Builds Love Bug, the Land Cruiser and me...

Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
303
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NoCo, above FoCo... mofo!
 
 
Prologue: I’ve wanted an FJ40 since 1st grade. I remember a beige one at my friend’s house with “Stone Humper” painted on the side. That was 1977. This past weekend I finally had one of my own. Before you ask, “How much did you give for it?” I’m not going to tell you. Suffice to say I paid more than I wanted to, but less than I was willing to get it.

I’m not doing a “build” thread as I do not have that skill set nor tool set for that. My goal here is to document the adventures of my daughter, my Land Cruiser and myself. She (daughter) is my “Mini-Me” in so many ways. She loves fishing, camping and pooping in the woods, what better vehicle than a 40 to get us in the mountains to pursue those activities. I’ve been looking at 40s for a few months and every time she had seen one on my screen, she’d ask “Are we getting that one?”

The first adventure was just picking it up! The “plan” was to drive up to WA to see family stay the night and then pick it up on the way back down through OR on Saturday… “We’ll be home by Sunday afternoon” I mistakenly reassured my wife.

With a borrowed car trailer (almost as nice as the 40!) we set out on a Thursday evening leaving Colorado in the rear view mirror at roughly 1700. The 2017 Tundra was chugging right along but also chugging fuel like a frat boy with free beer. 11.5 mpg…. Ughh. I know I didn’t buy the Tundra for its fuel efficiency, but damn was it thirsty. Topped off the fuel and made the required “We’re stopping for fuel, if you even think you might need to pee in the next two hours, go now” speech… The wife and daughter both took heed. A little tired and with the daily contacts at the end of their useful life, I got a nice surprise of 20+ deer right along the roadside hanging tight to the white line… I was wide awake for the next 1.5 hours; too bad only 20 minutes of that was driving to the overnight stop in Evanston, WY… The Best Western beds were comfortable enough and morning brought us a light dusting of snow and a great breakfast, for a hotel chain. I was unaware of just how much snow I would see in the next few days…. Lol.

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Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
303
Location
NoCo, above FoCo... mofo!
 
 
The drive through UT, ID and OR up to WA was uneventful and quite nice, just long. Made a pitstop at a quilt store in Boise that was well stocked and offered a little respite for the wife. Friday evening we got to visit with my cousin for dinner. We only met for the first time 4 years ago. We’ve been in touch for 19 though. It was a wonderful visit and the kids (hers & mine) got to swim early the next morning (24 hour pool!). Another good sleep and breakfast at a Best Western hotel and I’m hooked on the brand!

A light rain began as we were packing up with a chill in the air that Fall brings. We turned back south to retrace our path from the day before. Blowing snow through Mecham, OR but only rain once within a stone’s throw from La Grande.

I met up with the PO and crawled about the 40 for a while. Poking my head in the wheel wells with a flashlight and I was pleasantly surprised to find the rear sill and quarters without rot. Floors were in order and even the roof gutter was in good condition. The unmistakable smell of an old vehicle hanging in the air, the PO gave a quick flip of the starter and the engine came to life. Ticking away as it warmed, the automatic choke came off and the engine settled into a comfortable idle. Getting in and out will be a learning curve for my short stature but it will be managed. With the engine purring right along, the ride isn’t as smooth as the Tundra, but not nearly as bad as expected. I’m sold, smitten and giddy as a schoolgirl inside. Keep the game face up just until proper payment and paperwork are filled out…

With the 40 loaded up we make our way our way southeast with an extra 4000 lbs, but the mpg is the same or better? Really? Must have been fighting a headwind on the way out. Tundra was doing quite well with the extra weight behind it.
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Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
303
Location
NoCo, above FoCo... mofo!
 
 
With the miles adding up, Twin Falls, ID would be the chosen place to spend Saturday night… The Best Western was closed for remodeling so a Comfort Inn would suffice. After a night’s rest, I run down to look over breakfast and am mortified by the offering… soupy eggs and paper-thin bacon… The wife finds Idaho Joe’s and the breakfast is incredible!

On the road by 900 and working our way into Wyoming, we find that I-80 is closed from Rock Springs to Laramie… Expected opening in 5-7 hours. We decide to try to get as far as we can and start south toward Colorado on highway 430. Right at the CO/WY boarder, the road goes to dirt and we meander through Irish Canyon. Beautiful country and the road brings us into Maybelle, CO. Dinner in Craig and we are going to sleep in Steamboat Springs. We wait until 1100 to check out and give the two passes time to hopefully thaw a bit…. Wish full thinking indeed. Rabbit Ears pass was snowy but passable. I turned down the gain on the trailer brakes as I’d like to keep the trailer behind me, not sliding by. A fuel stop in Walden and we only have to manage going through Wycolo/Chimney Park. The road is packed with 2”+ of snowpack but we keep the speed down and hit Laramie. High winds push us around a bit through Virginadale, but we finally roll into our place by 1600. With 2199.2 miles and 4 days later this adventure is over. Of course, the daughter wants to take it for a quick ride to McDonalds. She asks me while we’re waiting to pay “Dad? Who’s going to get this truck when you pass?” I think she likes it!

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FJBen

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
4,390
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West
 
 
 
Cool trip, those are all my old stomping grounds in Colorado. High winds and Laramie? Whoda thunk! 🤣

The 40 looks great, post up some more pictures. @wngrog has quite the recipe to make that 40 patina shine away.
 
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