments, labor is a huge part of the cost. proper parts is the other. if i could hire a guy for $400/month that WOULD DO THE WORK THE WAY I WANT IT DONE. i would hire him in a second. sadly, we don't get labor for that rate. i know quality when i see it. i know a splash job when i see it.
the pics of the 45 SCREAM splash job, whether it is or not isn't the question. it is WHAT it looks like that is causing you problems.

don't take it personal, you need to step out and look at things from a buyers view, a Cruiserhead point of view. then you will understand.
Amen!!
 
ladies and gents, take a breath.
Angel, people have no pics or are able to take a look at the trucks in person to they HAVE to assume that fresh paint = POSSIBLE problems or poor workmanship. That doesn't mean there ARE issues hidden under the paint, it means there MIGHT be.
When you are trying to sell a vehicle, over spray on pedals, painted bolts on the hinges, missing bolts, wires dangling under the dash, engine bay areas that are not painted, painted shocks and bushings etc SCREAMS "quick splash job" to most shoppers.

that doesn't mean it is, it just LOOKS that way in the pics.

i can understand why people here don't want fresh painted vehicles from there, or anywhere for that matter, without a history of pics showing what was there in the first place.

you like veneer, i like veneer with the knowledge or what was there in the first place. Fleabay is fine for selling vehicles. most that shop Fleabay and Craigslist etc have no idea what they are looking for, most just see exactly what you do, a pretty truck.

i do high end refurbishments, labor is a huge part of the cost. proper parts is the other. if i could hire a guy for $400/month that WOULD DO THE WORK THE WAY I WANT IT DONE. i would hire him in a second. sadly, we don't get labor for that rate. i know quality when i see it. i know a splash job when i see it.
the pics of the 45 SCREAM splash job, whether it is or not isn't the question. it is WHAT it looks like that is causing you problems.

don't take it personal, you need to step out and look at things from a buyers view, a Cruiserhead point of view. then you will understand.


I have to learn to be more brief... Well said. I was in NO WAY attacking you Asdae. Honestly.!! I asked for the information on your white BJ40 and got no response at all. I am definitely not saying I will never buy a cruiser from you. I am only TRYING to say what would convince me the cruiser I am buying is worth the money I worked so hard to earn. Crushers post sums up why.

Again, I wish you nothing but the best and hopefully you can pass on the word YOU are looking for CLEAN, VIRGIN (Unpainted) or molested cruisers and I bet you have more success than you realize. Good luck Asdae, I have said my part... Sorry if I offended you, NOT MY INTENTION!!!
 
Hey folks. Writing to you from Colombia. I had an issue with the seller of the yellow very nice one so I went ahead and bought a green 1983 FJ40. This means that after 2 months in time and maybe 25 days on the ground in Colombia and after seeing 25 FJ's I chose a straight but not perfect FJ.

I would describe mine as many you see in USA and also in Colombia as pretty in pictures but not so much in real life. I chose her bec she runs STRONG. I just drove her 2 hrs here up a LONG high altitude grade and back down again. She really impressed me.

I sent her to my mechanic and body man. She has rust in the two front floor boards. and a little rust in the sill. otherwise very straight. she looks GOOD in photos. But I would say she is a MEDIUM grade strong original runner.

My idea is to work with my body man who has over 20 years experience painting and working on these to do a full 'frame off' restoration. I want to take advantage of the lower labor costs but also the ( I believe) high level of skill and workmanship here to truly restore her BETTER than the very nice original owner one that I was about to buy.

I have met with my body man and have told him that I want a high quality restoration and that I am willing to pay for it. He seems up to the task ( he works on expensive new land cruisers and Mercedes and such) and he seems happy to be tasked with this project.

I met also with another local who has shipped many many FJ40s from Colombia but he is currently working on a 'restored' FJ40 that has paint over rust and just bothers me to no end. In defense of him he has a business and several clients and he is shipping a nice 1978 FJ40 and I believe he is selling it for $15k or so. If the buyer knows everything and is happy about it then fine. I am just starting out and maybe I am naive but I just can not see the value in fixing something halfway and then paying the shipping costs etc.

I believe that it is better to leverage the local lower cost body work and also high level of craftsmanship and try to make something nice. However, maybe the public wont pay more than $20k for a 'toy'.

I have met with custom shops down here that do exhausts, rollbars and custom soft tops. I believe that not only can they do the work cheaper than in the USA but also that they are more specialists with these vehicles bec they work on them all the time.

My body man will remove the small rust areas and replace with factory style metal panels that are made here (FYI those panels are sold in the USA just no one knows they come from here). then paint etc.

we are taking the body off the frame. removing the engine everything. We are replacing all the body mounts with Toyota parts and also replacing all the window gaskets. everything new.

I am no expert in this (I am a car enthusiast and perfectionist in the home building business).

I am in support of Asdae's perspective. All I see is the issue of disclosure. I have honestly been frustrated in this as I see that in reviewing these vehicles a GIANT grey area between the all original beat up ones and the perfectly kept up ones.

After almost buying a perfectly kept all original same family one I gave up and I decided to attempt to restore it under my supervision. The 'perfect' one at a high price in the end had the wrong non original yellow (yet well painted) and some other issues. It did not have rust however EVER and was very nice.

For now I am staying away from the middle grey area and going for a full restoration.

In the end I honestly dont see a big difference between the USA so called 'restored' ones as the Costa Rica or Colombia 'restored' ones. Has nothing to do with culture other than down here yes it is cheap to get a $500 paint job that looks great in photos but not so great in real life.

I think it is more about educating the buyers that restoring a 30 year old vehicle is NOT cheap.

The vehicles down here are not 'cheap' just that there are many to choose from vs the USA.

And despite being bilingual and being here for over 4 yrs I have run into many redtape issues that I had not forseen. Remember I have yet to ship one.

In the end I am optimistic that I can restore this one to a high level and then command a no excuses high price. time will tell.

I have met some very interesting people down here and many share a great love for these vehicles despite their condition.

One of my friends owns a lunch restaurant and has a 1978 model with rust holes you can see day light through. haha. but he would never ever sell her to anybody as she is part of the family.

In the end I am trying to prove something that may be difficult. I am trying to prove that Colombians can produce something high quality. You only have to ask for it and pay them for it.

The local market here does not support say $20,000 and above FJ40s and thus no one would 'restore' a vehicle to that level. If you pay the body/paint man a low price to paint etc you are going to get the level of restoration that you paid for. same as in the US.

I have struggled with this and have talked with my body man about this. I am hoping that he is up to the challenge of proving that he can do the work. I believe that he can.

I really dont see this as any different from in the US. We will see.

FYI i drove my green FJ40 for 2 hrs today and I LOVE it.
 
WOW what a long post above!

This is 'Esmeralda'

DSCN0628.jpg

gorgeous in photos but per my body man has 3 shades of green and not the 'original' shade (close but no)

She is a strong runner and would fine as she is for someone who wants an offroad or beach cruiser.

I want to see if my local guy can bring her back to original original.

DSCN0628.jpg
 

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