Builds Bluebonnet - 5.3/H55 FJ40

SipLife

Cruiser Pickin’
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Let’s start with a little bit of background:

The cruiser addiction first began with my father (@ceylonfj40nut) when he purchased his first 80 series a few years ago. I was about 10 years old at the time and would help him by fetching any tools he required, although I didn’t understand his odd fascination with Landcruisers at the time.

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Fast forward a few years and I began to finally develop an interest in cars. However, I was always driven more towards classic American muscle cars. I was drawn toward their curvy body lines and the sound and power of their V8 engines. I would often joke with my dad that his fj40 looked like a “bread loaf” in comparison.

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When I turned 15 years old my Dad and I finally pulled the trigger on a 67 mustang coupe in Texas. It was a fairly clean rust free car with a 10 foot paint job. We ripped the whole car apart that summer and began to prep it for paint. I learned so much about engineering design and automotive systems by taking it apart.

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Fast forward to the present ,our paint job is almost complete, and the car is in perfect driving condition. It was during this time that I started parting out my 1st 80 series. I was blown away at the level of over design, yet simplicity that Toyota engineers incorporated into their vehicles in comparison to Ford.

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Meanwhile, my mother (@cowgirl40) and little brother (@Cowboy45) had both followed in the footsteps of my father and added two more cruisers to the family. By this time we had 6 cruisers in the family (It’s a disease :rofl:) .
It only took a local craigslist ad of a Capri Blue patina fj40 for my attitude to change to “If you can’t beat em’ , join em!”. We have dubbed her “Bluebonnet” because she will reside in Texas. We are on route to pick her up in Albuquerque New Mexico as we speak. Subscribe and stay tuned for more updates.

Tagging a few members along for the ride: @dogfishlake @CenTXFJ60 @CaptClose @POTATO LAUNCHER @Michael B @BombCity
@The Jade Bean @4Cruisers
 
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dogfishlake

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Sweet 40! That will come back to life very nicely.

Your Mustang looks really good. You got a ton done since I was there.
 

dogfishlake

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Here's a great source of information from @wngrog
 

SipLife

Cruiser Pickin’
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Here's a great source of information from @wngrog

I have read Nolan’s thread before. Will definitely be using some of his techniques on Bluebonnet.
 

SipLife

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We hitched our trailer and loaded up our trusty 7.3 Brutus. We had a 9 hour journey ahead of us from Dallas to Albuquerque.

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About five hours in we stopped and had lunch with @POTATO LAUNCHER @BombCity and family at Blue Sky Burgers in Amarillo. A local joint that had some killer Burgers and Anaheim Green Chili Fries.

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SipLife

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We made an interesting discovery over lunch after doing a vin check with @POTATO LAUNCHER . His 73’ 40 and Bluebonnet were only a month apart from one another on the assembly line! They were daughter trucks from Mr.T :)

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After a quick refuel we hit the road again to complete the last 4 hour stretch. About an hour later we reached the New Mexico border on schedule to arrive in Albuquerque around 6pm. The plan is to pick up Bluebonnet on Sunday Morning and bring her back home to Texas.

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middlecalf

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Looks like someone had a hard time following the photographer’s instructions. “Smile. Ok now look serious.”
 

dogfishlake

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Your mother's "serious face" is coming along well. She must be practicing. Your dad is a pro.
 

SipLife

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We knew we had arrived in Albuquerque when we were greeted by a surround of red mountains, the Rio Grande River, and intricate Adobe brick structures as far as the eye could see. We decided to call it a day and spend the night with some local friends. While driving through their neighborhood we spotted some sweet 60 series cruisers.

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As soon as we arrived we were immediately greeted by a barrage of welcome licks from Boba the Pug. Which according to his owner has the IQ equivalent of a cinderblock. He eats rocks, grass, and anything else non-edible he can get his paws on. We also enjoyed the company of good friends and conversations about our future build plans for Bluebonnet (Stay Tuned ;)).

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SipLife

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On Sunday morning we chowed down on some homemade pancakes and then hightailed it to the owners home in Rio Rancho. We pulled up to the address and there she stood waiting for us in the driveway. Her original faded Capri Blue paint and scratches were enough to tell her story. We were greeted by Bluebonnets 2nd owner Max in the driveway. He was a real stand up man who planned to restore Bluebonnet to her original glory, while maintaining her original Patina character. As the story always goes, life got busy, other projects gained priority, and the cruiser sat on the back burner. I promised him I would take care of Bluebonnet exactly as he intended. I will always remember what he told me about cruisers: “If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you”. We sealed the deal with a handshake and began the loading process.

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Before Negotiations:

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After Negotiations:

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With a little cursing and heavy breathing we heaved Bluebonnet up the driveway until we hit a sharp incline. Max brought his trusty Kubota and pushed her up to flat ground. Then he chained her from the rear and straightened her out so we could winch her up onto the trailer. Bluebonnet and Brutus became quite aquatinted with one another.

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SipLife

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We thanked Max once again and set out to grab some grub at Owl Cafe in Albuquerque. We met with @4Cruisers and his wife for lunch. John told us the story of how he bought an original 84’ FJ60 from the showroom floor! He still owns the truck and drives it at his home in Nevada. It was awesome meeting an original cruiser fanatic!

Before Lunch:

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After Lunch:

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After lunch, we headed homebound
toward Texas with Bluebonnet trailing closely behind.

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SipLife

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We stopped for the night at a hotel in Amarillo and plan to finish the rest of the journey home tomorrow. We met with @POTATO LAUNCHER for dinner and he brought his sweet 40 along. He also had a look at Bluebonnet and pointed out some cool features I didn’t know about. Apparently 73’ was the only year for the factory rear reverse light and the last year without the interior roll cage.

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