“Some cars want to live. Others just don’t want to come back to life. This one wants to live.” These are the wise words of John as we stand watching the Landcruiser gently ticking over. And it hasn’t take much to get her running again.
In fact, a fresh set of points and condenser, some fresh petrol in the tank and a set of strong jumper cables and a little persuasion from John was all it took. Literally. It didn’t quite start first time, however with some glugs of neat fuel down the throat of the carb, the old engine coughed and spluttered into life. Five cylinders at first, then after a minute or so, all six. It wants to live.
John is impressed. “Honestly I believe that as a fact. Some car projects just don’t want to come back from the grave. They’re a nightmare to work on and seem to be fighting you with every turn. Others want to live. I think this one wants to live.”
He should know. Over the years he’s lost count of how many old TR6’s Minis and Land Rovers he’s brought back to life,
So we now know that essentially the engine is pretty much OK. I didn’t force the engine into life, of course. After such a long time idle, I took out the spark plugs and turned over the engine to move that old oil around and give it half a chance of getting oil pressure to the top of the engine.
There were two mild dramas on start up. One was a sticking linkage which gave a few more revs that anticipated, though John was ready with his hand on the cable. The other was the viscous fan which spun up and blew a decade of dust up in the air. All over John. Looking like someone who’d just finished work in a flour mill, he was nevertheless encouraged by the life in the old Landcruiser.
So now work begins.
I’ve a list of work and parts to undertake and find. Some are essential to get the Landcruiser looking right and street legal once again. Others are ‘nice to have’ things that will depend severely on the budget.
The ‘Nice to Have’ list is put to one side a while.
And yes, this is on a budget. It’s very easy to simply look at the Landcruiser 60 Series values and write off this old car as being uneconomical to repair, but that’s not why I’m doing it. For years, it was a great work horse, I have great memories of it and my philosophy is this:
In the UK and elsewhere, people spend crazy amounts of money rebuilding classic, oily old Land Rovers. Let’s face it, I may be biased, but the Land Rover isn’t the greatest drive in the world. In comparison, a good 60 Series Landcruiser is like a Lexus.
So if they can do that with an old Land Rover, why not do it to an old Toyota Landcruiser?
However I’m realising two things.
One, that I’m not capable and John is. I don’t have the natural aptitude for car restoration, John has. He’s not scared of simply jumping in and starting work. Me? I stand and look at it, scared to make a move. He’s taking over and I am going to be the assistant and supplier of parts, resources, focus and bacon sandwiches.
Two. This is going to get expensive. I really don’t have a huge budget, yet I don’t want to see this old truck die. And equally, if I sold her and she was dismantled it would be almost as sad as seeing her driving around, rebuilt by someone else.
So, I have to find a way to get this old Landcruiser on the road again, without going crazy on the budget.
And if you’re reading this and you have a shed full of old FJ62 Landcruiser parts looking for a home, drop me a line…..