The weather across the county has been pretty biblical this past week. If you want to ford the flooded boulevards, Nice Price or Crack Pipe thinks you might want to be driving something that could part the red-light sea.
When the going gets rough, the U.S. has its Jeep. The Brits, Meanwhile, hit the slog in their stiff-upper lipped Land Rovers, and the Ruskies bring home the vodka in their UAZs. Japan, not to be left out, has their own iconic offroader that's sturdy enough for when Noah starts raising his boat's gangplank - and it's from Toyota.
In the U.S., with the exception of the Iron Curtain offroader, you can get pretty much anything you want when it comes to tough trucklets. And as old man winter continues to vex the daily commute, it may be a good idea to invest in some waders as well as a stout four by four that comes with both legendary durability as well as some wicked-high ground clearance. And today's 1972 FJ40 Land Cruiser fits the bill nicely.
This FJ40 sports a soft top and a full roll cage. Aside that recently installed cage, it's pretty stock- unlike a lot of FJs which have grown 350 V8s and knobby tires the size of a 747's. The 3,878-cc F122 six brings a little over one hundred ponies to the mud, while backing that up is Toyota's H2X three speed and a two-speed transfer case with an ultra-low 2.31 for the really sticky stuff. Holding up the Land Cruiser at each end is a pair of semi-elliptical springs, and below those, live axles provide both robustness and handling excitement. Up front there's a tow bar in case your home is actually mobile, and not just washed away.
What's wrong with it? Well, there's some electrical gremlins making the turn signals flaky, and the wiper motor was sacrificed for the roll cage installation, so you'd probably want to get those sorted out before the weather becomes newsworthy. There's also a good deal of "external lubrication" going on with the driveline, but that will keep the floodwaters from rusting it out, right? The 100,000 on the clock is nothing to worry about, because these, like the four-by-fours from the other great nations, were built to last through anything this side of an un-manned excursion down a precipitously steep dune in Chile,
as was staged on Top Gear as Richard Hammond discovered recently.
All that, as well as a fairly fresh respray and three-across seating for some car-pool closeness make this a contender. Not only that but $5,650 is all it would take to put you behind the wheel of this '72 FJ, and back in the game for that morning commute. Driving it will allow you to shake your fist heavenward and whisper through clenched teeth to bring it as the first corpulent drops start to pattern your face, and the streets begin to fill. While your neighbors Camrys and Accords are up to their mirrors in muck, you'll be high and dry, and on your way.
So, would you drain $5,650 from your bank account for a four-by-four that isn't watered down? Or, does that price make you think the seller is all wet?
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