Car: 1985 Toyota FJ 40 (BJ42 to be exact)
Owned since: 2015
Previously owned: Everything from a 1989 Mini (my first car), Suzuki Jimny, Daihatsu Fourtrak x3, Peugeot 306, Peugeot 205, Nissan Primera x5 including GTs and a diesel, Isuzu Bighorn, 1994 Subaru Legacy twin-turbo, Toyota Yaris, FJ60 Land Cruiser, Honda Civic Type S and plenty of sheds in between.
"Even though I grew up in the Midlands and lived near Solihull, I never got the Land Rover thing! Also growing up in my dad's garage with him and his mechanics telling me how great they were until they went wrong, and their next words would be to buy a Land Cruiser.
"After living in Australia for a spell and seeing these old things kicking about, I always liked the looks and quirky features like the curved rear quarters glass and kick vents in the footwell. The fact that they didn't seem to die was also a benefit and I tend to be rough on cars. My favourite book is about a couple of guys who drove one round the world in the 50s/60s called 'Who needs a road?' Anyhow, this one came up from a mate who owned it for the last 20 years so I bought it."
"I hadn't seen it for a couple of years and was told it had a WOF (NZ's version of an MOT) so I thought 'how bad could it be?' Terrible is what, not sure who the tester was but I think his last name was Wonder! You could see the rust from Mars!"
Things I love:
"The utilitarian styling, the kick vents, the barn doors at the back for starters. It's still rough even after all the work I have done, but I like it this way, I am not so bothered when I scratch it off roading."
Things I hate:
"As a good friend recently said to me 'Hate is a strong word', I don't hate but I am not a fan of leaf springs all round, drum brakes all round and no power steering. But, I do hate rust!"
"4x4 tyres and the oils in all the diffs and boxes get a bit pricey. The engine holds seven litres and the diffs and boxes hold another five or six. Fuel is reasonable at around 25mpg-plus! That isn't bad for a 1985 3.4-litre diesel."
Where I have been:
"Mostly around Canterbury in New Zealand with lots of backroads and campsites."
"I would love a newer 'Cruiser' but can't justify anything yet, maybe a Land Rover one day. When Toyota buy them out."
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