Well no point going over the history of this one in detail. But short recap might be appropriate. Bought SWB Colorado. Slight initial modifications. Madness took hold. Created Lil Blue. Sold it. Bought white 80. Prepped for overlanding. Looked pretty nice drove well, caught fire. End of that story. Bought replacement 80 in two tone silver. No drive. Been standing for 8 years. Swapped transmission from insurance buy back. Sorted. Light overland style prep. Got as far as Dover, current Missus decided that that was far enough, so madness took hold again and now it’s outside on 37” tyres with front and rear winches on a 5” lift. So that brings us up to present. After looking for a blue one for ages and seeing nothing but sheds, I decided to sacrifice one criterion. The colour. But other than that it had to be a 1996/97 dark coloured, Amazon badged VX. And here it is. Silver, GS, 1995. Well it IS a manual, so really I did stick to my original requirements. Here’s the basic truck purchased from Laughton Land Cruisers. Technically it’s only had three previous owners and covered 215k miles. First owner covered 100k of those miles so I am told. Bodywork is very good indeed. Interior is extremely clean with very little work to do other than recover the steering wheel and rebuild the saggy driver’s seat. Underneath, well it’s not perfect. I have seen some crusty tubs and some minters – this is about halfway in between. Once blasted, it will get Dinitrol treatment in all the corners. So at the moment I am going through it replacing little bits here and there really to bring back to original. Over 18 years it’s hardly surprising that bits and pieces go missing. Pretty much everything works right down to the heated rear screen. All lockers now functioning. To drive it is very car like. Good brakes (no ABS) Handbrake perfect. I have touched (ahem) motorways speeds in it and it is as steady as a rock. The engine pulls like it has an intercooler (hmm, idea) and returned just shy of 29 mpg on a run to Scotland. All oils, fluids and filters have been changed along with the timing belt and two new matching Yuasa batteries. There were records of servicing up to around 190k so it’s been well looked after. Gear box is good, but not totally perfect. Changing down to second is the only very slight foible it has. But not every time. There are no noises at all associated with the driveline on or off the power. However, the top control arms could do with swapping as there is a bit of a push when you let off the power quickly. Hey – again, 215k miles! So in summary, it’s dead straight. Not fiddled with and no odd bits and bobs that make you wonder what’s been going on. Even the exhaust which is nearly new is genuine Toyota. After the servicing, I took it to have the AC re-gassed. Yes, AC in a GS. Factory option ticked! They put it under vacuum for 20 mins at the main dealer. It passed. They gassed it and I got as far as the window tinting place 500 yards up the road before there was green dye pissing out all over the place. So one click later on the Autokool site and a new condenser was on its way. Fitted, just need another re-gas. I also fitted a new roller blind at the same time. A friend had been given this by someone clearing out there shed. They used to have an 80 and wondered it it could be found a home. Thank you! I really wanted to base line it completely before doing anything at all to it. But there is a sequence that has unfortunately been knocked off kilter. The idea was to run as standard and then fit the 35” All Terrains to see how I felt about standard diff ratios. I have spare upgrade diffs on the shelf. But, the 35’s won’t fit without the suspension lift. So… off with the old genuine Toyota springs and dampers. I had to cut the front dampers off but the springs are good. The rear dampers are excellent, but the springs were rusted to bits. More for the scrap man when he shows up. I fitted the Iron Man B set up that I took off my other 80. But first I had the springs coated and blasted so that they didn’t look like crap in 2 minutes flat. So far they have been on a day and still look better than IM straight out of the box. They might look alittle dirty, but there's hardly any rust on them. I think that they have been replaced at some point - again with genuine parts. Suspension fit went OK other than snapping two ARB bolts in the chassis and bending the engine crane in half. Took me an hour to make a new jib and get going again. So, springs and dampers fitted, it drove well. Felt very nice. Next job was fitting the 35’s. No clearance problems this time. By this time, I was starting to feel pretty good about the prospects for this vehicle. This grey is not my favourite colour, but with the black accents, it's beginning to come together. Once the tinting is done, it'll look even better. Whilst the sun was out, it would have been rude not to do a bit more. Soo…. Got Mrs Chris to help me lug the bumper round to the front of the house. Initially there was no chance it would go on. The chassis rails were too far apart. I suspended the bumper on the engine crane and wiggled and jiggled for half an hour and even battered the ends with a hammer. Nope. Then I got the High Lift, set it in squash mode and clamped it across the chassis ends. One heave-ho later and the chassis was the correct dimension. The ARB slipped on a treat. Holes lined up and bolts went in by hand. Loverly. By this time the sun was going down. So in time honoured fashion, Zebedee called time. We'll see what next weekend brings. Been for a spin and I really can’t tell that it has 35’s on. I have to question whether a re gear is necessary. It still goes like an express train from a standing start. With the decent tyres on, and the new suspenders, it goes round corners superbly. So what is next? Well there is a come up winch to fit, windows to tint, rear bumper to consider, long range tank as an option, rack and roof tent to go on, split charge to wire in, African Outback drawers to fit, Nitrac grooved front discs to go on as well as front axle check and service, alarm to sort out and course continue the programme of replacing nuts, bolts, fixings and things that are a bit crusted up – like diff breathers. Water tank to go somewhere along with the hot water system. I shall make some lightweight slider steps as the ones that are on are not quite up to the job. I am not making super slider tree bars, just some basic steps for getting in and out and probably somewhere to jack up from. But they my friends, as they say, is for another day.