Builds 75 Restoration - Divorce Cruiser?

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'74 FJ40 - my first!
Jan 25, 2014
Danville, CA
Okay, so a lot of you have seen my 74 restoration thread - Won a '74 40 on a coin toss.... I'm not a huge car guy so there was quite the learning curve on that Cruiser. Have done some good things for the restoration and feel pretty good about how it runs and looks. I still have some things I want to do on it but pretty much all the major stuff is done. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone which is a good thing. I totally enjoy driving it and I still smile every time I drive it.

I figured I was a one and done Cruiser guy because it was a lot of work. Plus the wife was supportive of one but beyond that she said, "no way!" Also the company she worked for for 20+ years was a finally closing so there really wasn't room in the budget for another Cruiser.

Having been inflicted with the disease, I keep looking at Cruisers but more for inspiration (and just in case the true barn find for $100 showed up). I saw lots of cool ones but nothing that said, "you must buy me!" I found a disassembled one on Craigslist and thought I'd do my part for the community and post it on the classifieds - For Sale: - 75 FJ40 disassembled

Well, that one kept bugging me... I just thought that it was way too big of a project for me. As days passed and it didn't sell, I kept thinking about it. Talked to some people and they thought I could easily sell it for more than I bought it for. So now I'm fully convinced I need to buy this - I had nothing to lose. Just needed to talk the wife into it...

Well somehow I did talk her into it - I'm sure I'll be paying for that for quite some time (or get a divorce as a result). It took awhile and thankfully it did not sell during that negotiation period. My friend is storing it at his shop and I won't be working on this one for awhile. It is 3.5 hours away so I can't just roll out into my garage and tinker. I'm still deciding on what to do, but I'm thinking a full stock restoration is the plan. Then the question will be which one to keep? I know some have said I can't sell the first one because of the story behind it. But the thought of fully restored and freshly painted one is very appealing. I'm leaning towards painting it light blue vs. the red. It is in pieces so painting should be reasonable. We shall see... :)

So this thread won't have much action for awhile. But wanted to get it out there and start documenting the process.


2F engine in all its glory.


Frame and body on jacks in its new home.


View from buddy's deck adjacent to the shop. Reminded me of Tuscany...


Boxes of Cruiser goodies on the mezzanine.


Stored the chairs at my house - was afraid of mice tearing them up at the shop. I may end up putting these in the 74 since the 74 doesn't have vinyl covered door panels so will work better. Don't think I could create the same look as OEM of the door panels in matching fabric.
Congrats looks like s nice project! When does the fun begin?
Probably after first quarter next year. Need to see how funds shake out. I told my wife that I could do some handyman jobs in the meantime to generate funds but she didn't like that idea either. But where I live there are so many opportunities for easy jobs to make some cash. We'll see...
Seats cleaned up pretty good will paint the frames and the back metal panels and throw them in the 74. I'll save my nicer seats for the 75.

Oh and I will try to find a better match for the headrests... I think this desert sand looks pretty good.

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Found a photo of some samples and desert sand definitely looks too light. Thinking the medium beige will be a better option (middle in photo). Guess I'll just have to try it out and see... Or I just paint the entire seat with that paint... Not sure I want to go to all that effort. Might as well paint them charcoal grey if I end up painting the entire thing.

I'm thinking of starting a pool - whether she divorces you or kills you first.
Recently, as I was cleaning up after working on the 40 all day and just about to complete the project, my wife looked at me and said, "I hope you are getting this out of your system". If she only knew how much was left to do!
Recently, as I was cleaning up after working on the 40 all day and just about to complete the project, my wife looked at me and said, "I hope you are getting this out of your system". If she only knew how much was left to do!
Ya, hope you never hear the dreaded "You spend more on that than you do on me!":mad:
Super cool-I have 2 I am working on and I still "keep an eye out"-we are all sick!!! I am single though so no wife to fight with about what I can have. That one will be a beauty!!! Nice find.
Nice! I don't have a 40 yet, but I will one of these days. She likes them but she already calls the 62 my girlfriend. She definitely doesn't know how much I spend on her. Ummm... I mean it
So here is my question - I am fond of Horizontal Blue for the color. In the event I sell this, does it hurt the value much if it isn't period correct? Based on what I've seen Horizontal Blue was an early 70's color, not 75. Also, the inside the engine bay ID plate will indicate Freeborn Red was the color of the vehicle. Of course, for some reason the plate looks like someone chewed off the corners so I may have to see if I can get a replica made.

Here is what I'm leaning towards:

[QUOTE In the event I sell this, does it hurt the value much if it isn't period correct? QUOTE]

You have the color Red (in your avatar is says; "my first"? :hmm:) already so paint it Horizontal Blue.

Don't worry about the value, who are you kidding you know you will never sell it anyway ;)!

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Good point NCFJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vet bills-insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These chairs will be going into this one. Need to refurb the back metal plates and they are done! The jump seats are done as well just not pictured. I cheated since these came out of my 74 remodel. ;)


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