The vehicle was basic, made of steel, not plastic and was tough as nails. And yes I would have seen the problems that they had, as i was a dealership service technician for thirty years. Started in 1969 before most of you folks were born I'm sure. We had a Toyota dealership in the group I was with also. I spoke with the Toyota techs all of the time, was in the loop as far as landcruiser enthusiasts and did a lot of work with the old Downey off road guys. Back then we put small block Chevy motors in them. Try that today with your FJ's.
Hopefully the new FJ will fair as well thirty five years from now. But some how I don't think so. The vehicles of today are "Throw a ways." Go try and buy a super clean cruiser from that era. It will cost you at least $18,000.00 to buy a nice clean one. I wonder if today's version will hold it's value like that? Some how I don't think so.
It's obvious that you folks are proud of your FJ's, as were we with our "Cruisers" back then. We were at war with the Jeep guys all of the time. But hey, back then a Jeep was a Jeep. Not some plastic throw away like todays version.
While I am about the same age as you, I don't have any delusions about the quality of vehicles from the 70s - which by most automotive standards was one of the worst decades for quality before or after. I've been wrenching on all makes and models for almost 45 years, and the older FJs, like vitually every mechanical item ever produced, had their issues - even if you say yours did not.
The reason folks dropped Chev V-8s into the FJ-40 was because the 2F motors were gutless, very heavy, and had issues at altitude, very poor fuel efficiency (important on the trail, considering the smaller tank) and parts were not always readily available in remote locations - not the case with the popular, common GM V-8s. The V-6 in the FJ will outrun the old Chev V-8 - both in power, and in reliability - so the swap is moot for normal use. A simple 4 hour supercharger install will leave the V-8 in the dust, and maintain Toyota reliability, something a Chev V-8 can't do. As for the old Jeeps being "tough", well, that's garbage IMO, too. They were (and are, IMHO
) hugely unreliable, had frames that would tweek from a speed bump, axles that spin off wheel hubs, clutch linkages that self-destructed from normal use, a body that rusted from talking about water, and the comfort of a forklift. Freeway driving ? Fugetaboutit. But they were inexpensive and easier to obtain than a Landcruiser, and repairs and parts were readily available anywhere. Remember "J
As for a good condition FJ selling for 18K, well so does a new KIA. If you adjust for inflated dollars over that 35 years, well, not as impressive. Hey, I'd love to have a pristine 40 in my driveway, and 15-20k would be well spent; but because I'm a fan, and it's a classic, not because of some intrinsic value to 35 year old sheet metal or technology. Restored and well-kept vehicles always hold value to the collector and enthusiast, especially vehicles that saw very limited production compared to the norm.
From 1973 to 1983, Toyota sold 70,379 FJ40s, 55s, and 60s total. They sold more than 111,395 FJ Cruisers in the first 2 years. So, it may take awhile to thin down the volume to "classic" level - after all, scarcity adds to value, and that is the primary reason a restored 40 series holds it's value.
We'll just have to agree to disagree, I guess. But it doesn't take much of a glance on forums that deal with Jeeps, or FJ 40s, or any classic vehicle, to see the myriad of issues older technology had and has. The good old days, well, to me depends what you are comparing them to - but mostly they are just the old days to me
. I loved to play with my 40, but I can still do it all, and in comfort, with my FJC...