Central & South American Resto's 5,000 miles and flip it? What gives? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
38
Location
Nashville, TN
Hey folks,
By my login ID you can see I'm new to this obsession/ chemical imbalance. Just beginning my research/search for a 77 through 84 40. There is just something about an FJ 40 that is cool. Maybe it is the No bullsh*t utilitarian look. Maybe it is the anti-establishment against the trend of spending obscene amounts of money for a Jeep (no offense to those enthusiasts, of course) I digressed.

From what I've learned already is that the vast majority of them are coming in from Central and South America, a lot having an off body restoration (some appear to be good some not so much). I get that, there are lots of them down there an less up here. (Laws of supply and demand and the free market). I'm sure there are "purists" that would only get a U.S. model.

Anyhow, I see a number of the for sale postings state something like "5,000 miles since overhaul...." or "drove it for two years...." What gives? I'm sure you've all seen those ads. Is there a racket/ investment gig out there that someone imports a restored 40 or 43 drives it for a few years and flips it. Is there some huge tax benefit?? Or does the "fun" of driving a 40 wear off and they want to sell it? Or is that just the BS line that the salesman puts on the ad? Can someone please shed some light on why so many restored 40's and 43's from South and Central America are owned for a couple of years and get sold?

Let me state up front I would never buy a vehicle from photos. Some of the off body restorations look pretty damn good but looks scan be deceiving. I would either hire someone to go look at it and/or go there myself (and still get a local mechanic/ knowledgeable FJ enthusiast to look at the engine drive train). The Buyers guide on this site is an excellent source. Living in Nashville means I can be a large number of places in 10 hours or less. I am willing to buy one restored from south of the border but still need to educate myself some more. I, like most, cannot afford an FJ CO restoration (but my god they do amazing work.)

Can someone please shed some light?

Cheers!
 

brian

SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
Messages
10,989
Location
lebanon,pa
these do not receive restorations 95% of the time. they receive enough to fool the uninitiated and milk them out of cash...nothing more.
in the central american market these had been used as the tools they were designed to be. they have been maintained in any way available in order to keep them moving, and thats far from a good thing.
i dont want to say they are junk, they are not, but they are not worth near the money that some sell for...just dont expect it to be the cherry that you may have been lead to believe.
 
Joined
May 14, 2016
Messages
1,616
Location
Arizona
Like others on here I have seen a few of the imports. Buyer was always like you , wanting an FJ40 but FJCO was too much money. The few I have seen were mainly cosmetic and looking into them deeper revealed patchwork of sorts. One of them had a rear axle , not Toyota. Another had mismatched brake lines/hardware , not being OEM. Just be aware.
 

FJBen

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
5,255
Location
Northern Colorado
Like others on here I have seen a few of the imports. Buyer was always like you , wanting an FJ40 but FJCO was too much money. The few I have seen were mainly cosmetic and looking into them deeper revealed patchwork of sorts. One of them had a rear axle , not Toyota. Another had mismatched brake lines/hardware , not being OEM. Just be aware.

venezualen and Colombian land cruisers come with Dana 60 semi float axels. Has to deal with the deal they made with Toyota to have some percentage of parts on these vehicles be “local”.

@FJnoob2
Be extremely careful with South American cruisers. As stated usually beat down, hacked together to get someone in America to pay a crap ton.
Not all are like that, but the vast majority we see here are hack jobs.

look for a good survivor that may cost you more and make you wonder why it doesn’t look all new, but there will most likely be a ton less surprises and you will always have better value than a South American rig.
 

Advrider639

SILVER Star
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
609
Location
Atlanta, GA
o-FORREST-GUMP-facebook.jpg


"...you never know what you're going to get."
 

Purpleaction

GOLD Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
605
Location
Pensacola Beach, Fl
Don’t forget “stupid is as stupid does”. And I can say that with 1000% sincerity since I bought my first 40 10 years ago from a certain snake oil salesman in Arizona. I WAS STUPID.
 
Joined
May 14, 2016
Messages
1,616
Location
Arizona
venezualen and Colombian land cruisers come with Dana 60 semi float axels. Has to deal with the deal they made with Toyota to have some percentage of parts on these vehicles be “local”.

@FJnoob2
Be extremely careful with South American cruisers. As stated usually beat down, hacked together to get someone in America to pay a crap ton.
Not all are like that, but the vast majority we see here are hack jobs.

look for a good survivor that may cost you more and make you wonder why it doesn’t look all new, but there will most likely be a ton less surprises and you will always have better value than a South American rig.

No wonder I saw Dana stuff. I never knew that. What other parts did SA push ?
 

bcsteel

SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
600
Location
Terrace, BC
I would just look for a solid truck state side and not bother with the risk. Some pretty nice trucks out there with easy to fix issues that won’t bleed your wallet dry. You’d have a better chance of recovery your investment with an NA spec truck instead of a suspect SA rig. Most didn’t come with heat either. Not hard to install but just another thing to ad. Just my opinion.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
385
Location
Bozeman, MT
I'm sure most of those "5,000 miles since restoration" lines are BS, but some may not be. Read through the forum and there are a lot of "recently restored" trucks that the new owners find to have lots of hidden issues. Sometimes the new owners have the skills and the resources to fix all of those issues, and sometimes they need to get our from under a bad project. These trucks have become popular because of their look and uniqueness. They are a "lifestyle accessory", so they absolutely have become an investment opportunity for some folks. Some of those people are above board, honest, and doing quality work; and some aren't.

Can you get a good South American truck? Yes. Are you, someone who is very new to this, likely to be able to tell the difference between a good one and something else? That depends on the time you're willing to put into doing the research and your impulse control when it comes time to write the check.

If you do end up buying a South American vehicle, you have to realize that your vehicle wont always reflect the Field Service Manual and that means DIY repairs are that much harder. You also have to realize that these trucks are old enough that not every mechanic wants to work on them, and they'll be even less excited about a vehicle that may or may not have the parts that the service manuals show. You may not be able to find a mechanic in your area or they may charge you a premium because your vehicle is hard to work on. These issues may be a reason you see some of the turnover on less than daily driver vehicles.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
19,758
I would just look for a solid truck state side and not bother with the risk. Some pretty nice trucks out there with easy to fix issues that won’t bleed your wallet dry. You’d have a better chance of recovery your investment with an NA spec truck instead of a suspect SA rig. Most didn’t come with heat either. Not hard to install but just another thing to ad. Just my opinion.


Hate to disagree but NA doesn't necessarily equal a good vehicle better than SA. As I remember the Aluminum tubs started in NA. People don't switch to aluminum is because they think it better. In most cases it's to replace a rusted tub and aluminum will not rust out again but do have their own set of problems. Lucky being in AZ main issue local survivors has is soft parts.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
19,758
S.A. vehicles were probably used more as they were designed to be used.

Think NA cruisers were used as designed. Just not as hard. SA trucks were expected to earn their keep. Also the term RODE HARD AND PUT UP WET comes to mind for many of them. Not sure if the rust belt cruisers had it any easier.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Port Orchard, wa
Well, mine was a good 'ol NA truck made in, um, Japan?
Bought it from a dealer who specialize in trucks, like newer trucks, but somehow thought this was some kinda classic that would demand a good price.
And the dealer paid some "mechanic" thousands of dollars (according to the sale manager) to restore it. I think the bulk of that work was spray painting the chassis, frame, axles, brake lines, shocks, dirt on the frame, skid plate, oil filter, fuel lines.. (I think you see were this is going).
Fortunately for me, that "mechanic" couldn't set the timing right, or get the carb tuned. So, it ran, sort of, but wasn't creating enough vacuum for the power brakes... (scared the s*** out of the sales guy apparently, who just wanted it gone off the lot).
It did have front disks and power steering conversion. A roll cage (held down with carriage bolts), very little actual rust and was kinda straight.
(Hard top was held on with pickup canopy clamps, BTW.)
I'm no purist, so the idea that the wheel well and back edge of the tub are about 8 gauge steel were bonuses in my book!!!
I just wish they'd have bought a new steel tank instead of plastic and plumbed the venting right, and not used bed liner on the interior... (among other things).
These were trucks. We love them due to the utilitarian design, but this also means people who needed to do work used them. And did so world wide.

IF YOU ARE PAYING FOR SOMETHING RESTORED, find out who restored it, what experience they have and what other work they've done. Otherwise, ignore the idea of it ever being restored and just evaluate on current condition.

I compared mine to a dozen other half complete projects that on craigslist at the time and decided on it because I could drive it home (in theory, I still brought a trailer, but I could drive it up the trailer which beats winching it).
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
4,814
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
"But the salesman at the dealership told me it was low original miles because it was owned by a Juan Valdez who rarely used it to drive around his coffee plantation and take his familia to church every Sunday."
I have seen that line of s*** on vehicles even at very expensive auction houses, Bonham and Gooding come to mind🙄. Can’t they think of a better narrative/story to endear the vehicle to the uninformed collectors heart??? How about Tony Montana drove this pristine 1984 model thru the mountains in Columbia to a high elevation airstrip to get the kilos of Cocaine to Miami. There now that is kind of creative, right? Toyota......there AND back👍
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom