Monday, June 30, 2014

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:

Update 11/6/14 -- Car has been sold! 


  1. Yep, in California, '75 = :)
    '76 = :(

  2. With the prices of everything else seeming insane the little trucks of the 1970s are looking good. There is a perfect ford courier where I live, light blue, lowered and whitewalls. The guy looks like he really enjoys it. I sticking to my belief that some of the most fun car are not expensive.

  3. Kermit looks pretty good for $2200

  4. Seriously - agreed to all comments. Some of the most fun I've had in a car was in my 1966 Beetle which my dad bought for $600 from family friends. The $1200 Civic EG hatchback was a hoot as well, and every Lemons car I've owned/driven of course.

    If I had a few spots in the driveway I'd have called Dario by now. It would be a fun little DD even with the original 20R wheezer.

  5. Wow! My Old Truck! I sold this to Dario .. Small World due to the internet. I have more HiLux's !

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Replies
    1. I spoke with Dario after seeing this article .. The truck is SOLD

    2. Thanks for the update Carl, I added a note saying it was sold.

  8. Where can I find these "Side-Mirrors"?

    1. The mirrors were on the truck at the time of purchase from the original owner .. My guess is they were dealer add-ons at
      the time of purchase in '76 .. My email is listed above .. I can put a search out for a set if you would like..


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