Take into consideration that the folks that work in body shops are trying to pay their bills and keep food on their tables, not just “churn out volume”. Prep work is extremely time intensive and therefore expensive if you’re paying a fair wage. Nobody is getting rich as a bodyman or woman. Yes the insurance industry is driving the body repair industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great bodyshop to fit your needs. Just keep in mind, you get what you pay for and Maaco/Earl Scheib prices reflect that.
Everyone is trying to pay their bills and keep food on the table. Folks that work in body shops are no exception. My point is that the insurance industry has changed the paint and bodywork business. The majority of P&B businesses make their money on insurance repairs. Those repairs are tied to volume: get the minor fender benders and hail damage cars through the door so you can cash the insurance check and move on to the next one. I make no comment on the morality of that business model, or where the proceeds should be applied. But it is volume-driven.
It is an entirely different caliber of paint and bodywork business that does restorations and meticulous work. They are uncommon and costly. But their customers are looking for a different level of craftsmanship than the average insurance-claimant who just wants their daily-driver back on the road. This is the caliber of P&B work I would be interested in, and be willing to pay for.
But I digress - I am not willing to pay a premium for a truck with a Maaco paint job. I'd rather just have a truck with imperfect paint. That way I know what I'm getting in to.
Do you want something you can drive until you get all the crap together for a heart transplant? Or are you ok buying a non-runner? That would open a lot of options and could significantly lower the cost of your initial truck purchase. If you’re going to SAS it, I’d look for the chassis that is easiest/cheapest to put a solid axle underneath. And I’d pick out your choice of five speed separate from the purchase of a body and chassis.
Or, buy a triple locked FJ80, make it part time 4wd and diesel swap it.
I just had a chance to look at it. I'm not a huge fan of the camping tray. I realize it is very utilitarian and cool, just not my thing.
I have also become frustrated with the availability of clean Land Cruisers and Toyota diesel parts. I have a high expectation for the condition of my vehicles. It's exhausting scouring the internet for exotic Toyota Land Cruisers in the condition I want them. And Toyota diesel engines are $5,000 to $10,000 with unknown history, often from another country. And then it's PITA to find replacement parts for them.
With 2nd and 3rd gen 4Runners I can find complete trucks for the cost of a Toyota diesel engine. And the trucks are really clean. For a decent 75-series Land Cruiser pickup, it's $20,000 minimum for a truck. And they are dogs. Just some crap someone has cobbled together in South America to try and flip in USA. It's just supply and demand.
Furthermore, the OM617s are everywhere. They are unbelievably reliable and affordable. Parts are cheap and easy to find. If I stumble across the right 75 series Land Cruiser, I may change my mind. But for now I'm going to keep looking for a 4Runner for an OM617 swap.
Besides, I still have my 1977 FJ40 to tinker with.
Yep, you gotta pay to play in the land cruiser world. You can’t compare land cruisers, especially pickups to a 4 runner that they made a bazillion of, build wise, rarity, cool factor etc
Nothing “wrong” with a 4Runner at all, But IMO, land cruisers are way cooler especially 70series pickups
OMs are great engines.
You could sell that tray on that 75 in the classifieds easily. The truck looks super solid.
Go 1st or 3rd Gen 4Runner Will. Odds rule!
Texas, and a few other states, are out of control.Don’t forget the factory locker in the 3rd. How is the whole virus thing in Texas? I’m in BC and it’s pretty much done here. There are a couple of cases popping up but 90% plus is confined to institutions. There is almost none in the general public.
Don’t forget the factory locker in the 3rd.