Thursday, February 28, 2013


For nearly 20 years now, “Siggy” (more formally, “Eight Sigmas”) has been a big part of our life.  We purchased this stock '96 Toyota LandCruiser in 1995 using some of the money we made from our stock options after Stac's IPO.  We had to order it (and wait several months to get it!) because we wanted the four-wheeling features that were then available (most especially the differential locks) from Toyota. 

Siggy was our ride on many adventures throughout the Western U.S.  It took us in safety and comfort on freeways and on extremely rugged back-country roads.  Perhaps the most challenging thing we ever did with Siggy was a wonderful vacation in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado (where we're going again this summer).  With Debbie, my dad, and two dogs (Mo'i and Lea) we roamed all over those mountains – never meeting a trail we couldn't take, and never feeling the least at risk.

But poor Siggy is now too old and decrepit to safely take us into the back-country any more.  With nearly 300,000 miles on it (with never a major repair!), the engine is now on its last legs.  Replacing the engine would be quite expensive, and the rest of the vehicle is worn as well.  Really the entire drive train should be replaced, and that just didn't seem practical.  So last week we researched all our options and chose a new ride: a 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser, bright orange and white.  This time we're not going to keep it a stock vehicle – we bought a very basic model (just the off-roading package) and we're going to add aftermarket gear to make it a really capable and safe off-road vehicle.

I drove Siggy to the dealer (in El Cajon) to meet its fate as a trade-in.  It was a sad drive; Siggy is just chock full of wonderful memories for us.  I shed a few tears, and at one point almost turned around to take it back home.  But what would we do with an old, beat-up LandCruiser?  In the end, I decided I'd hope that somebody on a tight budget would buy Siggy and fix it all up in a labor of love.  I hope that's what happens, anyway...

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