This guy always liked the journey as much as the destination

You’ve been through a lot together.

You didn’t always agree on everything. After the honeymoon period, there was that time that you ended up staying up all night working things out. The cancelled trip because one of you had a breakdown. That time you walked home. Like it was YOUR FAULT?

But through it all, you stayed together, made some memories, and were rarely seen apart. Indeed, most people associated you with one another, and if you showed up alone, people talked.

How could you even contemplate…?

Clearly, the recent sale of the Pajero Evolution has me waxing nostalgic, not to mention poetic. I once thought of myself as a long termer. More than once I claimed “I’ll never EVER sell this truck”.

Oh, wait now. Hold on. If you thought I was actually giving relationship advice, go back and read the Snorkel commitment article.

Now, where was I? Right. Commitments. We all have that buddy who’s had the same rig for 10 years. You catch him eyeing other models sometimes, and even actively taking them out, but at the end of the day, he comes back home to the garage, and tucks the same old rig in at night.

The Prado

So how do you know when the time has come?

For me, it’s a fine line. I usually tend to buy machines that are in good shape to start, and need minimal work and maintenance before they are good to go. I add some custom touches, get maintenance to where I think it needs to be, and then suddenly find myself shopping around before I know what has happened.

There is a sweet spot when buying and selling a used vehicle, especially a 4WD. If you don’t pay “too much” initially, keep your mods mild (and in most cases reversible), perform the proper maintenance (with records), don’t wait too long, or put too many miles on it, you can often sell it for at least what you paid, while having an enjoyable experience in the meantime.

History Repeats Itself?

I recently reflected on my 4wd history, and was shocked to realize that in the last 15 years, between my wife and I, we’ve had FIFTEEN 4-wheel-drives! FIFTEEN!?

R to L: Betsy 7, Betsy 5, Betsy 3
  • 1989 Raider
  • 1989 Montero LWB
  • 1991 Pajero XR2
  • 2006 Outlander
  • 1993 Pajero Exceed
  • 1991 Galant AWD
  • 1996 Lancer Evo IV
  • 2006 Montero XLS
  • 1997 Pajero Evolution
  • 1992 Mitsubishi Strada pickup
  • 1999 Pajero Super Exceed SWB
  • 1999 Pajero Exceed LWB
  • 1999 Landcruiser 100 V8 Limited
  • 1999 Landcruiser Prado 90
  • 1991 Landcruiser HZJ77 ZX
My own personal dream team, circa 2011

I’m not even sure how that is possible. We actually kept a few of them for five years or more, but ultimately, of the ones on the list above, only the last three are still with us. Did we love all the previous ones? You betcha! Did we lose money on them? A few, yes but not a big amount. For the most part though, we were able to walk away from each one, practically even, although much richer for the experience. 

How did we know it was time? Hard to say. It wasn’t because I was “done with” one of them. I’d call that long past the time when you should’ve already sold it. No, it wasn’t because the love affair was over. I always think long and hard about the next purchase, thus I love em all! I think mainly it’s because I had that particular experience, and wanted to have another, equally as rewarding.

I don’t have infinite space or resources, so a “collection” is not the way to go for me. Additionally, more than a few rigs is too distracting anyways. 

His and Hers combo, Winter 2017

When is it time? 

If you can afford it, and have a hankering to try something new/used, I say go for it! You won’t know it was time until you do. IF it was a mistake, you can almost always find another. By then you’ll have confirmed that you had the right one the whole time.

No Regrets

I have zero regrets about selling any of these machines. With the exception of a couple, I know who they went to. Subsequently, I get regular updates about their condition, and still see many of them being driven by old and new friends. No. I didn’t say I didn’t miss them. Especially a couple of them. You can probably figure out which?

As of right now, we have no plans to part ways with any of the members of our current fleet. Each one fills a unique niche in our driving and adventure needs, and I have projects planned for all three. But I can’t say we’ll “never sell them” because my past history says this is statistically unlikely (code words for “BS”).

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