With the unofficial start to summer now behind us, it’s time to start embracing the flood of Vitamin D-providing sunlight raining down from the sky by taking advantage of the prospect of escaping to the great outdoors every chance available. And this restored ex-military 1992 Toyota Bandeirante Land Cruiser over on Bring a Trailer might be the perfect tool for this summertime job. If nothing else, this drop-dead gorgeous droptop will make you forget all about that brand-new pickup Jeep just rolled out. (What was it called again? The Spartan?)
The Brazilian-built Bandeirante OJ55 Land Cruisers aren’t exactly a purist’s dream, but this particular example, which was recently imported and given a frame-off restoration, is worthy of praise nonetheless. Although the OJ55 models were nearly identical to the Japanese-built BJ40 pickups, there is one slight difference Land Cruiser enthusiasts might take issue with: the Bandeirante version came packing a Mercedes-Benz 3.8-liter diesel inline-four, instead of Toyota’s 3.7-liter direct injection diesel inline four engine.
But if you can get over the fact a German engine resides in a Land Cruiser, or if you’re just more of a fastidious-fit-and-finish fan than a purist, the rest of this restoration is the stuff of dreams. The entire truck was stripped down to the metal, then repainted in a deep Highway Green Pearl that some say it’s the greatest car color of all time. That’s accented with a tan Haartz canvas soft top and doors, and complimented beautifully with a tan vinyl interior.
As for the work you can’t see at first glance, the Mercedes-Benz powerplant received a grocery list of new parts during the overhaul, such as new hoses, wires, filters, a rear main seal and clean injectors. The transfer case, transmission and differentials were all serviced as well. As for modern touches, industry-standard BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires wrap around steel hubs at all for corners and upgraded brakes are accompanied by a fresh new set of suspension bushings.
Ex-military vehicles usually have had a rough life and seen a lot of hard miles, so finding an example like this Bandeirante –refurbished or not — in such immaculate condition is a sight to behold. It’s currently going for $16,500 with only a day left on the sale. Even if it only increases a few thousand more dollars, it’ll still be significantly more affordable than the Jeep…I wanna say Legionnaire?
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