1972 FJ40 Barn Find – Full Restoration
This truck was sitting in a barn in Eastern Washington for many years, unused. (The last time it had been registered was 2001!)
The first owner bought it brand new off the lot in 1972 in Guam while serving in the Navy and it travelled all over the USA with him.
The second owner used it extensively in the 1980s and 1990s hunting and fishing in the Cabinet, Selkirk and Bitterroot mountain ranges of Northern Idaho. These mountains are just a few miles from our shop – so we were excited to preserve the heritage of this truck, and bring it back to life.
While it had extensive surface rust and pitting, there was very little in the way of the deep rust that is typical of FJ40’s of this era.
There’s a lot of old FJ40’s out there with 35″ tires, hacked up tubs and small block Chevy motors. This truck was not one of them.
One other exciting feature of this truck was a factory PTO winch.
We quickly set to work tearing the truck down to the frame and hunting for rust.
This truck was amazingly rust free!
We painstakingly stripped every panel down to bare metal, repairing rust as needed. By the time we were finished, we had hundreds of man hours in just metal work.
We take rust repair very seriously on our builds. We’ve seen some “restorations” that don’t adequately strip and treat rust, leading to costly problems down the road.
We avoid body filler, fiberglass and other trickery that other shops do on restorations.
Next phase was undercoat the truck and prime the body, readying it for assembly.
We treat for rust, apply a primer, apply an additional rust protection layer and then paint.
We do things right the first time so they will last many years to come. While our Legend Builds are factory correct, we improve the paint underlayment and primer better than factory for long term durability.
Final assembly is a process that takes great care. We pride ourselves in the quality of work we do on FJ40 Land Cruisers.
To stay true to the heritage of the truck – we took it our for a final test drive and shakedown trip up in to the Pack River of the Selkirk Mountains, just a few minutes from our shop.
While it is nearly 48 years old – the truck performed amazing driving in the mountains. When Toyota designed these trucks years ago – they really did it right.
In winter of 2018 Orvis reached out looking for a truck to feature in their Father’s Day Catalog. A friend of our shop was the owner… and while we both wanted to keep it here in the Panhandle – we knew this was the right truck for Orvis to feature showing the quality of our builds.
Within a few days, a buyer was lined up and we were detailing it to ship to South Carolina!
While it was sad to see this piece of North Idaho history go – we were happy to send it to owner who plans to take good care of it in his private collection.