A thread about a white bread, stock 1976 FJ40.

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cbmontgo

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This really isn't a build thread. It's just a little log about my first FJ40 purchase, now 10 years ago.

In 2009, after having owned an FJ60 for several years, I got serious about finding my first FJ40.

At this point, classic Land Cruisers were relatively unknown to collectors and were still affordable. However, finding one that was rust-free was not easy. I trolled Craigslist in Arizona, California, and New Mexico for 6 months until I came across this ad.
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I picked up the phone and called the guy immediately. His description of the truck told me that I needed to move forward on this one fast. We settled on a price, I put $ 500 in FedEx overnight, and I started making arrangements to fly down to Phoenix.

He described it as having been in the family since around 1983 and was used at their desert home for trips to the Grand Canyon and an occasional drive around town. They had taught their kids to drive in it and it was a big part of the family for the last 26 years. I could tell that he didn't want to sell it, but they had a son going off to college and the cash would be helpful. It had low miles and had been babied. Who could've asked for more.

Then, the next day, I wake up to this email:

"Let me apologize for any hardship this may cause you, but we have decided not to sell the FJ40. We will return your check to you if you have already sent it out. We are not selling the vehicle to any other party, but have decided that as long as we own our desert property we want to have the land cruiser.

Again I apologize for ant hardships this news may cause you."
 
Three weeks later, he calls me back and honored our original agreement. Without asking any questions, I was on a plane with an envelope full of cash.

I flew to Phoenix and took a shuttle 100 miles away to their main home in Prescott. From there, his dog, wife, and I loaded up on the long front bench seat of an early 1990s F250 and rolled 1.5 hours to their second home in the ghost town of Congress, AZ. Guess I was pretty committed at this point.

It was an interesting little town. Former gold mining town from the old days. I'd guess it has a population of a few hundred now. Here's a cool old picture of that town.
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His barn opened up to reveal a perfect stock FJ40, exactly as was pictured. The motor fired right up and we took it for a spin down the road. We talked for a while longer. This FJ40 had been purchased new in Flagstaff from a dear friend of his who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1983. He bought the 40 during this time and it became part of their family. Interestingly, his friend survived the cancer.

So it was eventually time for me to get rolling. I headed off towards Phoenix. I was pretty nervous. Everything in the engine compartment was 1976 original, including the belts.

However, that ole 2F just hummed right along effortlessly down Hwy 60. Wish I'd taken more pictures of the drive, but I was ill at ease until I got back to civilization.
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That night, I dropped it off at a friend's house in Scottsdale and flew back to Denver, anxiously awaiting the shipper to pick it up. Two days later, my auto shipper called me and said that he couldn't get it to start. Made no sense to me at all. This thing ran perfectly before. Anyway, he gave up and left, so I had to wait two more weeks for another shipper who could haul a non-running vehicle. Found out later that shipper #1 had pulled the choke so hard that it bent part of the carburetor linkage.

In the meantime, my buddy Rick, had a good time trying to diagnose the issue as the 40 waited for a shipper #2. Rick was a CJ-7 guy and got a kick out of pointing out a non-running FJ40 in his driveway.
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It was finally loaded up and headed north.
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A few days later, when I met the shipper off of I-25 in Colorado, he said...

"Ya know, every time I stop at a gas station, people keep stopping me to talk about that ole To-yota. No one even cares about the Benzes or the BMW. Must be a pretty special vehicle."

Sure is.
 
Awesome write up. Sub’d 🍿. What an awesome rig.
 
@cbmontgo I am restoring a '3/76 FJ40 left to me after my brothers passing. The PO did a pretty good job of removing important pieces under the hood, charcoal cannister plumbing, etc for a desmog. Any chance you could take some pics of your under the hood plumbing? Much appreciated and great '76 you have there. Thanks Tom
 
@cbmontgo I am restoring a '3/76 FJ40 left to me after my brothers passing. The PO did a pretty good job of removing important pieces under the hood, charcoal cannister plumbing, etc for a desmog. Any chance you could take some pics of your under the hood plumbing? Much appreciated and great '76 you have there. Thanks Tom
Of course. Are you looking to resmog?

The 40 is in my offsite hangar, but I’ll be out there next week and will take pics of anything you need.
 
@cbmontgo not looking to resmog but do a proper desmog as per what Jim C would do. Under hood pics of what connects where would help greatly. I can PM you if easier. Thanks so much. Tom
 
Very cool thread, love the family aspect!
Great looking 40 also!
 

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