A Tale of Two Troopies

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Sep 23, 2017
Hello all,

Over the years I’ve gleaned tons of good info here, but this is my first post.

I’ve been looking off and on for years now trying to find a clean original Troopy, but have inevitably been disappointed by rust, RHD, high miles or ‘restored’ Land Cruisers, thick with Bondo and fresh paint. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands, and found a reasonably low miles (90k), original paint, little rust BJ75 in Europe, and imported it myself.

After all the paperwork, I finally picked it up at the port in Newark NJ last week. Now I’ll be driving it across the USA to CO, where I live. Should be fun, right?

BTW, if you’re wondering what the ‘two Troopies’ reference is in the title, I’m actually importing two of these trucks! As luck would have it, right after I committed to buying the one I just picked up, my contact in Europe found me another one—even lower miles and nicer condition! So now I’m bringing that one in, too. Lol. Probably won’t keep both, but who knows?

Nice but the white rims make it look like an ambulance. Does it have an aftermarket aux tank , fuel or water?
Yeah, I’m not crazy about the white rims, either, but they’re original for euro spec Troopies of this vintage. I’d rather they were gray like the AU spec trucks. The aux tank is diesel. There’s a lever inside to switch between tanks. Either early OEM, or dealer install. Hard to tell.
Sweet! Welcome. More troopys in CO means more opportunity for local rattle-abouts.
Congrats! The more the merrier. Those white steelies look fine...but they are most likely split rims. Might be worth modernizing while keeping the same look. Enjoy the road trip!
Yup, they’re split rims. Pretty sure they’re the ones that came with the truck, since the date codes on the wheels match the Troopy’s. I saw a thread on Mud somewhere about cutting the centers out and welding them into tubeless type rims. I probably wouldn’t do that with these, but I’ll be in Australia in a month and might try and pick up an extra set to vandalize.
Clean looking BJ75,what country in Europe does it come from ?
Found it in France. I bought it from the son of the original owner. It’s definitely pretty clean. Under 100k orig miles, all original paint, very little rust. Runs like a top. It has a few bumps and scrapes—gives it an honest patina. Lol. The other troopy I’m bringing in is even better, hard as that is to believe. Obviously don’t need two, and still undecided how to solve that ‘problem’.
I know how you can solve the problem, select which you want to keep and sell me the other really cheap!
but I’ll be in Australia in a month and might try and pick up an extra set to vandalize.

Why would you want to keep split rims? They pile up in scrap metal yards here. You are much better off with some heavy duty ROH steel rims for tyre choice and low weight.
I’d only keep the split rims because they’re original to the truck—they’d probably live in the garage. I do like the stock look, though, so I might get some stock looking rims, but for use with tubeless tires. Thinking I’ll run either 235 or 255/85 tires. Tall n skinny just looks ‘right’ on Troopies in my opinion.

Trip update for today: drove about 165 miles from Cape Cod to western MA. Really surprised at how well this thing does on the highway. Cruises happily at 65mph. Sufficient power. Not as bumpy as I had been led to believe. Pretty decent highway manners, actually. Getting 22-23mpg so far. Couple days here, then off to CO.
Only 25 degrees F (-4C) this morning! Happy to report the troopy started just fine. Wasn’t sure what to expect.

Here’s another photo. The truck sitting at the port in Newark the day I picked it up.

...Cruises happily at 65mph. Sufficient power...

I thought the same thing when I was driving mine back to Idaho from the southeast, then I hit the Rockies with a headwind...ended up doing an engine swap in the first year.

Congratulations, show some interior shots, I like the license plate.
Lol! Kinda figured I was headed down a rabbit hole when I decided to get an old Cruiser. Already have plans for the build—don’t even have both Troopies yet!

Probably won’t turbo this one, ‘cause I’m pretty sure it’ll be the other one I keep, but I know when I get back to CO I’ll need more power. Lots of steep grades and 10,000ft (3,000 meter) passes back home. Anybody had a turbo on a 3B long enough for an extended/long-term report on power and reliability?

BTW, the license plates are the original ones from France. They’re riveted on! I’ll have to drill out the rivets when I get CO plates, but for now it’s fun to have them on the car.

Here’s an interior pic:

How did you find it?
I know a guy. He finds things.

And I searched for a long time, and saw a bunch of beat, rusty, high miles, wore out troopies. People always ask if it’s difficult to import a car from overseas. It’s a hassle, a bureaucratic paper chase, but it’s not difficult. The hard part is finding 25+ year old trucks in good enough condition to bother.
I'm seriously considering a trip to Australia soon to get one. I can import 2002 and older to Canada (1999-2002 are the 78, 1999 and older are the 75). I'll get one with the 1HZ engine. Being there in person I can do a really good inspection. I'm not sure if I will need to get a shop to inspect it since I should be able to cover everything except maybe a compression test. Is this important to check for the 1HZ? I presume that if it checks out OK in my inspection and drives well, and the online history check checks out, it should be in good shape, even though it's from Australia right? The issue with vehicles from Europe is they could have rust from road salt. In Australia they get rusty from driving on the beach but hopefully the owners are diligent enough to rinse it off afterwards, something that isn't really possible in Europe if it's driving around all winter in the salt. Regardless, rust will be an easy thing to check for. The only gambles will be the engine and gear box.

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