Update: I did the thing and sent Japanese Classics money this afternoon. It is now a matter of paperwork and setting up shipping. This green glory should be in my garage in a couple of weeks.
I’ll take vanity plate ideas. I’ve never done one before, but it feels like a right-hand drive JDM import truck might rate one. I’m thinking something along the lines of “snail”, both to celebrate how slow it is and a turbo diesel reference.
I’m highly looking to forward to the slowest vehicle I’ve ever bought. It should check a lot of adventure mobile boxes. Big enough to sleep in, haul big things on occasions and doggos. At a couple of feet shorter than my RC/SB F-150, nice compact dimensions and geometry off-road. Has a brand new set of Falken Wildpeak A/T3Ws in 31x10.5R15, which are right about how I would setup tires for a truck like this. Already has the optional dual battery set-up from the factory. This truck has an LSD out back. The factory locking rear diff option would’ve been awesome, but my understanding is it was a fairly uncommon option when they were new and most of those trucks were snapped up a long time ago.
Long-term, and assuming I’m fully satisfied with it after a few months, the plan will probably be to sell the F-150 and procure a pretty new and fun driving to work car. I’m thinking something along the lines of a Civic Si or GTI.
As I posted the other night, this 1994 lwb, diesel, manual, 4x4 Pajero has gotten my Jimmies rustled. After some phone conversations with Japanese Classics, them emailing a bunch of pictures of the underside and other various bits I was interested in, sleeping on the idea for a couple of nights and some not inconsiderable parts research, this is looking like all systems are go. This checks lots of adventure mobile boxes (and would allow one that isn’t my driving to work vehicle), and it even has a small turbo diesel/manual drivetrain to boot. Ever since being around the diesel defenders the Dutch Marine Corps used in Curacao, I’ve wanted a smaller 4x4/manual/diesel truck that I could sleep in.
It is strange to think I might be more excited about the slowest vehicle I’ve ever considered buying than any other. The full size/manual/diesel combo appears to be lot less common than either the swb/manual diesel or the auto/diesel in any configuration. I’m thinking this wouldn’t be hard truck to sell, especially in the Mountain West where most JDM imports are a not insignificant shipping quote away on either coast.
Unless I wake up felling any different tomorrow, I’ll probably move some money around in the morning and send them a deposit (I’ve already got a delayed start due to snow). After some lower than I might have guessed shipping quotes, the plan would likely be for it to be shipped from Virginia to New Mexico. I love the idea of flying out there and driving back (and it is a long weekend coming up), but my better judgement tells me I probably shouldn’t. My corvette was of very similar age and low mileage when I bought it (and was in great shape and didn’t need anything immediately addressed), and the first couple of weeks/month of putting it back into service as a big miles highway commuter from being an occasional weekend car revealed what the weak points were and what parts became unhappy with regular use. Finding that out on the way across the country with a JDM import up against a schedule strikes me as a less ideal way to sort that stuff out. Driving wouldn’t be any cheaper, and it would be long three days of interstate driving in a truck without cruise control.
Long-term, this would have to be paired with something fun (and much newer) to drive to work. I’d say miata, but that’s a well-worn path for me and this truck would have to pair with something faster to make up for it’s lack of acceleration. I’m thinking there could be a newer GTI or Civic SI in such a future scenario. C5 vette? Who knows (I know I won’t do a C4 again, been there and have the dashmat nailed to the garage wall), but that would be bridge a bit further down the road.
I’d say tell my why this is a bad idea, but this is Oppo. We live for these kinds of bad ideas. Even though the bottom two-tone is tan and not brown, this feels pretty darn close to the mythical brown/diesel/manual wagon ideal. Can RHD substitute lost points for not brown?