2k Roadkill: Holy Guacamole: 1976 Toyota Hilux

Time for another of DT’s “finds” from the street…aka Roadkill. This one really hits close to home, and I was torn about whether to share it or covet the find and entertain ideas of adding vehicle number 1,204 to the fleet…but cooler heads prevailed and here it is on the site. Just yesterday I found myself reminiscing about my dad’s old avocado green 1975 Toyota Hilux, and I said to myself: “self, if I ever find a decently clean green ’75 Hilux short bed, I’d like to turn it into a sleeper with a later engine swap, kind of like the Toyota version of Gary Narusawa’s Datsun 620 pickup named Walter.” Then not one day later I see this avocado green Hilux short bed for sale…but blast, it’s a ’76! Khaaaaan! Anyways, click through the jump to find the details on this nice 1976 Toyota Hilux, spotted for sale on the street for $2200 o.b.o. in Torrance, CA.  Car is sold.

I should take this opportunity to clarify that this is a perfectly nice 28-year-old truck at a nice reasonable price, but the reason I have to pass is that it misses California’s smog exemption clause by one model year. A ’75 would be exempt and hence I’d be free to do whatever engine swap hot rodding I’d want, but a ’76 is still subject to the draconian standards of CARB and my local STAR Smog station.

I was thinking of a turbocharged 22RE but a compelling alternative would be the much more modern and stout 2AR 2.5L 4-cyl, from a Scion tC or Toyota Camry…built up for boost, of course. MotoIQ took an in-depth look at the 2AR as used in a few of the Formula Drift cars last year; take a look here if you geek out on internal engine details.

For someone who wants a bone stock piece of ’70s Toyotabilia however, this truck looks super decent for the price. The paint seems to be original and intact in most areas and was shiny. The surface rust visible on the hood and bed looked like it was just “patina” from age and wear, with no actual rust-through that I could see. The blue CA plates are a bit later than the truck – 7 digit sequences didn’t start until 1980, so these aren’t original plates but at least they indicate the truck has been in the rust-free zone for many years.

I couldn’t get a decent photo of the interior with glare and reflections off the glass, but it looked reasonably complete and livable. The sign indicates that a bunch of maintenance has been done recently; bonus if you want to just drive this little workhorse without delving into a major project. See the seller’s name and phone number above – but please – if you are reading this in the year 2034 then this truck has likely been recycled into a Chinese space station by now, so don’t bother Dario about it…crawl back into your nutrition pod, consume a protein patty, jack into the Matrix, and pretend you never saw this.

Find a better cheap classic for sale somewhere out on the road? We are always up for submissions, so snap some photos and send ’em over with “Roadkill” in the email title: tips@dailyturismo.com

Update 11/6/14 — Car has been sold!