Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.
Finding a used off-roader in good condition is damn near impossible because, well, people take them off-road and live their best life. And forget finding a used off-roader in pristine condition — now you’re talking about vehicles nearing unicorn-status. In some cases these cars were babied and garaged, in others, they recently underwent extensive refurbishments and rebuilds, but here are a couple of incredibly pristine off-roaders you’ll want in your garage.
1993 Toyota 4×4 Pickup
Location: Lomita, California
What we like: Toyota has made rock solid pickup trucks the world over for decades and this one is no different. This particular Toyota might have seen a few more miles than the other trucks on this list, but I would bet it’s good for another 132,000 miles, at least.
From the seller: “The truck is said to have been parked in a garage while its owner served full-time in the military for the 10 years prior to the seller’s acquisition three months ago. It is now offered with a handful of records, a Carfax report, and a clean California title.”
What to look out for: At 132,000 miles, this Toyota 4×4 is easily considered a ‘higher mileage vehicle.’ And with that the case, these older Toyota Pickups tend to leak power steering fluid and have faulty engine temperature sensors. Other than that, these workhorses are known to be built like tanks.
1997 Land Rover Defender 90
Location: Durango, Colorado
What we like: Price tags on old Defenders can seem too high at times, but this one is in incredible condition for its age and mileage count. Not to mention it has a few of the bells and whistles you’d want like a roof rack, rock sliders and a highlift jack.
From the seller: “This 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 is a two-owner factory station wagon that was purchased by the seller out of Oklahoma 16 years ago and used as a daily driver for five years before becoming a weekend adventure vehicle.”
What to look out for: If you come across one of these mid- to late-’90s Defenders, make sure to inspect the ground at the front of the truck and keep an eye out for oil spots and leakage. The crankshaft seal was known to need replacing on 1994, 1995 and 1997 Defenders.
1975 Ford Bronco Denver Broncos Edition
Location: South Bend, Indiana
What we like: This Bronco is definitely the ideal car for a niche crowd (particularly in the greater Dever area), but there is no denying how clean this old 4×4 looks. If you’re not a Denver Broncos fan, take of the tire cover and you’ll have a sweet tri-toned vintage Bronco.
From the seller: “Work included rebuilding the 302ci V8 and C4 automatic transmission with a mild cam, four-barrel carburetor, and heavy-duty shift kit. New upholstery was fitted and a repaint was performed in the original tri-tone shade following the installation of new fenders. Approximately 600 miles have been added by the current owner during his two years of ownership, and this Bronco is now being offered on dealer consignment with a clear Indiana title.”
What to look out for: The differential, clutch and sometimes the exhaust system were known to be problem areas on these old Broncos, but seeing as this particular example received a full refurbishment, they shouldn’t be issues.
1979 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
What we like: Fully refurbished FJs can reach rediculous price points, but with the amount of time left on the auction, it looks like this might end up being a deal. However, don’t be surprised if the bids start to jump up in bigger increments — the frame-off restoration essentially means this is a brand new FJ40.
From the seller: “This 1979 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 is a US-spec example that has undergone a body-off refurbishment during the seller’s two years of ownership. The refurbishment was completed in early 2018 and included a bare-metal repaint in original red, a refinished interior, fresh lighting, Old Man Emu suspension, overhauled brakes and new or reconditioned hardware throughout.”
What to look out for: The FJ shown was extensively refurbished and overhauled so it’s basically brand-new but historically, though, the front axle seals are prone to leaking.
1978 Jeep CJ5 Golden Eagle Levi’s Edition
Mileage: 63,198 TMU
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
What we like: Finding Jeeps of this vintage in a condition this good is incredibly rare. CJ5s don’t age very well mechanically, so to see Golden Eagle Levi’s Edition looking this great is spectacular.
From the seller: “First produced as a low-production special edition in 1977 but proved to be so popular that it was offered through 1980. The package featured Golden Eagle lettering on the sides of the hood, a large eagle decal on the top of the hood, over-sized tires, and a decor and convenience group. This example is finished in a dark brown with a tan soft top and matching Levi’s interior, and the truck has been lightly modified with a Rough Country lift and 33-inch tires. The 304ci AMC V8 is backed by a manual transmission, and a service is being performed in preparation for the auction. ”
What to look out for: Old Jeeps from the ’70s aren’t built like the tanks they seem to be. This particular example was well taken care of, but CJ5s come with a long list of things to look out for.