December 4, 2023


Automotive to Us

This is my “new” JDM Toyota Land Cruiser

1996 land cruiser prado s90 95 series

I desired a next automobile. I realized what I necessary functionally but was not certain what I required. Truly, I desired my Bronco, but my wife wouldn’t relinquish it. So I commenced hunting for a thing else. I seemed at so numerous cars and trucks that I begun to dislike looking at cars and trucks. Finally, I bought one thing I didn’t glimpse for or anticipate to get.

Seeking for… something

Ideally, I’d have my Bronco but shopping for a further Bronco would not be sensible it is expensive, and purchase situations are extended. But considering the fact that I like ragtop 4x4s, I appeared into Wranglers, which are equally dear. And it would be silly to have two functionally similar cars. Then I concluded that a pickup would be a very good match for the Bronco. The Jeep Gladiator in shape that invoice and was a ragtop, but those people are similarly expensive. I genuinely like the Ford Maverick, but those people have to have a specific get and a yearlong wait.  

Wanting for… anything outdated

Acquiring no genuine selection or other want for new autos, I turned to employed cars and trucks. I retained contemplating about what automobiles I actually wanted to have more than the many years. I concluded that I always wished a Vary Rover. I started on the lookout about and even positioned a several bids on BaT and CarsAndBids. I researched them a lot more and then arrived to the apparent conclusion that a utilized Range Rover is a terrible, no good, negative idea. And then it strike me… WK2 Grand Cherokee.

I reviewed the ’14-’20 Grand Cherokee on these internet pages below a couple situations. I generally loved them. They ended up roomy, they drove fantastic, and even the V6 designs had been impressive sufficient. More, upper trims are downright lavish. I always thought of them Vary Rovers for 50 % the dollars (your opinion may vary). And I discovered an best a single a 2015 Overland model, one particular OCD owner/driver, garage retained, meticulously preserved. I place a deposit on it and was joyful as a clam.

All the things is a obstacle

The concern was that the seller was waiting for his new GMC Sierra Denali to arrive. The arrival of that truck stored acquiring postponed by his dealer thanks to production and part provide issues at General Motors. I was ready to wait around a minimal bit, but at some position, I just wanted the auto. We agreed that I’d look for another motor vehicle, and if I uncovered a thing he’d just refund my deposit. So off to Fb Market, Craig’sList, Cargurus, and other web sites I went.

I was actually getting worn out of searching when I found this strange JDM Land Cruiser. It immediately raised numerous crimson flags, but I resolved to inquire additional. Turns out that it was imported by the vendor for the intent of resale in the United States. But the seller was not an official importer or a seller. Fairly, it was just an particular person performing this on the side. It, thus, was by now federalized and titled in the condition of Massachusetts.

Looking and Inspecting

I grabbed a mate, Tony Sestito of BangShift, and we went to glimpse at it. This is what we observed on our inspection:

  • Properly-optioned design: ability sunroof, keyless entry, power-folding mirrors, JDM radio with JDM navigation process, Television set tuner, cassette and CD players.
  • Totally rust-no cost chassis. The body, the floors, the skid plates, the axles – it appeared brand new.
  • Paint harm from the solar. It seemed like this Land Cruiser used its lifetime in a hotter weather, outside. In lieu of the deficiency of rust, there was un-pale paint on the roof and the hood.
  • No leaks. None. The engine looked quite clean up. The transmission, transfer situation, and axles all were being dry. All fluids were clean up and at proper ranges. All rubber factors looked very very good. Tie-rods, bushings, and manage arms all seemed in excellent issue.
  • No accident damages. All human body panels seemed original and appropriately aligned, apart from for molding on the rear remaining door, which seemed to have come from one more automobile. Not a one dent, and practically nothing broken.
  • The Interior was really clean up, but the when lively material was marginally pale. Anything labored, together with AC. All lights, inside, exterior, and dash worked.

Tony and I seemed at every other with that silent “bro, this appears to be like truly good” seem. We held searching, using specific turns, generating smaller talk with the seller. We resolved to go for a journey.

The Test Drive

Changing to driving with the steering wheel on the proper-hand facet wasn’t a great deal of an difficulty for me. I was concentrated on the car’s mechanicals: appears, vibrations, and dynamics. A brief spin revealed worn manufacturing unit shocks and not a great deal else. The ability appeared great, no dash lights, the transmission shifted effortlessly, and the brakes seemed wonderful, as well.

When the push was about, I commenced imagining, which is never superior. On a single hand, it’s a 26-calendar year-aged truck. On the other hand, it’s a 26-12 months-old Toyota truck that is been very well-preserved. On the other hand, it’s a interesting, obscure JDM RHD Land Cruiser. On the other hand, it is a blended bag of third-era 4Runner and 80-sequence Land Cruiser areas. On one hand, this is seriously stupid. On the other hand, it is genuinely cool.  

In the end…

I built a spontaneous selection. I built a truthful offer. Seller acknowledged. I still left a deposit. To make a extended tale small:

  • I bought it.
  • I insured and registered it. (Insurance policy was a little bit challenging owing to strange VIN)
  • I drove it every day for two months.
  • Almost nothing bad transpired.
  • It essentially turned out much better than I envisioned
  • I manufactured a large amount of mods – much more on that later.