Junkyard Find: 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser

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.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle

Ah, the Malaise Era. By the late 1970s, AMC was on the ropes. The Jeep Cherokee still sold well, however, and the brains in Kenosha decided they’d go for the Acapulco Gold-smoking generation and throw a few square yards of decals on the truck. Golden Eagle!

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New or Used: The Right Combination of Stupidity and Bravery
Marcus writes:My wife has requested that I get a jeep type vehicle that we can use to do some light off road driving, i.e. she wants to drive on the beach. I see this as an opportunity to buy a fun 4×4. I would like to take it off road a bit and try to get it stuck. My requirements are that it be a 4×4, cost $15000 or less and can support a winch. It does not need to be a daily driver, and manual is OK, but automatic is slightly preferred. Finally, I am not looking to buy myself a job as a mechanic.
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New or Used: The CamCord of SUVs?

Josh writes:

I’m currently in the market for a 2005 or 2006 Chevy Tahoe Z71 and was wondering about when would be the best time to buy. Before you question the Tahoe, I’m probably one of the only people who can justify one. I live in Colorado and spend almost every weekend in the mountains hauling people and their gear up 4wd trails and snowy roads to trail heads and sleeping in the back.

I figure that given gas prices going up, this summer would probably see the values drop off. I like to do the opposite of everyone else who will be buying fuel efficient vehicles. But then I read an article by Steve that said the used car market is going to be getting worse. I’ve see prices go down some over the last 6 months (been watching the market), but not by much. So does this summer sound good, should I buy now, or wait for the future?

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Subaru GL Wagon

You didn’t start seeing Subarus in large numbers in North America until the third-gen Leone showed up. Even so, most of these quarter-century-old veterans are gone now, even in regions they once dominated (e.g. New England, Colorado). I found this more-80s-than- Wang Chung example in a Denver self-service yard a few weeks back, and I had no choice but to document this soon-to-be-rare piece of Subaru history.

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Review: 700 Miles In A GMC Denali 2500 HD 4×4

The last few years have been a struggle for a lot of folks. Financial meltdowns. Millions of bankruptcies. Massive unemployment. Our ‘global’ economy continues to experience a maelstrom of wealth destruction that seems to make nearly everyone guard their money.

It’s been hell for most…. but guess what? In spite of it all you are among the few who have thrived. In fact you are laughing all the way to your nearest dealership.

So get your something nice! Let’s say the budget is up to $65,000. What would you buy for yourself? Would it be a lightly used Lexus with all the trimmings? A new BMW 5-Series? Maybe one of those VW Touaregs with the diesel engine and all the luxury trappings of a neo-Audi.

In my neck of the woods where the suburbs meets the ex-urbs, this question has only one suitable answer… a truck.

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Piston Slap: The Budget is Tight, the Ranger is Right?

Ryan writes:

I have a friend who just got her PhD and is moving to Texas for her post-doc. She has never owned a car, but now needs to get one so she can go out in the field to do research. I’ve agreed to help her find something used, probably a small manual-transmission pickup truck. Needless to say she’s not a car person at all, just wants something inexpensive (under 5k), that she won’t have to worry about too much. I’m recommending something after 96 or so, to get the R134A A/C and maybe a few more airbags and safety features.

I have owned a couple Nissans (Frontier and Rogue), and a Toyota Tacoma, and my brother owned a Nissan Frontier, all were mostly problem free. I also had a 91 Ford Explorer before that, which also gave me few problems up to 200k miles.

Given my experiences, I’ve been thinking Tacoma or Frontier for my friend, I think they will be more reliable at the high mileages she can afford. But looking in the local (Phoenix, AZ) Craigslist – By Owner section, I see that Tacomas are relatively more expensive, older Frontiers are cheaper but less common (many are also heavily modified), and there seem to be lots of less expensive Ford Rangers available.

Do you agree with the 96 or later idea? Or do you think something older could work? What about the Ranger’s reliability as opposed to the imports? Also, are there any other models with a proven track record she should consider? And finally, given that a 10+ year old truck with over 100k miles is going to need maintenance no matter what, what about parts availability and ease-of-maintenance between the brands?

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Land Rover Defends The Faith
Often times concept vehicles portray an already-decided future direction. Other times, concepts are built to suggest one possibility in an ongoing debate abo…
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What's Wrong With This Picture: A Panda For Every Purse And Purpose Edition

Meet the new Fiat Panda, which is set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The ur-Panda, nicknamed the “tolle kiste” (crazy/cool box) for its Giugiaro-designed looks and available Puch-designed 4×4 system, was built with only evolutionary changes from 1980 to 2003. Not a bad accomplishment for what was supposed to be a “peasant’s car.” The new (3rd Gen) Panda, based on the Fiat 500/Ford Ka platform, has an even tougher task ahead of it: not only must it pick up sales for Fiat in Europe, but it must also form the basis of Dodge and Jeep B-segment models, aimed at the US market. Is it up to the task?

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Review: 2011 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Hybrid

A couple months back, Cadillac gave me a bright red, three-ton, rollin’-on-22s, chrome-drenched, hybrid-electric, $88,140 luxury truck to drive while in Michigan for the Campaign To Prevent Gingervitis 24 Hours of LeMons. Since that time, the effort of attempting to write a meaningful review for this ridiculous-yet-amazing machine has caused my brain to develop a severe rod knock. Who is supposed to buy this thing? I asked myself. What can you do with it?

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Junkyard Find: Parade of Doomed Eagles Continues

With the AMC Eagle being such a historically significant car, let’s hope at least a few of them survive the next decade. We saw this brown ’85 Eagle wagon last week, and this black ’84 wagon will join it in a Fujian steel plant soon enough.

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Junkyard Find: 1984 AMC Eagle

How many Eagles did AMC sell? According to the Standard Catalog, 24,535 Eagles rolled out of AMC showrooms in 1984… and I betcha that 20,000 of them were sold in Colorado. You still see plenty of Eagles on the street here in Denver (I can think of a half-dozen within a few blocks of my house), but you also see plenty of AMC’s before-its-time all-wheel-driver in Denver junkyards.

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Junkyard Find: 1970 IHC Scout

While the large numbers of Scouts on the extremely urban and snow-free Island That Time Forgot never made sense to me, it’s no surprise that the tough little International Harvester trucks still roam Colorado in large numbers. Still, with so many Scouts, some are going to end up facing The Crusher, and that’s what’s happened to this battered ’70.

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What's Wrong With This Picture: Jeep Finds Its Moral Compass (By Accident?) Edition
When we first heard that the updated Jeep Compass would be “Trail Rated,” a number of commenters pointed out that the term “Trail Rated&rdq…
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So Many Eagles In Colorado, But Not All Can Fend Off The Subaru Hordes

Yes, there’s a place where you’ll see AMC Eagles on a regular basis; there are several parked on the street in my Denver neighborhood, and you see even more when you go into the mountains. Even the ahead-of-its-time Eagle can’t last forever, however, and this one has begun its journey back to the steel mill.

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  • Jeffro As I sit here this morning with my 2 day old TRD OFF ROAD 4RUNNER tucked safely away in the garage, my head spins with this weird desire to locate a 85 LTD equipped with the epic 😵‍💫2.3 and the FOUR ON THE FLOOR. THE HOLY GRAIL. Ying and yang baby!The search begins.
  • ToolGuy 404 error on the product link. Which probably isn't terrific marketing on TTAC's part. https://thinkwarestore.com/product/f200-pro-ca
  • ToolGuy Second picture: Do you like pegboard storage? (I don't.)
  • ToolGuy "WHAT???"(old 'I was in the artillery' joke)
  • ToolGuy Oh and this.