September 22, 2011


Ever since I first got my driver's license, I've wanted a Toyota FJ40.  I'm not sure why I wanted one, aside from the fact they are pretty cool rides.  I didn't have an Uncle who drove one, nobody from school had one....heck, the only one I remember from my youth belonged to a guy at Boy Scout Camp.

When I was much younger my father had a little International Scout.  That was fun, but it doesn't compare to my Maggie.

There was a pretty FJ40 for sale I was interested in and I went to check it out.  The body was sound, but the vehicle was jacked up a bit, which I wasn't really thrilled about.  I would probably been driving my postal jeep around if it hadn't been jacked up.  I went and got pre-approved for a car loan from USAA while I had the vehicle inspected by my Father-in-law's mechanic.  The inspection cost me something like $40 and it was well worth it.  Evidently the owner of that FJ40 really did a number on it with all of his tinkering around.  The mechanic had a laundry-list of issues, with the foremost being that the body wasn't properly bolted onto the frame.  When they got it on the lift, the front end about fell off.  It was his recommendation that it be towed home as it wasn't safe to drive.  There were a lot of other issues too, enough that basically if the car was free then it might have been worth putting the money into it.

So close.....but thankfully so far away.

For some reason I started hitting Craigslist looking for FJ40's.  I shouldn't have been doing that, but I was remorseful for "the one that got away".  There I found one for sale pretty close to the amount I was already pre-approved for.  It wouldn't hurt to take a peek.  This FJ40 had the roof and door stripped, but it was all complete.  He still had the owner's manual, tool set, and even the little inspection light!  Unfortunately he had started working on the car and had cut out some of the metal parts and gave it an awful orange paint job.  Even with all it's flaws, this FJ40 was in better condition than ones going for thousands more.

I jumped on this sale as fast as I could....and now I have Maggie.  I believe all good cars should have a name.  If you've read "My Story in Vehicles" you may have noticed that none of those cars have names attached.  Carolyn likes Maggie.  She refers to her as our ZEV, or Zombie Escape Vehicle.

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