Right here, on the Go Sky.
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Who knows how many fatwas were issued last week against New York Times reporter Scott James – no matter. But now it seems that the cops of the SFPD are getting picky about how cars handle the now-famous intersection of Steiner and Duboce, start of The Wiggle bike route.
This aging Land Cruiser (with tiny 15-inch wheels – a 1993 model?) will never die, but it will get its fair share of tickets on the Streets of San Francisco, for both parking and, as here, yesterday night, moving violations. Oh well.
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Only Time Will Tell.
Just look at the details:
As seen on Fell Street. Click to expand.
Aging FJ-40 model (豊田 ランドクルーザー, Toyoda Rando-Kurūzā). Of course! Dude could buy a much newer Bland Cruiser (2009 price = $50k-something) instead of this (possibly amazingly expensive) torture box, but where’s the fun in that?
Alaska license plate: SURF. Of course! Our 50th state is the next frontier of surfing, don’t you know.
Right Hand Drive (RHD). Of course! Dude’s driving on the wrong side of the vehicle. Why? Why not?
Snorkel. Of course! Can you see the urban snorkel air intake standing up on the left side? Very handy when our streets are under five feet of water. Snorkle! Snorkle! Snorkle!
Original diesel engine. Of course! A Chevy small block would just drop right in, but where’s the fun in that?
No doors. Of course! How can people see your stylish shoes and socks with doors blocking the view?
The hat and the fogglasses (on a very dark summer day) put him over the top. Nobody could possibly best this fellow, that’s why he’s San Francisco’s Hipster of the Year, 2009.
Raconteur Andrzej Sochacki really gets around, but it just so happens he’s staying in our little burg tonight. Judging by the way he’s been hauling up the coast from Acapulco, Mexico on El 15D and more recently on The One and The 101 in his 15-year-old Land Cruiser, he’ll be in Oregon soon.
(Do you think this 1.5 decade-old Toyota is ready for the ash heap? It has more life in it than a brand new Chevrolet Trailblazer, believe it or not.)
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Vay con Dios, André
San Francisco Chronicle writer Mark Morford is entitled to his opinion, of course. Facts are a different story however. To wit:
“They know the end is near, the signs are all in place, as that giant $63K Toyota Land Cruiser V8 you bought just a couple years ago violently depreciates down to less than half of what you paid for it. Ouch.”
Do you get the rather banal gist? Gas prices have roughly doubled the past four years, so there will be a negative effect on the resale value of vehicles that get bad mileage. However, he’s made an error in the specifics. Happily, Markus showed his work by linking to this:
A 2008 Suburban 2500 with a 6.0-liter V8, four-wheel drive, automatic transmission and leather sells new for $43,235; a two-year-old model with 24,000 miles in excellent condition can be yours for less than $20,000. A new-generation 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser with a 5.7-liter V8 that gets 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway runs for $64,785; a two-year-old model similarly equipped goes for between $34,120 and $35,975, depending on its condition.
O.K. kids, you do the math. So, when Mark goes “less than half of what you paid for it” he really means “more than half of what you paid for it. But, you see, the word “less” sounds so much better, you dig?
But wait, there’s more fail to this whale. Nobody paid $64K for a Toyota Land Cruiser back in model year 2006, as the MSRP of the well-equipped base model was just $56,215 and there simply weren’t options available to get the price up to $63K.
Additionally, the comparison between the prices cited for 2008 and 2006 is apples and oranges because one is a market price and the other a list price. In the real world, you could get a 2006 Land Cruiser back in 2006 for something in the high 40’s area. Glancing at real-world used prices at cars.com, the most expensive 2006 Land Cruisers have asking prices in the high 40’s. That’s a tad unrealistic as you could buy the new improved 2008 model with a larger engine and better MPG for something less than $60K right now today. But no Toyota ever built depreciated more than 50% in “just a couple of years.”
And don’t let’s get started with the Chevy Suburban that “sells new for $43,235.” In reality, you can buy that new “$43K” Suburban for less than $33K owing to such bennies as GM’s “Bonus Cash” and a direct-to-customer rebate – each of these are worth thousands of dollars off the price of the vehicle. And back in 2006, you could have purchased a 2006 Suburban “2500” model (with rich, non-Corinthean leather) for even less. Obviously, new cars start to look tempting to buyers if they’re so heavily discounted. That drives down the price of similar used vehicles.
So, yes, SUVs aren’t in favor right now, and gas prices are a factor in that. Point taken. But that’s no reason to lie to people, Mark.
The Land Cruiser was born in the 1950’s, right? Based upon this recent photo, St. Mark was born in the 1960’s. Click if you dare:
An incredible moment, captured by violet.blue (the famous one) on the Flickr
Who will live longer – the Land Cruiser or Mark Morford? That’s an easy one, as the Cruiser will continue to be produced in the Toyota City area long after Mark has escaped this mortal coil. (BTW, nice Diesel jeans! Don’t they go for $130+? How much do they depreciate after a couple of years?)
And if you want to call the Land Bruiser “giant,” that’s fine. But the aforementioned 2006 model was ever so slightly shorter than a non-giant two-door Toyota Camry Solara from that era. And the current Sequoia from Toyota (you know, the kind Mark’s corporate overlords want you to buy) is larger yet – perhaps it could be labeled “violently super duper giant”? And the stuff about SUV rollovers? Well, some vehicles do better in some areas than others. It’s a nuance thing.
But let’s not get into nuance. The point is this: “What Dreamy Chronicle Writer Mark Morford Doesn’t Know About Math and Cars is a Lot.
Game, Set, Match.
You might think that because you live in San Francisco, you don’t need a four foot long plastic snorkel on your vehicle. But an urban snorkel mounted on the side of your Jeep would just look so boss, wouldn’t it? Plus, you can save on bridge tolls.
This Jeep, spotted in the Richmond, is from Hermanos Albera in the Mission – ask and maybe they’ll install one for you?