Opinion & advice on following through on buying an FJ40 from Vintage Cruisers (1 Viewer)

Sunny71

Lucky owner of a 1971 FJ40 & total newbie lol
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Lake Arrowhead
This is my first time posting on ih8mud so I apologize if I maybe miss any post requirements or anything like that!

Around a week ago I saw a LC for sale on VintageCruisers.com and was able to talk with the owner of the site, Greg. He was very nice and shared that a couple were selling this beautiful FJ40 and that they had done a wonderful job of maintaining it over the years (claims it is all original). They seem to be the original owners of the vehicle and Greg was able to provide me with a photo of the title. I sent him a deposit earlier today so that he could put a hold on the vehicle for me. But, an hour ago I came across a comment about Greg & Vintage Cruisers that took me down a very disappointing deep dive about a number of horrible things he's been accused of over the past decade.

Even with all that I know now, I do feel like this maybe could still be a good chance for me to buy my very first FJ! I do still want to drive out to at least see it for myself, but I'm wondering if anyone maybe has any suggestions or advice for this situation? I've read that maybe I could have it checked out by a separate mechanic or a Toyota dealership to verify that it's in good condition (is there anything I can do beyond this?). Outside of the horrible reputation, I haven't been able to spot any red flags from my interactions with Greg. What are some things I should be looking out for or paying closer attention to moving forward?

Honestly, I'm feeling pretty "young & dumb" at the moment and would truly appreciate any level of insight or advice! Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
 

DomSmith

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
3,764
Location
Oceanside, CA (Fire Mountain)
Maggie-

I think your first post is wholly appropriate in looking for advise from the local cruiser community. And it’s ok to feel “young and dumb” when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. I think acknowledging that you’re maybe in over your head a little and asking for help takes courage.

I will give you my perspective as it looks like that’s what you’re looking for,

I do not have any personal interactions with Greg but have heard of a bad reputation. I don’t have facts of any transactions for him but will say in general terms that MUD is a very friendly forum where most people will give honest advise without dubious alternatives for self gain. If people are posting warnings it’s usually for good reason. That’s not to say that there are no happy customers but maybe buyer beware is an appropriate view to take. Sounds like that’s where you’re at.

If the cruiser I linked above is the cruiser in question it looks to be a reasonably original example but not completely original. Remember these trucks are 50+ years old. People make changes to them over the years. I won’t go into details about what I see from small photos on my phone But happy to share in a private conversation or others may comment as well.

Again, assuming the truck linked above is in fact the truck it has AZ historic plates. Where is the truck located? I would not buy any vehicle without an inspection. Especially these old trucks with so many quirky details that without knowledge of what to look for you can get a piece of junk and spend a lot of $ for it.

A few suggestions:

Go see it in person. Drive it.

Have you driven any of these FJ40’s?

They are awesome and I love them but they are not typically something you might want to be your daily driver if you have to drive it on the freeway. Or maybe you’re on board with that. Just know what you’re getting in to before you jump.

I would also have a professional inspection done. At a minimum at a Toyota dealer who will give a basic assessment of the condition of the mechanical systems.

Another even better option is a knowledge cruiser head that understands what to look for.

@1973Guppie (Noah) and @landcrusher909 (Rob) are both stand up local cruiserheads that may provide some advice on inspections.

In general terms I don’t think inspectors offer much in terms of price point and what you’ve agreed to pay unless maybe it’s egregiously off. They will assess condition and possible repairs needed.
You may also find some of the local AZ folks in a better position to assist.

@Living in the Past (John) might be a good resource in AZ.

Good luck and I hope you find your dream FJ40.

This may be the one! It sounds like you’re on the right track and smart to be cautious.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
22,335
The pictures looks to be in the Flagstaff area. Be curious of the VIN. The clearance lights started 10/69 start of the 70 model. Same with the seat belts 69 model they were red. 10/69 switched to black. Those could see it still titled as a 69. The brake booster was a 7/70 start date. It does not have the changes for 9/71. So based on what I see 7/70-9/71 build date.
 

Sunny71

Lucky owner of a 1971 FJ40 & total newbie lol
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Lake Arrowhead
Maggie-

I think your first post is wholly appropriate in looking for advise from the local cruiser community. And it’s ok to feel “young and dumb” when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. I think acknowledging that you’re maybe in over your head a little and asking for help takes courage.

I will give you my perspective as it looks like that’s what you’re looking for,

I do not have any personal interactions with Greg but have heard of a bad reputation. I don’t have facts of any transactions for him but will say in general terms that MUD is a very friendly forum where most people will give honest advise without dubious alternatives for self gain. If people are posting warnings it’s usually for good reason. That’s not to say that there are no happy customers but maybe buyer beware is an appropriate view to take. Sounds like that’s where you’re at.

If the cruiser I linked above is the cruiser in question it looks to be a reasonably original example but not completely original. Remember these trucks are 50+ years old. People make changes to them over the years. I won’t go into details about what I see from small photos on my phone But happy to share in a private conversation or others may comment as well.

Again, assuming the truck linked above is in fact the truck it has AZ historic plates. Where is the truck located? I would not buy any vehicle without an inspection. Especially these old trucks with so many quirky details that without knowledge of what to look for you can get a piece of junk and spend a lot of $ for it.

A few suggestions:

Go see it in person. Drive it.

Have you driven any of these FJ40’s?

They are awesome and I love them but they are not typically something you might want to be your daily driver if you have to drive it on the freeway. Or maybe you’re on board with that. Just know what you’re getting in to before you jump.

I would also have a professional inspection done. At a minimum at a Toyota dealer who will give a basic assessment of the condition of the mechanical systems.

Another even better option is a knowledge cruiser head that understands what to look for.

@1973Guppie (Noah) and @landcrusher909 (Rob) are both stand up local cruiserheads that may provide some advice on inspections.

In general terms I don’t think inspectors offer much in terms of price point and what you’ve agreed to pay unless maybe it’s egregiously off. They will assess condition and possible repairs needed.
You may also find some of the local AZ folks in a better position to assist.

@Living in the Past (John) might be a good resource in AZ.

Good luck and I hope you find your dream FJ40.

This may be the one! It sounds like you’re on the right track and smart to be cautious.
Yeah, I was somewhat skeptical on whether it was entirely original, but I was never really looking for a time capsule piece to begin with so I figured it would be ok either way. I'm just anxious about the fact that he could be stretching the truth on other, more serious, points.

Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to drive an FJ. I can barely drive stick at all, and I've never touched a 3-speed lol. I will definitely have to find someone in AZ who's much more knowledgable than I am. The goal is to eventually make her my daily driver, so I want to be sure that she's in decent condition to start. But, I understand either way it's going to take a lot of time and money to get to that point.

I'm definitely going to try and get in touch with the people you've named. I can't thank you enough for sharing this all with me and giving a thoughtful response!! Right now, it's all definitely a bit intimidating and I was nervous to even reach out for help here. But, it helps knowing there are people here that are willing to help a newbie like me lol. I really appreciate it!
 

Sunny71

Lucky owner of a 1971 FJ40 & total newbie lol
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Lake Arrowhead
The pictures looks to be in the Flagstaff area. Be curious of the VIN. The clearance lights started 10/69 start of the 70 model. Same with the seat belts 69 model they were red. 10/69 switched to black. Those could see it still titled as a 69. The brake booster was a 7/70 start date. It does not have the changes for 9/71. So based on what I see 7/70-9/71 build date.
Thank you so much for the response!!

Would I be able to send you a direct message with a couple questions and some more info?
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Messages
711
Location
Mission Viejo, Ca
Website
www.socallandcruisers.com
Maggie-

I think your first post is wholly appropriate in looking for advise from the local cruiser community. And it’s ok to feel “young and dumb” when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. I think acknowledging that you’re maybe in over your head a little and asking for help takes courage.

I will give you my perspective as it looks like that’s what you’re looking for,

I do not have any personal interactions with Greg but have heard of a bad reputation. I don’t have facts of any transactions for him but will say in general terms that MUD is a very friendly forum where most people will give honest advise without dubious alternatives for self gain. If people are posting warnings it’s usually for good reason. That’s not to say that there are no happy customers but maybe buyer beware is an appropriate view to take. Sounds like that’s where you’re at.

If the cruiser I linked above is the cruiser in question it looks to be a reasonably original example but not completely original. Remember these trucks are 50+ years old. People make changes to them over the years. I won’t go into details about what I see from small photos on my phone But happy to share in a private conversation or others may comment as well.

Again, assuming the truck linked above is in fact the truck it has AZ historic plates. Where is the truck located? I would not buy any vehicle without an inspection. Especially these old trucks with so many quirky details that without knowledge of what to look for you can get a piece of junk and spend a lot of $ for it.

A few suggestions:

Go see it in person. Drive it.

Have you driven any of these FJ40’s?

They are awesome and I love them but they are not typically something you might want to be your daily driver if you have to drive it on the freeway. Or maybe you’re on board with that. Just know what you’re getting in to before you jump.

I would also have a professional inspection done. At a minimum at a Toyota dealer who will give a basic assessment of the condition of the mechanical systems.

Another even better option is a knowledge cruiser head that understands what to look for.

@1973Guppie (Noah) and @landcrusher909 (Rob) are both stand up local cruiserheads that may provide some advice on inspections.

In general terms I don’t think inspectors offer much in terms of price point and what you’ve agreed to pay unless maybe it’s egregiously off. They will assess condition and possible repairs needed.
You may also find some of the local AZ folks in a better position to assist.

@Living in the Past (John) might be a good resource in AZ.

Good luck and I hope you find your dream FJ40.

This may be the one! It sounds like you’re on the right track and smart to be cautious.
@DomSmith's advice is spot on. Do a lot of research before committing. It may be worth your while to check out some local 40's for sale and drive a few before deciding what is best for you. Good luck in your search!
 

Sunny71

Lucky owner of a 1971 FJ40 & total newbie lol
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Lake Arrowhead
@DomSmith's advice is spot on. Do a lot of research before committing. It may be worth your while to check out some local 40's for sale and drive a few before deciding what is best for you. Good luck in your search!
You both were so right! It was definitely best to search locally for a bit longer!
 

Sunny71

Lucky owner of a 1971 FJ40 & total newbie lol
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Lake Arrowhead
I'm not sure if y'all get notified with new comments on a post, but I wanted to thank everyone for encouraging me to keep looking. I found my dream truck a few weeks later and only 40 miles from home! I bought a nearly all original, school bus yellow 1971 FJ40. She's definitely taught me so much in the last month; from learning to drive 3 on the tree to figuring out what the hell valve rockers are. I'm definitely learning why this hobby is labelled a money pit 😅 lol

I was able to come to the last SoCal TLCA meeting this passed Sunday and I couldn't be more excited to be joining such a welcoming & amazing community!!

- Nia

C687CFD8-10C4-4357-908E-C898152038D5 (1).JPG
IMG_7764.jpg


- P.S. I'll be changing my username from Maggie1969 to Sunny71. Maggie was actually the name of the truck I originally considered buying from VintageCruisers.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
658
Location
Mission Viejo, CA, USA
I'm not sure if y'all get notified with new comments on a post, but I wanted to thank everyone for encouraging me to keep looking. I found my dream truck a few weeks later and only 40 miles from home! I bought a nearly all original, school bus yellow 1971 FJ40. She's definitely taught me so much in the last month; from learning to drive 3 on the tree to figuring out what the hell valve rockers are. I'm definitely learning why this hobby is labelled a money pit 😅 lol

I was able to come to the last SoCal TLCA meeting this passed Sunday and I couldn't be more excited to be joining such a welcoming & amazing community!!

- Nia

View attachment 3163148 View attachment 3163149

- P.S. I'll be changing my username from Maggie1969 to Sunny71. Maggie was actually the name of the truck I originally considered buying from VintageCruisers.
So glad you were able to make it, Nia. Look forward to seeing you at future club meetings & runs! I confess, I'm a bit jealous - your cruiser looks awesome!
 

Sunny71

Lucky owner of a 1971 FJ40 & total newbie lol
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Lake Arrowhead
Thank you @DomSmith and @DirtyRice Joe !

It has definitely been very fun getting to learn and work on my cruiser. Did my very first oil change and will get to do a full tune up soon 😄. I'm looking forward to driving her up to the next meeting, so everyone can check her out in person!! **Fingers crossed**
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom