View Full Version : Had an interesting conversation tonight...

09-28-2009, 11:27 PM
A little while ago I talked to the guy that owned my FJ40 from 1993 – 2005. I had no significant history on the truck beyond the 2 years that the guy I bought it from owned it, but within the paper work he turned over was a copy of a title that had the previous owner’s name on it. So I tried several avenues over the last few months to try and get his information, but other than finding his name associated with a hospital in Wisconsin, I never managed to make direct contact. Then about a month ago, I found him on LinkedIn, and sent him a note. He responded with his phone number, and we finally talked real time tonight. Yup - I'm a true Cruiser Stalker.

I got more out of the conversation than I expected. Turns out he knew a fairly detailed history of the 40 going back to its origins on a farm in Indiana. It spent the beginning and longest part of its life as a farm truck in the midwest. But after the original owner had an accident on the farm that left him paralyzed, the FJ40 ended up sitting for many, many years in a barn. The guy’s son had a GM truck, and pulled the wheels and tires off the Cruiser to use on his pickup while the rest of the 40 just sat and waited. The 2nd owner of my 40 bought the truck off the farm (the proverbial barn find) and brought it down to Florida (mid to late 80's), where he apparently spent some money on a mechanical overhaul (unfortunately no specific details), and used it for a while in central Florida. He also put the chrome wheels and Kelly Safari tires on it around 1989 (which were still on the truck when I bought it:eek:). He then tried to sell the 40 on his own in the early 90’s, but eventually traded it in to a dealer. It was serviced in 1993 by the dealer in Orlando, Florida, and put on the market. The eventual 3rd owner was a Navy Resident stationed in Pensacola at the time, and he took a weekend trip to Orlando with his wife to see the sights. On Saturday, they did what she wanted to do and spent the day at Epcot. On Sunday, they drove to the dealer and looked at the Cruiser, and he drove it home to Pensacola that night. It had 40,000 original miles! :wow:

It spent a couple years towing a fishing boat in Florida before the owner was transferred to Guam with the Navy. He put the Cruiser in storage for 5 years while he was over in Guam. While on the island, he bought a 1989 FJ62, and brought it back with him to Florida when his Navy service ended. When I spoke to him tonight he still had the 62 parked in his garage. :cool:

He then moved the 40 up to Wisconsin, where it was a summer weekend “convertible” and hunting rig for a couple of years. He painted it from the original beige to the current green color, and had the floorboards and undercarriage sprayed with a black protectant. He also had a welding shop build and mount the round, “log style” bumpers that were on it when I bought the truck. After a couple of years, he bought himself a convertible Corvette, and the FJ40 took a back seat. He sent it up to his Dad’s farm in Minnesota, where it lived in the barn for a few years before his wife and Dad pressured him into selling it. They still owned property down in Florida so he drove it back down south, kept it at the property for a brief time, and sold it to the guy I bought it from.

It's no wonder that one of those Kelly Safaris completely ripped off a 10x10 section of tread while I was cruising at 60 mph driving it home from Baton Rouge - those tires were about 17 years old.... Anyway - it was a cool story and so I thought I'd share it. It's nice to know my truck spent much of its life in storage, waiting for its chance to move to Colorado and have some fun. :cheers:

09-28-2009, 11:33 PM
wow that's so cool, great stuff Matt.

Uncle Ben
09-28-2009, 11:42 PM
Thats very cool Matt! Turtle=Green Acres ;) :D

Shark Bait
09-29-2009, 12:47 AM
Wow. With some embellishment and pictures that would be a great story for Toyota Trails. :D

09-29-2009, 01:15 AM
Yeah, no kidding. It's very cool that you got all the back story.

09-29-2009, 07:39 AM
Way cool. There is a registration in mine that has the name and address of an owner from the 90's. I've only given a passing thought to trying to find him - maybe I should.

09-29-2009, 07:58 AM
Great Cruiser detective work Matt.:thumb: It reminds me a bit of the conversation we were having at lunch on Saturday about Crusier histories.

09-29-2009, 08:12 AM
Very, very cool...thanks for sharing that!

09-29-2009, 09:21 AM
awesome! :thumb:

09-29-2009, 09:54 AM
That's very cool! I've owned many cars from the 60s & 70s and wished I could have spoken to previous owners.

09-29-2009, 10:23 AM
Cool Matt- thanks for sharing.