warning 95 LC in Dallas

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Apr 20, 2009
In my previous post i mention going to dallas to check out a land cruiser- 95 135,900k for $5865.

literally just got back disappointed and rather concerned for other fellow cruisers looking to buy it.

at first glance it looked like a good 9/10 cruiser for year mileage and price. the paint was good-- no dents, scratches, or peeling. the brush guard was a bonus but it did not seemed strong enough to do much good. the tires looked brand new michelins LTX. he claims he hasn't used it in 1.5-2 years.

the inside was clean enough. the driver and passenger seats were not the original leather seats. the guy told me he replaced those with the current ones, linoleum/plastic. the flooring was horrible. it was not original either, although it was recently replaced, the job was by no means professional. it was simply tan colored carpet roughly cut to fit in the floor. he did not tell me this, my uncle pointed it out to me.

the engine looked very solid but it did leak oil, the bottom of the engine was 'caking' with oil and dust. he said it was the oil pan but it was hard just by looking at it. again it was my uncle that saw the problem. The guy did mention the power steering needed fixing, though. he didn't have to tell my uncle, he heard it when the LC was turned on. other than that it sounded and looked fine, we took it for a drive around the block, not highway or anything(did not have vehicle registration sticker) and it was very smooth no strange/weird noise coming from the engine.

OK I thought this was the one for me. i went back to my uncles house and did a carfax out of curiosity. get this, the car has a recorded odometer reading of 252,xxx miles. what? the odometer showed 135,9xx. i called him and purposely gave him a wrong VIN so he could give me the right one. i was not mistaking, it was the same VIN i used for a 95 toyota in texas.

here's where it gets tricky. a week before going to see it i called him up and asked a few questions about the vehicle, general questions, condition, ect. i asked him if he was the original owner he said no. he got it from his brother after the brother got it from the original owner. but he's been with it for the past six years. i ask him about service papers he says he got none, OK not good but OK. days later i ask him again, he changed his story a bit, says he and his brother been using it for the past six years.

so today when we met up at his house. i ask him if he rememer how many miles it was clocking when he bought it. says he does not remember that his brother might. i ask him about the carpet he says maybe his brother knows.

after i did the carfax at my uncles, i was trying to put the pieces together. the carfax showed that the original owner clocked in 197,660 miles when the second owner registred it (the infamous brother, if he really exists). but there is no sign in carfax of a third owner, the current guy selling it. its been registered to the same second owner since about 2002, about the same six years the guy told me he's had it. the last time it passed inspection was in 06 with 254,159 miles. something does not fit. when i told my uncle he reminded me of the replaced seats and flooring, only a vechile that used could have had damage to the seats and flooring that needed replacing, maybe?

it hasn't had a vehicle regristration sticker on since 07 with brand new tires and new battery. why?

he could never give me a straight anwer when i asked him about the history of the lc, he always brought up his brother. when i told him that it had more miles than the odometer showed he said he'll call his brother, again the brother. but keep in mind he says he's been the owner for the last 6 years 8mo and not renewed registration in 1.5-2 years(according to carfax).

in short i was not convience because of what i found out in carfax. there's only been two owners when there should be 3. the miles it currently clocks, 135,900 was surpassed by the original owner and not the guy selling it and should mark 254,xxx. could carfax be wrong? i don't think so--i don't know. am i passing on a good LC because of Carfax's mistake? even if it were the best cruiser available he was unable to assure me of anything and always said the brother might know (I don't want a project LC just one i can base line and cruiser around in, but with 250+k miles it might need engine rebuild soon) the car looked good though and the engine too except for the oil caking on the bottom of the engine but only LOOKED good.

here's a link to my previous post with a link to the craigslist listing


i could print to file a pdf of the carfax report and post it so anyone interested can check it out but don't know if it is allowed/legal or you can do your own check with the the VIN but don't know if its allowed to post VINs on the forum if it is not your car. other cruisers in dallas who know more about this vehicle and and are more DIY might want to check it out and let us know if i am simply too nervous and lacking knowledge on the LC or if i am passing on a good lc.

ps. thaks for all the replies to the first post, it really helped.
No way. You did the right thing. THere are way too many good LC's out there to play this game.
When I pulled the Carfax on my LX, there was an alert of some sorts about the mileage not being consistant.

The first owner had it serviced and inspected regularly, and the mileage went from 18k, to 123k, back down to 28k over a very short period. I'm pretty sure that was an honest clerical error, but in this case it sounds like something VERY shady is going on.

I would print out the Carfax and arrange another meeting with the guy, and possibly bring along somebody from Texas D.O.T. or a HiPo. At the very least, you might be able to get him to come clean, and get a very large discount if you still want to buy it. Offer him $2000, I bet you'll get it :)
Just bear in mind that when it sounds too good to be true or when the story does not match up, shy away as quickly as possible. It is very obvious in your case something is very wrong, when the odometer from carfax shows consistent reading over the years, a roolback is very posssible when all of a sudden the actual reading on the car is much lower than the emission reading every time the car was inspected. There are many 80s out there, this is one you do not want. In fact I have one 96 LC I am going to sell and no surprise for you. Really, take your time and find one, never rush into any that come along and eventually you will get THE ONE. If you can post up the VIN#, I can get an autocheck report for you as well, then we can confirm if carfax made a mistake.
Looks like you enjoy playing detective nap :) 2 carfax owners, 3 carfax owners, this many miles, that many miles, etc. There certainly seems to be a story behind the car, but every 14 year old vehicle has a story. I wouldn't sweat trying to find out the WHY when you know enough information to pass on this cruiser.

Whether or not he has a brother is immaterial in my opinion. The car simply has too many miles and faults for the money you mentioned. There are tons of cruisers out there if you are patient. I know you don't want to wait 6 months to find the right one, but you should. You will thank yourself in the days to come.
Good thing you did the right thing and walked away. The old infamous "brother" or other family member is one of the oldest tricks in the book. When I was looking at an 80 for a friend, we asked the owner about the history. He said it has been in the family for years and it has not been in any wrecks. I could tell it had been due to missing door jam stickers and shoddy body work. According to carfax it turns out it had a pretty messy history with wrecks, auctions and over a half a dozen owners.

Keep looking, a good one will turn up.
Glad you walked away! Sounds like a dealer to me! A nice one will come along soon!:)
Nice call on walking on that one. Although the search seems dauntless, there is plento of good cruisers out there needing a good home :)
pm me the vin- I want to run it. not sure where it was located, but my first thought is a flood vehicle. new seats/carpet? could be a fire, but that would be harder to cover.

all older cars have stories, but the stories need to corroborate. I would have run outta there.
pm me the vin- I want to run it. not sure where it was located, but my first thought is a flood vehicle. new seats/carpet? could be a fire, but that would be harder to cover.

That was my thought as well. Replaced seats and carpet, shady history, that reeks of a flood car.

CarFax can and is wrong, so don't rely on it 100%. In this case, however, you made the right call. Listen to your instincts and don't question yourself if they tell you to run. This guy sounds shady as hell. There's plenty of other 80s out there, good luck with the search.
pm me the vin- I want to run it. not sure where it was located, but my first thought is a flood vehicle. new seats/carpet? could be a fire, but that would be harder to cover.

all older cars have stories, but the stories need to corroborate. I would have run outta there.

My thoughts as well. Reminds me of the commercial where they are pulling a vehicle out of flood waters and then you see the car advertised with NEW INTERIOR! :rolleyes:

Go with your gut and run from this one. There is a better 80 out there with your name on it.
X3 on being a flood vehicle. Good call on walking away.
I like how the owner states in the craigslist ad: "speedometer shows 135,900".

Sounds shady. Good thing you passed on it.
Consumer fraud is one of my peeves. You should report this clown.

I was lucky enough to buy my 80 from a buddy who takes reasonable mechanical care of his vehicles. I bought it at 184k miles, but I know its history.

You're smart to steer clear of this.
You did good ! Specially for asking for advice in the forum and for letting every body know about this.

Too bad it was not "the one" but keep looking.

If you ever come back to Dallas to check on another cruiser do not hesitate to let me know. I'd love to check it out with you. Another set of eyes never hurts !

Good Luck !

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom