LC in the tropics, restoring the glory

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Jun 26, 2019
Hi All,

I've always wanted a Land Cruiser in my native home of Puerto Rico for when I visit. After finding a cruiser and making a list of to-do's, I thought I'd share the story for all those interested.

Before I start, I'll say that buying a car in Puerto Rico (comparable to Latin America in this regard, perhaps slightly better) has some advantages and serious drawbacks:
  • Advantages
    • Next to no rust on cars
    • Land Cruisers (and cars in general) are expensive to buy and run -- typically people get fed up with fuel consumption since there aren't many long stretches of highway to get any sort of decent MPGs in these cruisers
    • Result? You can usually find older examples at a better price point than the continental us (please see disadvantages)
  • Disadvantages
    • Very few people think of the advantages of preventative maintenance
    • Carfax is only becoming a thing now, so tracing back 10, 15, or 20 years back is hard. People will always give you "stories," but few are backed up by fact (e.g. I changed the oil all the time!, It's never been in an accident!, I was the first owner, etc.)
    • Toyotas in particular come with a premium (oh, that tacoma from 2003 with 230K miles? That'll be 18K please!)

Knowing the card is stacked against me and, I find the process kind of fun. knowing i'll get into some kind of trouble, I ended up picking up an '03 LX470 with 122K miles (toyota gods have mercy on me).


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