Sunday, February 15, 2009


I have a new love. It's a beat-up, gloriously oxidized 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser. Just look at that face. Can you blame me?

Oh, the chunky, solid, tank-like design. Even that pseudo-Afrika Korps/ Desert rats Tunisia-cum-Tuscon khaki tan paint makes me swoon. Pure 1971 magic. And thanks to the detailed specification plate welded to the door we know it was assembled in March of 1971 (a temporal moment near and dear to my heart).

Truth be told I don't even drive stick and I have no idea if this thing even runs without spewing blue smoke or blowing a gasket. Probably doesn't even go more than 44 mph.

But you're looking at this all wrong. That rust? It's character. The gasoline smell? Heady perfume. Even the ripped up seats look like they'll last through a nuclear winter. My actual ride, a more current late model Japanese-built auto, probably won't last another 5 years.

And correct me if I'm wrong: This is the perfect thrift scoring vehicle. And all I need is $7500 and change. That's a 15% discount off the sticker -- a bargain

You totally have to wear a Gilligan's Island sailor's bucket hat and cargo shorts to drive this thing -- maybe even goggles. Mmm-aviator shades. With a cooler of Fresca and Mr. Pibb on the floor.

Damn, that door could stop a bullet. A grenade. I have no idea why a steel "X" is fastened on there but I can't believe that up to now I've allowed myself to drive a car without one.

And hey I can learn to drive stick -- it comes with welded-on instructions... And it's not a foofy glove box -- an outmoded euphamism if ever I've heard one. It's a pocket. And couldn't we all use more pockets? Resovled: from this moment on I will refer to the golve box as "the pocket."

How can you look cross-eyed at vehicle with Dualmatic Selective Drive Hubs?

If this 4 Wheel Drive embossed emblem doesn't make you a little randy, well... I can't be the only one into midcentury automotive signage graphic design p0rn, can I?

Doesn't this window crank handle make you long for the days before wimpy power windows? When rolling down your windows while driving on the freeway was a challenge, like you felt like you accomplished something? Like fresh air was the reward for hard work?

So how about that loan? I'm good for it. And you can drive it on the weekends, promise. Otherwise this gem's just going to languish in a thrift store parking lot for months. Don't turn your back on the old girl. Do it for 1971.


Dawn Gahan said...

Girl, it's been a while since your last posting and I've been jonesin'. Your writing always makes me smile. Even been known to laugh loud enough that my daughter calls from a far part of the house asking what's so funny.

Well, this post was worth the wait. You're the David Sedaris of Blogland,

Thanks (and keep 'em coming).


Vintage Sue said...

Oddly enough, I've been jonesing for a vintage Land Cruiser or Land Rover for about a year. I *almost* bought a old Bronco for $1200, but it was, uh, WORTH $1200. The mechanic told me to run away....

skinnyGLASSESgirl said...

They are rad! How fun would it be to have one to drive down an old dirt road. My friend had one of these in High School..

Fadora said...

Oooh, I don't blame you for falling for this old girl! What a charmer! Even though she's got a little age on her (and who of us don't?) she'll be a loyal and reliable companion to the one that appreciates a good woman, er car, with a bit of a past. Oh, the stories this one could tell...

Maddy said...

You are so funny! Love your comments.

Gorgeous car...I'm feelin' it!

Deanna said...

Oh wow, my husband would love this. Land cruisers are the best! Thanks for sharing the photos. I'm sorry I don't have money to loan but I will drool with you. Great car!

MJ said...

Hmmmmm. Shiny chrome lettering with enamel inlay; Real knobs that do things; picture instructions on how to drive:
I need a cigarette!
Your taste in midcentury metal is mighty tastey!
Good luck securing the loan.
You deserve it!

Olde Tyme Marketplace said...

Oh my gosh ya gotta get it!

Brian Evans said...

Hmmmmm. Shiny chrome lettering with enamel inlay; Real knobs that do things; picture instructions on how to drive: I need a cigarette! Your taste in midcentury metal is mighty tastey! Good luck securing the loan. You deserve it!

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