We had a fleet of weapons carriers for hauling goods and supplies, Willys Jeep for transporting the family members and workers. Mechanical parts are hard to find back then and we learned how to fabricated or improvised, overhauling the engines, transmissions and differentials.
The logging concessioners have several FJ40’s that they use to monitor the whereabouts of logging trucks or pull them when they get stuck. I was fascinated with their offroad capabilities and at early age I dream about owning one someday.
I did not get the opportunity to fulfill my dream to drive an FJ40 because at that time only rich people can afford them because it is costly to import.
My family migrated to USA in 1983 for better opportunity to move ahead in life. After several movements with the San Francisco Bay Area, our family settled in Vallejo in 1989. I have an engineering background but was lured to the Computer Industry/Information Technology. For the last 12-years, I was a contractor/technical consultant for the DoD- Army/Navy/National Guard.
I was thrilled to learn that Toyota was going to make a retro of the FJ series as the FJ Cruiser.
I’ve been a Toyota fan ever since I learned how to drive. My 1st car is a 1979 Corolla Lift back, followed by a pickup truck and then a Sienna minivan as the family got larger.
So on March 2007, I bought my FJC: a Silver Titanium 4x4, almost a base model.
My first set mods I think were the TRD gunmetal rims, TRD exhaust , Black horse brush guard and the FJ checkered (taxi) decal as shown from this picture. Then followed by the ARB ½ rack and standalone roof light bar with Hella Micro DE lights.
Picture after about 3-months of ownership.
My first offroading trip took palace in Ukiah, CA where they have the 52,000-acre Cow Mountain Recreation Area. It is here that I got the 1st set stripes on the pristine body of the FJ because the Manzanita trees and shrubs are all over the trails.
The much needed lift and better tires came about followed by the installation of under chassis/body armor.
More trips after that and I no longer worry about the paint getting scratched or fender benders or parts being damaged on the trail. The latest trip was at Hollister, CA – Hollister Hills SVRA;
Building my dream FJ became a hobby and I wanted a unique truck, mostly from out of the box ideas.
My time and effort paid off when Toyota hired my truck to be used on their “Let’s go places” commercial. The commercial shoot took place in Redding, CA at Chappie Shasta Dam-OHV Area.
Over the course of my build, friends and forums members want to get a hold of some of my unique mods. So my FJ became a money generating rig to support more upgrades. The Firestik AM/FM replacement radio antenna and matching CB antenna in the front cowl panel are hot items.
Lately, the HID retrofitted headlights with projector lens kit with custom shrouds/halos made of LED angels are now all over the US, Middle East and Australia.
Local FJ Cruiser and Tundra enthusiasts are now asking for my service to do the installation of the upgrades that I have done.
Most FJ owners call their rigs “the money pit”, but I call mine “the money generating rig”.
See Nestah Edition & other awesome rigs at http://www.nestahedition.com/