This FJ-40 was my first restoration and first vehicle I ever purchased. Growing up, I always had an obsession with vintage four-wheel drives and couldn’t wait to drive to school in one of them. My father knew of an older Land Cruiser that had been sitting in a field in Warren, MA, for years that needed a full restoration. We ended up purchasing the FJ-40 for $500 and towed it home from Warren. I worked on the vehicle in my backyard, balanced on concrete blocks and plywood because I couldn’t afford anything else. Every day after school, my friends would show up and work on the FJ-40 with me, keeping us out of trouble. I moved the project into my grandparent’s garage, which turned out to be my first little resto shop. Everyone told me the restoration couldn’t be done, and I was determined to prove them wrong! For the first restoration, I painted the FJ-40 black and rebuilt the 4.2L factory straight-6 engine it currently had in it. The engine was from a 1975 Land Cruiser, courtesy of the previous owner. Cruisers dated before ’74 came with a 3.9L 6-cylinder engine with less horsepower. I learned a lot about Land Cruisers doing this project, and it gave me the courage to continue restoring FJs.