My 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, "Pandora's Box"
I picked up my Land Cruiser during my Sophomore year in High School. A friend who has a couple Land Cruisers drove it back for me, with me riding shotgun, during a thunderstorm, with the engine roaring due to bad muffler, wind howling and blowing like mad, and the antenna whapping the side of the truck. Dad calls over the radio, "How's she drive?" "Like a Land Cruiser..."
Before renovation, she looked pretty good, save for some definite signs of rusting and deterioration. For 29 years old, she was in remarkable shape, especially for being a Michigan vehicle.
However, she was definitely ready for a restoration. The first phase was bodywork, frame, and rust removal and prevention. Note the rust and deterioration exposed once the tear-down was underway.
This is the rolling chassis and firewall loaded up to go to sandblasting and painting.
These are after sandblasting and painting, when reconstruction began. There is definitely a learning curve, especially if you don't know what you are doing and are learning by trail-and-error!
Here is a great senior picture my mom and I took for fun. May as well have fun while I still can!
New paint job, aluminum body tub and running boards, new steel fenders and turn signals, Hellwig helper springs, new exhaust and muffler, new Painless wiring harness, new fiberglass rear doors, lots of sandblasting and rust prevention, stainless hardware (no rust ever again!), put a stock tuned carburetor and stock intake back on, lots of good cleaning and refurbishing, and lots of love, blood, sweat, and tears.
She was in the garage for repairs, refurbishing, and renovation for just over 3 1/2 years. It was a long haul, but it is now very close to the condition it was in when it rolled off the production line, 31 years ago.
This past summer the second phase, engine/transmission/transfercase overhaul and hardtop/doors, was finished with enough time for me to have it back at college for a couple weeks. Now, it's my daily driver and drives like a dream.
Check out my 1970 Land Cruiser FJ55.