Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ode to a Work Horse

Original Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota has always built a strong and reliable vehicle but until J and L purchased the newly updated version of the old Land Cruiser did this writer know how tough and reliable they truly were. We were the first to take delivery of the 2007 Toyota FJ back in 2006 in the city of Victorville and loved the Cruiser the moment the ignition key lit the beast up and we drove out of the dealership.

'New' Retro Toyota FJ
The auto maker knew a good thing when they came up with the retro Land Cruiser from the sixties and seventies introducing one of the best off road vehicles in the world according to most industry reports. We did not realize how accurate those publications were until we took a short one thousand mile road trip within the first six months of owning the vehicle down south through Baja California to Cabo San Lucas along some of the worst roads Mexico has to offer.

Just before dusk on a lovely Tuesday evening J and L were racing down a rutted gravel path falsely listed as a road on a torn map listening to Phil Collins on the CD player belting out 'Something in the Air Tonight'. At that moment I did not realize Mr. Collins was alluding to us.

Laureen calmly looked over at me from the co-pilot seat and smiled sweetly. "Honey, there's no road in front of us."

I unconsciously shut my ears to Phil and widened my eyes to witness the front of the FJ grab air and suddenly we were the 'something in the air' that the crooner had been mentioning.

A line from Zachary Marshall, the antagonist from my novel Hunted, came into mind as he plunged a stolen Cadillac Escalade off a roadway and nose dived it onto a busy highway below. "This is going to hurt."

When the FJ finally landed, luckily on all four wheels sixty feet north and eight feet down into a dried river bed it didn't hurt. It didn't hurt at all.

The FJ was amazing.

click the link below for the Ode to A Work Horse Slide Show

After that trip through the wide open deserts of Lower California the Toyota has been on countless road trips exploring and researching all over the United States and never failed once.  Heavy snow drifts, torrential rain on muddy roads or nearby tornadoes weren't enough to even slow the six cylinders down but in fact seemed to the give the FJ more power and strength.

In fact, in all the time we've owned the Cruiser not once have we ever had to put snow chains on while visiting our weekend home in Big Bear but simply slipped the transmission into four wheel drive and off we went. The wheels gripping firmly and securely while all the rest of the travelers had chains or cables wrapped snugly about their tires.

Though it has dents, scratches and overall looks like it's been through hell, much like the main driver, it is still a beautiful machine.

One well worth a mention now and then for all its given us on the many adventures from the past and we pray well into the future.

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