Toyota has gained respect for the rock solid durability, and rock-climbing capability of its evergreen Land Cruiser models, while Tonka is beloved for its toy trucks with oversized wheels. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe grocery-getter asks, what if you combined the two?
There's a difference between kit car and component car - the former potentially being something baling-wired together by a guy named Jethro, resulting in a driving experience akin a wedding reception at the Waffle House, while the latter is more a way for a small manufacturer to get around the gauntlet of safety regulations thrown up to impede their success. Yesterday's Noble M12 GTO 3R represented what could be accomplished in the component car arena, and with a 68% Nice Price win, it seemed that one component to its success was its being relatively cheap.
Today's contender lacks that sports car's performance creds, but when the snow zombies attack, this massively tired 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser might just keep you from becoming brain tar tare for the walking undead.
The Land Cruiser's lineage goes back to the second world war, when Toyota was conscripted to design a light duty military vehicle, based upon a captured Allied Bantam GP. That Jeep must have broken under torture, because it gave up more than just its name, rank, and VIN number, but thankfully its clone wasn't enough to help Japan win the war.
Flash forward to the ‘50s when Toyota's next edition rolled out with the giggle-inducing name of BJ, and vied with the U.S. Jeep and British Land Rover for agrarian hearts and minds. At some point over the next half century, the Land Cruiser morphed from basic to baroque, and by the time today's '92 rolled out of Toyota City, it had gained nearly every luxury accoutrement you would have expected, while giving up little of its off-roadability. An important criteria of that capability are a vehicle's approach and departure angles, which determine how steep an angle the truck can initially access, and is defined by body overhang and height. This Land Cruiser ameliorates any issue the five-door body may have had at one time regarding this by having been fitted with nearly 40" tires and a 3" lift. That means getting in might require a ladder, and once ensconced in its cabin nose bleeds might ensue, but still it keeps you above the riff-raff, especially the ones that want to eat your brains. Your delicious brains.
Making sure you have the power to ford a stream of posthumous humanity, the '92 Cruiser sports a 155-bhp 4-litre straight six, which is backed up by an Asin 4-speed automatic and full-time four wheel drive system. This one has 166K on its very high-up clock, but being a ‘90s Toyota, that barely classifies it as a teenager- which would also explain its somewhat awkward proportions. The seller claims the gearbox was rebuilt 2K ago, and that the truck is overall in sound mechanical shape. Additionally he says the A/C is cold, and the heat is hot, and that the Mickey Thompson (R.I.P.) 39.5 x 18.5 tires on 15 x14 steel wheels are brand new. Inside - as I noted, these aren't as spartan as Cruisers past - there's leather and a TV screen stereo in the dash, as well as a sunroof to lob molotov cocktails out of, and power windows and seats so you won't have to feel you're roughing it will doing so. The driver's seat looks a little like it was gnawed upon and could use one of those Pep Boys faux sheepskins, but other than that, the insides have held up well.
Outside, the seller says the clear coat is going on one the flares, and that the valve cover gasket is equally failing. Why he couldn't fix that likely $40 issue before putting the truck up for sale will remain a mystery for the ages, but it's no mystery that the price he's asking, even with the leaky engine chapeau, is $9,500.
Considering that un-lifted and small-tired Land Cruisers of this era go for money as well, that price can't be so egregiously high so as to wake the dead, can it?
He doesn't say whether the speedo has been re-calibrated for the massive donuts, and if not, that could present a problem. You see, plowing into a crowd of the reanimated and peckish can require careful determination of your approach speed. Go too fast and the wipers won't be able to keep up with the tide of entrails spilling over the truck's hood, obscuring your vision and potentially causing you to crash into a gas station propane tank. Equally problematic is going too slow, because you'll bog down, tires spinning in futile attempt at purchase, engine revving as you floor the gas, until you come to a standstill. Soon disembodied zombie fingers will start falling from the air vents and crawling up your legs like evil leaches from the River Styx, one of which appears to have come from a zombie proctologist – ooh! While that may seem defensible, one of the undead will likely have a key that fits the door lock on the Land Cruiser- that just seeming to be the case with ‘80s and ‘90s Japanese cars - resulting in you getting dragged out, covered in BBQ sauce, and turned into zombie chow. Hopefully, you'll remember to cover your genitals!
That of course is a worse-case scenario.
And who knows, perhaps the zombie apocalypse is farther off than most people think, or the Westboro Church implies. Should that be the case, then you should consider this Land Cruiser on the merits of its ability to transport Icelanders to safety if there's ever another one of that island nation's volcanic sharts to flee. Or, just buy it as a way to tick-off the neighbors.
So, is $9,500 a price that would make this zombie survival Tonka your Toy-ota? Or, is it price just land cruisin' for a brusin'?
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