Hi guys and thanks for landing on my build thread.
Back in 2017, after 2 years of searching and even more years of wanting one, I finally purchased a grand wagoneer. Mind that I limited my search to Europe, or, when I happened to be in the USA I went on craigslist, eBay, bringatrailer and whatnot to find a good one that was worth shipping home.
Home is The Netherlands, possibly the most car-unfriendly country due to its environment taxes. This date, a new car with half an engine is taxed to the extreme, for example, a new Jeep Wrangler JL with a 2.0T engine will set you back 90K euro (a good 100K$)
So back to cool cars - the old ones:
I wanted to have a blue one, but could not find a decent one with no rust. So in the end I settled for quality over color preference, with the idea that I would restore it at some point anyway.
so in September 2017 I found it, a topaz gold grand wagoneer with a nutmeg brown interior, about as late 70's as color schemes can get..
It is basically an honest, never spoiled, original 1984 grand wagoneer with about 70K miles only!. Engine original, all the electrical is there but not everything working, the underside was covered in oil grease and sand (keeping out the rust) etc. I got it at an honest price, the gentleman who sold it to me was honest about everything that was and was not working, but most importantly he wanted it to go to someone who enjoyed it.
He imported it from Reno Nevada, and had the paperwork to go with it that shows it was originally purchased in Huntington Beach California. So this had to be the rust free, mostly original base for my future restoration.
I decided to just drive it for fun, did the occasional good weather commute & we made some shorter trips (some weekends to our holiday home hauling surf boards the back or on the roof)
Our dutch climate is not really forgiving on cars; very wet for extended periods of time, 6 months a year temperatures that will not let anything get dry, and I live right at the beach so the old sunbaked paint has had a hard time since 2017.
I knew something had to be done so the restoration had to be planned.
I do have a garage at my house but in our country garages are not like USA based garages. I live in an old house (1930) and garages did not have priority back then, so at 11 by 30 feet it is not a place to restore a car in.
Time to search for a location!
I'll post several messages with the progress over the next days. as I started in January 2021 with it.