A neighbor is importing FJ40s, some questions (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jun 18, 2007
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260
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South FL
My wife and I walk in our neighborhood frequently, and I had been seeing an FJ40 in a a guy's driveway, looked very nice, it was Mustard I think. Then one day as we were walking I saw 2 different car carriers driving away each with an FJ40 on them.

So then one day while walking I see the guy in the driveway tinkering with a beige FJ40. It's Covid, so I didn't really approach, but I talked with him from the street. He says he imports them, I asked him what does one go for like the one he is working on, he says in the 40's. That was it, I told him nice truck and went on my way.

Yesterday when I walked by there, he has the Beige one, and now a red one with Venezuela plates, so I assume a fresh import.

I have always liked the 40 series, never had one, I wouldn't mind having one, but 40k is way more than I would consider paying, even for a US spec one.

I have no idea if these are being restored in South America, and then imported by him and sold, I don't know the name of the business, or even his name. Is it worth even asking this guy about his process, or if he could find me one much cheaper? I'm probably answering my own questions here, but I'm curious about what is the MUD consensus on imported 40s from Venezuela? I think I read one thread where there was a claim that Venezuelan 40s were not same quality because they were built locally in country.

I think I've now talked myself out of even further approaching the guy, but I'll listen to whatever comments the MUD community has.
 

Jdc1

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Akron, OH
My wife and I walk in our neighborhood frequently, and I had been seeing an FJ40 in a a guy's driveway, looked very nice, it was Mustard I think. Then one day as we were walking I saw 2 different car carriers driving away each with an FJ40 on them.

So then one day while walking I see the guy in the driveway tinkering with a beige FJ40. It's Covid, so I didn't really approach, but I talked with him from the street. He says he imports them, I asked him what does one go for like the one he is working on, he says in the 40's. That was it, I told him nice truck and went on my way.

Yesterday when I walked by there, he has the Beige one, and now a red one with Venezuela plates, so I assume a fresh import.

I have always liked the 40 series, never had one, I wouldn't mind having one, but 40k is way more than I would consider paying, even for a US spec one.

I have no idea if these are being restored in South America, and then imported by him and sold, I don't know the name of the business, or even his name. Is it worth even asking this guy about his process, or if he could find me one much cheaper? I'm probably answering my own questions here, but I'm curious about what is the MUD consensus on imported 40s from Venezuela? I think I read one thread where there was a claim that Venezuelan 40s were not same quality because they were built locally in country.

I think I've now talked myself out of even further approaching the guy, but I'll listen to whatever comments the MUD community has.
Seems like the SA builds have been hit or miss, mostly miss. What’s your budget? There are usually a handful of clean trucks available.
 

steffan

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Knoxville, TN
I'd at least talk with him if he seems approachable? he might have some further insight to the process or other options, etc. probably half of what i know, admittedly, not much, is from conversations with strangers
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
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5,551
Location
Southern Colorado
Many SA vehicles are missing things like roll bars, dashboards, heaters, front disk brakes (drums instead), and some have funky fiberglass aftermarket tops. To me, you should get FULLY aware of US-spec FJ40s before considering an SA vehicle.

Many have giant wads of bondo with fresh paint over them, and some are just flat worn out. Some are pretty nice. This is also true of US-spec models. A worthy FJ40 is where you find it, but I suspect the best SA ones have been high-graded by the middlemen, and either are marked up to 40K, or are replaced by junky ones sold to unsuspecting Gringos.

The best thing you could do before purchase is have a knowledgeable Mud guy or Toyota specialist shop look it over. But, even many Toyota shops have virtually no experience with old Land Cruisers. South Florida (your location) is a hotbed for imported trucks, so you will see more SA trucks than elsewhere in the US. Go slowly, post lots of pix here, and ask lots of questions. Sometimes the one that got away - should have gotten away.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Messages
260
Location
South FL
Thanks for all the comments everyone. I think there is enough nuances to an SA truck that I just don't want to bother with even considering an import. I'll happily admire them in neighbor's driveway as I walk by.
 
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
101
So the guy is importing 40s, and you have seen multiple trucks but you don't talk to him why? I see anyone with a 40, 80, 100 and I stop and talk to them, Covid or not. I wear a mask and am also in Florida. If i saw a guy in my hood taking delivery on multiple 40's, he would be my best friend. I would know the names of his kids and get to name his next one.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Messages
260
Location
South FL
So the guy is importing 40s, and you have seen multiple trucks but you don't talk to him why? I see anyone with a 40, 80, 100 and I stop and talk to them, Covid or not. I wear a mask and am also in Florida. If i saw a guy in my hood taking delivery on multiple 40's, he would be my best friend. I would know the names of his kids and get to name his next one.

Hah, point taken. In my defense, I've only laid eyes on the man one time and I spoke to him. But you are right, even if I don't intend to buy one of his imports, no reason I can't enjoy talking to him about his trucks.
 

lcwizard

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Dec 5, 2004
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Location
Miami, Arizona
The last SA 40 series I worked on...from Fla.

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lcwizard

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Location
Miami, Arizona
All the soft brake lines were cracked and peeling. The shocks had no oil. No heater, speedo cable didn't have the internal cable.
With new paint and upholstery it did look OK from a distance.
The customer bought it of the internet and did not fly out to give it a once over. He bought it off the photos and description posted by a
"classic car" dealer in Florida which stated that it had a new OME suspension and ground up restoration.
 

Bear

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Nov 2, 2005
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California
Gives new meaning to "ground-up" restoration--the parts look they went though a meat grinder.

Looks like our friends in South America only use "certified" mechanics--their mechanics should be certified. And yes, you can count on the "classic car" dealer who gave it a 100-point pre-purchase safety inspection--from 20 feet away ! This is only topped by the inspection of some fuzzy photos by the buyer 2,000 miles away.

Common sense.............Priceless.
 

bcsteel

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Oct 31, 2008
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Terrace, BC
I would keep your money and buy a nice NA spec truck. Several documented builds and stock trucks that change hands within the community. Taking a huge risk in my opinion with SA truck. Put your money into mods and updating maintenance instead of correcting years of hard living in the jungle.
 

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