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The first FJ45 I found
The first FJ45 I found.

   I bought my first FJ40 in 1980 after looking at Jeeps for almost a year. I
found that in every Jeep vehicle I sat in my knees hit the dashboard. After
seeing a FJ40 at a weekend car sales lot, I jumped in and knew this was the
correct vehicle to fit my 6' 1" frame. The Toyota Land Cruiser was a perfect
project for me and started my love of Toyota vehicles.

   After owning the FJ40 for about 1 year, I saw a old crusty Land Cruiser
in the parking lot of my local grocery store one afternoon. I was surprised
that it had a pickup bed on the back of it but the front was exactly the same as
my FJ40. I made a mental note to ask some friends about it. Next time I
visited Marv Spector (Specter Off Road) I asked him about the Land Cruiser
with a pickup bed and he said "That is a FJ45 and they are super cool!!, If
you can, Buy It!".

   Now I had to have it.... I kept looking for it in the neighborhood and
several months later I saw it in the parking lot of the same grocery store. This
time I waited about 1 hour for the owner to return.  An older gentleman
walked up to the truck and I jumped out of my FJ40 and said "I love your
truck, would you sell it to me?" The old guy laughed and said "No way son, I
will die with this Toyota". Not giving up, I followed him home and
discovered he lived right around the corner.

   That started a 5 year project to own the crusty FJ45 pickup truck... Every
few months or so I would knock on the guys door and ask him if he was ready
to sell the truck.. .Every time he said "Sorry". About a year went by, I moved
to the other side of the city and purchased another FJ45 pickup from Marv
Specter. It was a total wreck and I spent one year of working on it everyday
before it ever moved under its own power.

   Every now and then I would drop by the old guys house when I was on that
side of town and knock on the door, of course I got the usual answer...

   After several years I noticed the Land Cruiser was not in the guys  
driveway. I knocked on the door and he told me that someone hit it with their
car and he parked it in the back alley. I drove around to the other side of his
house and there it was parked in a public alley behind his house with weeds
growing all around it. In those days you could leave a vehicle out in a spot
like that and no one would molest it... Now at the very least they would steal
the radiator out of it for scrap money.

   I continued to work on the guy for several more years and he always
answered no even though the truck had not moved since he had parked
it in the back. One day about 5 years since I first met him, I knocked on the
door and this time his wife answered the door, I gave my regular statement "
I am here to buy the Toyota Truck", she said her husband was not home but if
I came back in two hours, it would be worth it for me.

   I came back, the old man answered the door and said "It's time, how much
will you offer for the old truck?" I said $1700. He said "since you waited so
long how about $1500?"

   I told him I would be back in 1 hour. I flew back home, got some money
out of the bank and showed back up with my other FJ45 truck and a tow bar.
We made the deal and I dragged the truck back to my house.  After a day or
two of tinkering with it, basically all it needed was new spark plugs, battery
and some fresh fuel and she started right up!

   Since 1985 aside from fixing the fender and cowling that was damaged in
the accident, I have not done anything except minor maintenance to the old
girl. It even made a trip over the famed Rubicon Trail in 1987. Bone stock
except for some 16" wheels and 7.50x16 tires.

   I have purchased all of the parts to do a total restoration on it but a lack of
time has put it on the back burner. Maybe as a retirement project!

   For the past several years, "Old Crusty" has sat in the back yard.... It cant
be seen from the street so I don't get any young guys knocking on the door and
asking the old man to sell the Toyota Truck!
Toyota Tales
2013 February

My friend Steve K has had a lot of Toyotas of all shapes and sizes over
the years - from the small Publicas to rugged Land Cruisers and even
some Fire Engines. Here is his tale of the one that started him on the
road to Toyotas....
At the Toyota Fest - Minor damage
from the Rubicon trail on the right side
of the cab.
After I got the truck running.
Replacment cowl and fender in the
back of the truck. Gotta love the
"Tripper" tires!
After removing all the junk the old guy
added to the truck
Showing the guys at work
Cutting loads of firewood - PTO winch
is great for hauling logs up steep hills