As any good hitchhiker knows, 42 is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. It is also how many vehicles I’ve owned in my life now that I’ve bought this 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser.

I’ve been looking for an SUV for a few weeks. I was actually looking at Isuzu Troopers (and dreaming of a Vehicross) when I started seeing FJ80 Land Cruisers and LX450s in my price range...at the top of it, mind, but in there.

I decided I loved the look of the things, and that’s where I set my sights. I checked Craigslist obsessively, with a price limit of $5000, the results trickled in. Not only that, but the closest one I found anywhere was an LX450 in Milton MA...about 60 miles.

But then yesterday, this showed up right in my backyard over in East Greenwich...literally the next town over from Warwick. It looked clean in pictures, description was short on details, but it was priced right at $3400.

Fun fact: Later that same day I sold my truck for $3500. Go figure, right?

Anyway, I just got over there today to check it out. Shockingly, it is 99.99% rust free. The frame is still painted black rather than a fine coating of surface rust. I found a single spot where the paint is bubbling, and another spot where it looked like it was hit and rusted where the paint scraped off.

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It’s done 173k miles, started easy and ran like a top. Leather, power everything (although both front seats have issues moving backwards), and my favorite bit that I don’t need at all:

That little knob to the left of the column, which controls the electric front and rear lockers. I can also apparently install a switch for a center diff lock (which it activates automatically in 4 low).

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Second favorite feature:

Mmm, tailgate goodness.

It needs a few things, but nothing unusual for a 20 year old vehicle. Some electronic gremlins, a code that might be o2 sensors, and the inside is pretty dirty. And two front tires, it needs those.

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Hopefully I’ll get to grab it this weekend, and I’ll report back with more pictures.