Project FJ40 vs. 1992 Honda

Apr 11, 2003
Got a call from the wifey-poo yesterday about 11am...

"There's been an accident with the Land Cruiser in the parking lot, someone hit it while it was parked and..."

DAMNIT! I just got the last two 'someone backed into it while parking' dents fixed (and an ARB out of one of them). My rig is gonna look like Junk's soon...

"No no honey, the little one, not MINE" (Notice how after 4 months of official marriage it's now 'hers').

So the net result is that the 1970 FJ40 all original never wrecked very little rust but blown engine project car was smacked into by a 16.5 year old girl in a 1992 Honda Accord. In the parking lot. Where it was parked. In the same space for like 6 months. At some 20-30 MPH, sending it from it's resting place to a BRAND NEW resting place some significant distance from whence it came. And with modified bodywork to boot. And a new set of problems...

She hit square on the right rear wheel, which is great for the frame as the rear springs absorbed a fair amount of the impact. The rear axle is screwy, and it don't shift right no more and there's the body damage...

The rub here is that with said blown engine (and this ain't a supercharger were talking about here kids, more like ventilated block)...well let's just say it presents some problems with

a) getting the quote from a LC friendly place
b) convincing the insurance company of actual damage and value
c) keeping it from being declared 'totaled' by said ins. company!

Well, the 16.5 year old has insurance. I don't (on that car, it's got a Non-Op registration so it's as it should be) but it doesn't matter so it's off to deal with State Farm. I think something along the lines of "yeah I KNOW it wasn't running, yeah I KNOW it looks kinda junky, yeah I KNOW it has a non-op registration but it REALLY WAS a perfect drivetrain minus the engine and the bodywork REALLY WAS in pristine shape under the house paint and IT REALLY WAS worth a fair amount of money and I REALLY WAS going to restore it and a lot of that potential value is lost!"

I'm sure they'll understand and write the check. I'm off to go shoot myself in the leg a few times to prepare me for the pain.


SupportingVendor Emeritus
Mar 27, 2003
Land Cruiser Heritage Museum broom closet

Before you go swim with the sharks, go buy yourself a copy of Hemmings Motor News at the news stand. Pack it with you. In "T" cars for sale you will find examples of FJ40's with proud prices. IN "T" parts for sale you will probably see some listings for the needed repair parts. Also consider printing off some stuff from say SOR or Cool Cruisers or TLC so you have more papers with dollars listed on them. DO NOT roll over for the so and so's "If your insured hadn't been dashing thru the parking lot at 20+ I wouldn't be standing here, now would I?"
Apr 11, 2003
Thanks for the pointers Dan, esp. the HMN recomendation (hadn't thought of that one!)

Believe it or not, I've been here 4 times before. 3 other parking lot accidents. One other one where I was nowhere even near the scene. The recent one was where I came out with the ARB front bumper. I was backed into in a lot and although it LOOKED minor, it wasn't. There was existing damage which made the new look even less impressive and gave the insurance company an out...or so they thought.

The pics I snapped the day of that wreck showed where paint had been FRESHLY cracked off of bumper brackets indicating the force of the impact and the FRESH scratches which although very close to a couple of existing scratches, were in fact NEW. I got the replacement parts and paint and spent the bumper price/resto on the ARB.

Hopefully I'll come out ok with this one but it's hard to find values on an 'all original low rust but not running' FJ40 to compare with. Value of resto-candidates are very much in the eye of the beholder, not the eye of the adjuster...

Hopefully I'll come out like roses, but there's a lot of manure to wade through meantime...
May 7, 2003
It looks like you purchased the vehicle relatively recently. I would suggest that the best evidence of its value is the amount you paid for it (assuming that you have not invested more money in the Fj-40 since its purchase). Also as the other person said, Hemmings Motor news or any other evidence of asking or selling prices for FJ-40's in similar condition. The more documentation you have, the easier time you will have getting the insurance company to pay out.

A few other suggestions:

1) Be nice to the Adjuster, but make it clear that if the insurance company does not compensate you the reasonable value for the damage caused by their insured that you will file a complaint in Civil court.

2) You should be made whole. This means, put back in the same place as before the insured hit your FJ-40.

3) Watch out for statutes of limitations running. The limitation will be at least 1 year and in many states is more. This is important because insurance companies will often sit back and let the statute run and then tell you where to put it.

4) You should include in your claim to the insurance company a claim of diminshed value, this is the decrease in the value of the vehicle because it has been in an accident. i.e., if it was never hit it would be worth $10,000, but hit and repaired is worth $9,000, you are entitled to $1,000 in compensation. Be aware that depending on your state, dimished value claims may or may not be reconized.

Good luck,


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