Recently I drove to Los Angeles to attend my 35 year high school reunion. It was a chance to drive around my hometown of Pacific Palisades, shoot pictures with my new iPhone, and visit old haunts. Before I left, Kathy told me she wanted a picture of the ocean. I drove to the end of Via De La Paz and parked the minivan. Looking out over the Pacific at sunset was a treat. But turning around to return to my van was even more of a treat.
A 1970 Toyota FJ55 Landcruiser was just parking about half a block away. In impeccable condition. I sauntered up as the owner was unloading groceries and asked about the beautiful automobile in front of me.
The owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, told me he acquired the Land Cruiser in 1976. Huh. 35 years ago. Same year I graduated from Palisades High. He said it was in great shape then, and since he’d owned it, his idea of off-roading was his driveway. Sort of a shame, as these cars are tough, but you can’t argue with the condition. Only one repaint about 5 years ago in the original colors, the original 3.9 liter 6 cylinder engine, three speed transmission, 92,000 miles and manual steering. Didn’t get a lot of time with the owner or the car, but enough to bring you a taste of true automotive beauty.
I drove on to the reunion in Malibu, feeling good that I had found a true Curbside Classic. Funny thing, though. I pull out my phone to show people pictures of the reunion, but when they see the thumbnails of the FJ55, that’s all they want to see.
A clear sign of good taste.