I’ve owned this “moonglow pearl” 1994 FZJ80 since April of 2010. I had been deployed to Afghanistan the year prior (all of 2009) and we had some armored (and some un-armored) LandCruisers of various generations there that I loved. Of course the 100’s were nice, but it was the 80s that really hit the chord for me. The whole last half of the tour I spent my free time perusing various forums and classifieds for a nice 80 to build on. Oddly, it was a personal friend who came through, he contacted me and said “Dave, I’m thinking of selling my truck, what do you think?” and I immediately replied “Darrin, I think you should, in fact, I know a guy looking for one…”.


Two weeks later, my wife and I flew to Salt Lake City where Darrin picked us up in the cruiser, drove us around the front range a bit to show off what good mechanical nick she was in, and then opened his house to us in what I’ve found to be a typical display of Mormon hospitality. For a couple days we had great meals with his beautiful family, as well our own access to the basement apartment, and we used the time to explore Salt Lake City before heading off through Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico en route back to Austin. We arrived home Easter morning after a marathon all-night drive from Denver just in time to celebrate with the kids.


Since then the cruiser has become as much a part of our family as any inanimate object could be. Though several other cars have come and gone, the cruiser is always there, sitting in our driveway, waiting to take us wherever, whenever.