Style Points- Truitt’s 1977 FJ40 Click the picture for a link to the full write-up in Four Wheeler magazine.
The Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser has been out of production for 26 years, but you wouldn’t know it when talking with the “FJ40 Faithful.” They’re as devoted to their vehicles now as they were when the last one rolled off the assembly line in 1983. Maybe even more so, now that the FJ40-inspired FJ Cruiser has hit the buying public right between the eyes and fed the FJ40 frenzy.
One FJ40 aficionado is Scott Truitt of Litchfield Park, Arizona. He’s the owner of this incredible ’77. Never mind that Truitt was only nine years old when the last FJ40 was factory-assembled. Truitt grew up in Saudi Arabia, where he says FJ40s were plentiful and a popular choice for exploring the sand-saturated environment. The more he saw ‘em in action, the more he wanted one.
Fast forward to 2005, when Truitt was finally able to get an FJ40 of his own and begin the buildup he had always dreamed about. He purchased this rig from a gentleman who had owned it since 1978. It was maroon in color and dotted with rust, but it only had 79,000 miles on the ticker. Truitt’s goal was to “build the baddest ride out there.” What he ended up with is a rig that garners major style points. It’s a great-looking, solid-performing rig that combines new tech with the classic FJ40 style. Read more>
1962 Willys M38A1 – Tube Jeep
Willys Turned Wild
From the September, 2010 issue of Off-Road
We at OFF-ROAD like to bring you a little variety from the dirt-loving community, so when we spotted Erik Busarello’s weekend play toy, we knew we had to snap some photos and show you what he’s put together.
What you see here started from the seed of a ’62 Willys M38A1 whose age had left it rusted and a lot worse for wear. However, Erik salvaged the best parts, mainly the cowl section and grille, and began building up a project vehicle. His intent was to build an all-around open-top rig that was capable for back country exploring, a little rock crawling, but mostly high-speed dune and desert running.
With a near blank canvas, Erik was able to layout some specs he wanted for the build.
Erik is part of the crew at Random Precision Mfg. (www.rpmfab.com), a custom off-road fabrication shop in Tempe, Arizona. Over the period of about a year, he gathered parts and put together a complete rig. Read more>
1984 Jeep CJ7 – New Lease On Life
Return Of A Backcountry CJ
From the July, 2010 issue of 4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility
Lots of old Jeeps run and run and run. They just keep on serving their owners and taking them places off the beaten path. The 1984 CJ-7 on these pages had done just that, but it was starting to feel worse for wear when owner Frank DeSomma decided the old iron needed a refresh. The 35-year-old body had seen a lot of desert and had taken some rock beatings.
The original plan was to install a new aluminum body and a few upgrades, but the project expanded well beyond that, and the results came out well. Frank is the president of Patriot Ordnance Factory, a premium firearms manufacturer in Glendale, Arizona. He wanted a vehicle with a striking personality, but one he could use on weekends to take out to explore desert trails and carry him to his favorite hunting and sport shooting spots.
For the build, Frank called on the fabrication expertise of Ian Liljeblad and his crew at Random Precision Mfg. (www.rpmfab.com) in Phoenix. They took the Jeep into the shop, scuttled the trail-worn sheetmetal and went about reworking the old 4×4 to make it better than ever. In the end, the Jeep got a new Aqualu body, for sure, but it also got a whole lot more. Read more>