As many of you know, I have long considered the FZJ80 Land Cruiser to be the pinnacle of expedition vehicles brought into the US. No other vehicle combines its reliability, durability, payload and capability.
Despite driving them on several continents and traveling along with them on many adventures, one has never been a vehicle in the Expeditions West stable - until now. The reason for this is two-fold:
1. They are getting old, and the window of opportunity to have one in reasonable shape is closing.
2. Christian needed a company vehicle, and he is immune (fortunate for him) to the seductions of the Land Rover. Christian is a true Cruiser guy, and has traveled in dozens of countries in a 79 series, including Cape Town to London.
Our original intention was to buy a bone-stock 1997, but we fell into such good fortune during a conversation with Greg from Miller Motorsports and Proffits Cruisers. They had a very clean and well maintained 1997 Collectors Edition with several credible modifications. A deal was struck, and it was driven from Salt Lake to the SEMA show and then immediately used for a serious "government" project, and then off to drive 3/4 of the Baja (all with temp plates still affixed). I am stunned by the refinement and robust nature of this 220,000 mile and 14 year-old vehicle.
1997 Toyota FZJ80 Land Cruiser:
Full-time and Part-time Transfer-case modified with selectable CDL and locking hubs
Factory Locking Differentials
ARB Front Bull Bar with 8,000lb. Warn Winch
IPF HID Lighting
OME Suspension with HD (and longer) springs and L shocks
Long-Ranger Replacement Stock Tank
Long-Ranger Auxiliary Tank
Kaymar Rear Bumper with twin-swingouts
295/75 R16 BFG AT tires (currently)
New AGM group 27 battery (installed before Baja)
The interior is completely stock, even including the 7-passenger seating. It looks like it has 60,000 miles on it. The only modification I performed before 20 days of heavy dirt and international use was twin 12v outlets in the rear cargo area. I upgraded the battery and bought a spare started - then left.
Tire change for "jungle" environments
Recovery kit and upgrade to synthetic rope
Tool kit and spares kit
Slee AC dryer skid
Slee OEM hand throttle
Some kind of protection for those goofy cats
Christian might put a few things on the roof too
Look for more images, opinions and plans in the coming weeks, then it leaves on a serious adventure south - stay tuned