This American Toyota Hilux is a $75k slice of retro off-road awesomeness
Search Driven for Toyota Hilux for sale
These days we like to consider the Toyota Hilux as a delicassy unique to this part of the world. But, there was a time when it was available as far afield as the United States.
The '70s and '80s were a largely experimental time for utes and SUVs, as car brands slowly stumbled upon the SUV craze. At the height of this phase, Toyota sold the Trekker — a ute that would end up as a template for the Hilux Surf/4Runner at the end of the decade.
From the outside it looked like a standard single-cab ute with a body-coloured rear canopy, but inside it was fully furnished with a fold away rear bench seat, wonderfuly '80s lush carpet, and an upholstered rear bed.
And one of the best surviving examples in America is now for sale.
Listed by Vanguard Motor Sales in Michigan, this bright yellow Trekker has just 28,439 miles (45,768km) on the clock. It's spotless, from the brown and tan interior vinyl and carpet, to the straight bodywork, to the intricate chrome, to even the chassis underneath.
Power comes from Toyota's 72kW 22R 2.4-litre inline four, paired with a 5-speed manual. It's four-wheel drive too, ensuring that the rugged appearance is more than just skin deep. And mint Cooper Discoverer rubber will keep you stuck to the road.
"Power is put to the pavement through a Toyota 8'' Rear End with an Open Differential out back and a Toyota 8'' Front Axle with Manual Locking Hubs up front. This Trekker is an absolute joy to drive and there's room in the back for all of your car show essentials," says the seller.
As the prices of four-wheeled Japanese nostalgia from the '80s and '90s continues to rise (for more evidence, look no further than the Honda Civic Si we featured just yesterday), pick-ups and off-roaders like this one are following suit. Indeed, it's a grand statement to see a vehicle like this one now featuring at an America-specialist 'Motor City' establishment like Vanguard.
The firm currently has two Toyota off-roaders in stock; a higher mileage pick-up and this Trekka. It's priced at US$49,900 (NZ$76,811), making it almost exactly $20,000 more expensive than a flagship 2020 Hilux.