The Truth About Cars » Toyota Land Cruiser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 20 Apr 2014 03:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Toyota Land Cruiser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Derek’s Grey Market Fantasy Garage http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/dereks-grey-market-fantasy-garage/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/dereks-grey-market-fantasy-garage/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 20:55:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=490695 2012-Mercedes-C63-AMG-01

In my rant about the Holden Ute, I qualified my cynicism with a caveat; my tastes are not representative of the broader market, or what makes good business sense for an auto maker. Some of you suggested that I should start injecting more of my own opinions/enthusiasm into these sorts of articles. I am reluctant to mix business with my own automotive fantasyland (after all, everyone with access to a keyboard does just that that), but this post isn’t supposed to be informative or insightful, just pure fun. I am limiting myself to new cars on sale outside the United States and Canada, as there are far too many used cars out there that I’d love to own.

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Daily Driver – Holden Calais V:

Why the lesser known Calais V over the more popular, sporting Commodore SS or HSV models, both of which are available with a 6-speed manual? Simple. I don’t want to drive a car that looks like it’s been painted with Freezies and black magic markers. Since this is my fantasy garage, I have plenty of other opportunities for belligerently loud sports cars with bowel-jarring ride quality and performance envelopes far beyond my capabilities.

The Calais still has a 6.0L small block V8, but it’s not embarrassing to pull up to a valet stand in one (unlike a new HSV Commodore. Glossy black wheels are for drug dealers and pimps). I imagine it’s totally isolating from the road but still has reasonable handling dynamics – what a Panther should be – and the 6.0L V8, even in neutered automatic trim, can probably lay waste to whatever crappy 500-treadwear all-season tires it comes on. GM, please, this should be the new Buick Park Avenue. Unlike the Ute, it will sell.

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Euro Hot Hatch – Renaultsport Megane 265:

Ok, I lied. The Holden would be my daily driver for any trip that involved the highway, or taking an impromptu blast to Montreal to go get a smoked meat sandwich for lunch. But this is what I’d drive around town to do my errands. I was always captivated by photos in Evo magazine of the diminutive Clio 182 cup lifting its inside wheel somewhere in Wales, coming dangerously close to the rear bumper of whatever supercar they decided was worthy of their hilariously hyperbolic prose. Most of what you read in British magazines is complete fantasy, whether it’s declaring the Jaguar X-Type a “genuine 3-Series rival” or talking about their driving heroics. But I’ve been assured by none other than Jack Baruth that this latest Megane 265 is one of the best cars - in the wuuurrrlld.  Make mine GT3 RS green (yes, I know that’s a Clio).

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Authentic Off-Roader – Toyota Land Cruiser 70:

The Land Rover Defender might get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to grey market SUVs, but I am much more intrigued by the idea of buying a brand new version of a decades old Land Cruiser. Toyota Australia will still sell you one of these, in three-door, five-door and pickup truck configurations. I really have no use for a body-on-frame work truck like this, but neither does anybody who buys a Ford SVT Raptor. The Troop Carrier GXL is my pick, since it looks like it’s just one Ma Deuce away from being put into service by bloodthristy janjaweed.

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Wagon of Choice – Mercedes C63 AMG:

This was a tough choice. The Audi RS4 and RS6 have all-wheel drive, which means four-season shenanigans for this Canadian. But the C63 won out in the end. I prefer the purity of the naturally aspirated V8, even if it is a little slower on paper. Since I have a thing for Q-Cars, mine would be painted in the most banal shade of tan and fully debadged. Of course, I’d fit the Performance Pack and a Tubi exhaust, just to scare the hell out of the yappy little bichon frises tied up outside my local espresso bar when I stopped in for my morning cup.

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Death Warrant – Caterham Seven CSR260: 

Jack had a bad experience with his Caterham, but I’m undeterred. If the 260 horsepower Duratec doesn’t kill me, then I’m bound to be maimed by a distracted parent in a Sequoia trying to silence their insolent children while reaching for their third Ativan. Better go draft my will…

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Picked Clean: 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser Skeletonized By Junkyard Vultures http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/picked-clean-1971-toyota-land-cruiser-skeletonized-by-junkyard-vultures/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/picked-clean-1971-toyota-land-cruiser-skeletonized-by-junkyard-vultures/#comments Sun, 12 Aug 2012 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=456368 Toyota Land Cruisers don’t last long in self-service wrecking yards, as we saw with this ’85 earlier in the summer. When I saw this ’71 FJ40 a few weeks later, I could see the scavengers circling overhead. Now look at it!
All the easy-and-valuable goodies had been grabbed during the several days between being placed on the yard and my first series of photographs, but I knew that some portable-Sawzall-armed customer would want the sheet metal.
Sure enough, that’s what happened.
The Chevy-based six in these trucks is pretty hard to kill and good-running examples are plentiful, so I’m guessing this engine will go to The Crusher with whatever fragments remain of the truck.

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Junkyard Find: 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1971-toyota-land-cruiser/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1971-toyota-land-cruiser/#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2012 13:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450085 While the regular junkyard visitor might run across the occasional FJ60 Land Cruiser in a cheap self-service yard, especially here in 4WD-centric Colorado, there are some Toyota trucks you just don’t see in such junkyards. One is the 4Runner (I’ve found exactly one so far) and another is the FJ40 Land Cruiser. But wait— look what I just found!
I shot this truck in the yard’s “not ready for customers to be pickin’ parts off yet” lot a couple of months back, and I assumed that it would be sold as a unit to a Toyota-specialist yard or collector instead of getting put out among the ’93 Tercels and Daewoo Lanoses. It looked pretty rough, but still had plenty of good stuff.
By the time I found it in the yard, it had been picked over pretty well.
Still, there’s always something worth pulling if you’re restoring a much-sought-after FJ40.
Like the glovebox door, for example, or what Land Cruiser folks call “the pocket.”

Holds seven in foam-seat comfort!

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1985-toyota-land-cruiser/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1985-toyota-land-cruiser/#comments Thu, 10 May 2012 13:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=443683 The Land Cruiser is one of those vehicles that washes up in self-service junkyards only after its body and interior become so thrashed that even bottom-feeder truck shoppers can’t stand the idea of being seen in the thing. Contrast this with the legions of great-looking 1980s Jaguars you’ll find in the very same yards.
Here in Colorado, FJ60s are still all over the streets, being used as suburban family transportation, work trucks, and (very thirsty) daily drivers. Not quite as luxurious as modern SUVs, but simple and durable. Actually, they were pretty luxurious trucks for their time, but the bouncy suspension, cabin noise, and dearth of cupholders seem very dated today.
This much-abused example didn’t quite make 200,000 miles. The interior didn’t smell so good, which was probably the final straw for its last owner.
The Toyota F engine was pure truck, though supposedly the Toyota Crown Police Interceptor (not what they called it, but they should have) got the F. Lots of torque, lots of noise.
This isn’t a great loss to the world, since most of the FJ60s built are still above ground, but it’s a shame to see one of these sturdy machines get used up like a salvage-title Geo Tracker.

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/junkyard-find-1989-toyota-land-cruiser/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/junkyard-find-1989-toyota-land-cruiser/#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2011 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=404545
Well, here’s a truck you almost never see in junkyards. In Colorado, FJ60/62s have been considered sufficiently desirable that even beat ones mostly get snapped up at pre-Crusher auctions. Perhaps that’s all changing now, what with gas prices knocking down the prices of newer, more modern/less “truck-y” SUVs.

This one’s a bit battered, but it appears to be free of the tooth marks of the Rust Monster.

The good old pushrod F engine! This would make an interesting swap into, say, a mid-70s Corona wagon… but that will never happen. Next stop, Chinese steel smelter.

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Snorkel-ized, RHD Diesel Land Cruiser Laughs At Denver Winter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/snorkel-ized-rhd-diesel-land-cruiser-laughs-at-denver-winter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/snorkel-ized-rhd-diesel-land-cruiser-laughs-at-denver-winter/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 19:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=380374
In my first Denver winter after a driving lifetime in coastal California, I’m now experiencing my first real taste of driving in snow. My ’92 Civic is doing pretty well (i.e., I haven’t crashed or become stuck yet), but I’m starting to eyeball Craigslist listings for IHC Scouts and FJ40 Land Cruisers. After spotting this Toyota in my neighborhood, I may have to forget about the Scouts.

I know better than to attempt to specify an exact model year on one of these things, especially when it’s an visitor from some far-off land where drivers sit on the right and engines drink oil. Let’s say early 1980s and leave it at that.

Australia? Japan? The UK? Land Cruiser experts, what do you say?

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