Some of the cars you find on auction site Bring a Trailer are prime examples of their breeds — low-mileage garage queens, spotless speed machines, and so on. (Indeed, the online automotive auction house has even started its own sub-section dedicated to the fanciest rides on the site.)
Then there are cars like this 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser.
At first glance, you might think you actually need to bring a trailer when you pick this bad boy up, given the busy, dusty state of the rig in these overexposed images. But not only does the Land Cruiser pictured here run, it’s been heavily modified over the last two decades to turn it into an outstanding overlander.
While the truck has been with the seller for 20 years and logged 180,000 miles in that time, the 350-cubic-inch Ram Jet V8 under the hood is much newer; it’s a crate motor installed in lieu of the stock inline-six about 55,000 miles back. (It’s connected to a snorkel, in case you need to briefly turn this Land Cruiser into a Water Cruiser.) That’s connected to a five-speed manual gearbox bought new 65,000 miles ago, which in turn connects to all four wheels through a rebuilt rear axle with Lockrite locker and a twin-stick transfer case. Heavy duty Old Man Emu springs help optimize the ride for off-road use, while Boss airbags, a sway bar and two extra leaf springs give the rear end extra capability. 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires sit mounted on black wagon wheels, with a spare mounted in back and a second spare on the roof basket.
That roof basket also holds six NATO fuel cans to supplement the 40-gallon gas tank, as well as an awning to provide a little shade when stopped. 360-degree flood lamps up there supplement the Hella H4 headlamps and PIAA driving lights mounted up front. Steel bumpers and rock rails provide no-frills protection against errant boulder attacks.
Inside, the second row of seats has been yanked to make room for storage, with the cargo bay featuring custom drawers and a WagonGear storage system built into the tailgate. Dual batteries are supplemented with a 100-watt solar panel setup. And because even overlanders crawling through remote terrain need a little Baba Booey in their lives, there’s a satellite radio receiver in addition to the weather band and CB radios and 100-watt siren.
The best part? With 305,000 indicated miles on it and an appearance that, let’s face it, places function over form, this Land Crusher seems primed to move at a low price. As of this writing, with three days left on the auction, the high bid currently sits at just $5,700. Considering the capability baked into this Toyota, it’ll still be a bargain if it winds up selling for twice that. In fact, we might just pop a bid on it ourselves.