10k: Dropped for Duty: 1971 Toyota Hilux Custom

Daily Turismo is usually focused on cheap, fast thrills from under-appreciated classics, thoroughly depreciated modern performance machines, and “other” cool vintage rides that haven’t breached the $20k value mark yet. The original Toyota Hilux pickup is certainly in the latter category, offered for 26 dependable value-filled model years in the US (from 1969 – 1995). The first generation Hilux is a fairly rare sight these days and was a bare-bones compact akin to the Datsun 520, but if you can find one you get a half ton of vintage J-Tin motoring style in a tiny package for pennies on the dollar. Even rarer than a standard early Hilux is one modified in the mini truck style with hydraulics and huge wheels. This editor spied this particular truck in person at the 2010 SEMA show in Las Vegas, and while it may not be the average DT fan’s cup of tea it is very well built and exudes a presence all its own. Find this 1971 Hilux lowrider/hot rod on ebay for $10k Buy it Now or make offer, in Arlington, TX (Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter not included).

This Hilux still rolls with most of its original paint, in a low key but attractive shade of beige. The military themed stencils were recently applied by the current owner / builder after the patinated paint was buffed back to life. Other than the 17″ Centerline Boulevard wheels which look absolutely gigantic on a truck of this scale, it is basically stock cosmetically and retains a simple interior with a vinyl bench seat, plastic steering wheel and rubber floor mat. There are some aircraft themed custom door panels that add some visual interest and look well made, with rolled beads and dimple-die lightening holes.

The major custom work was under the skin, consisting of the hydraulic suspension system. Apparently this truck has a “custom bridge, 12-inch cylinders on powerballs with accumulators…two pumps with a shared plexi whammy tank…dumps, slowdowns, and all other plumbing hidden under bed.” We don’t pretend to know much about fluid-sprung suspensions so we will just say that this must be what it sounds like to our wives when we talk about turbos, mean piston velocities and lift-throttle oversteer. The custom fabrication work does look top notch and we wonder how smooth the ride can be in an unladen pickup with a lot of unsprung mass and no shock absorbers, although the seller claims a “great ride at any height.”

This pickup won’t be doing much hauling anymore with a giant hole cut in the center of the bed floor, but we like the custom military themed toolboxes hiding the batteries and the olive drab jerry can. No pictures of the engine are provided but apparently it runs the original 1.9 liter, 108hp 8R-C inline four with a 20R head, custom exhaust, a 4-speed manual trans and 3.77 gears in the rear end.

Overall this truck really “works” as a whole and should be a cool, unique way to cruise around the local enthusiast scene. It should be able to draw crowds at any hot rod, lowrider, Japanese car or mini truck shows.

The “Gudlux” Hilux was also featured in Mini Truckin’ magazine in January 2010. This pickup is another great example of letting the previous owner spend more money than the car is worth, instead of going “into the red” building a project vehicle yourself. What would you do with a juiced-down pickup like this…mow your neighbor’s field or scrape the Botts dots off of highways?

Find a cooler mini-‘yota? Email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com