Toyota no longer sells the wonderfully-named Hilux in the U.S., and when they did, it was nothing like today’s Nice Price or No Dice custom. Let’s see if this Chevy-powered beast can command its modern asking price.
Being called simple is usually an insult. When it comes to conning people, having them be rubes is an asset. That’s also the case when applied to a car such as yesterday’s 1997 Subaru Legacy wagon, as simple implies there’s little to go wrong. That was an attribute proved by the Subaru’s nearly 300,000-mile life to date. At $2,500, the price was pretty simple too, and it wasn’t all that hard for the car to earn a 68 percent Nice Price win.
I don’t know about you, but I really think Toyota should have kept the Hilux nameplate for the small pickup truck it sells here in the U.S. I mean, Tacoma is nice and all — no offense, Washingtonians — but Hilux is a lot more fun sounding.
This 1977 Toyota truck is called a Hilux in its ad, although I think Toyota had dropped that name by that model year, preferring to go with the more generic “Truck” name for its mini pickup. The movie Repo Man had a good gag along these lines where Emilio Estevez’s character would be seen eat out of cans labeled “Food.”
This tuck is far from plain-wrap, however. In fact, there are all kinds of unique and interesting things going on here. First off there’s that oddly stretched cabin and bolt-on fenders. The latter of those add-ons imply but then fail to fulfill on a dually-tire backend. Then there’s the fact that the Toyota’s stalwart 22R four-cylinder has been given the heave-ho to make room for a 5.7 liter Chevy V8 and its wingman an automatic transmission.
The add-a-cab bodywork is probably from a long-gone company called Fabco and is attached to the open-back of the cab basically doubling the interior space. That space offers room for a pair of high-back buckets, at least for those dexterous enough to get back there. This was all slapped on a frame that was extended, limo-style, giving the small truck an awkward but utilitarian appearance.
Not much info is provided in the ad as to the engine and transmission, other than to note that the combo has been certified by California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), allowing it to be smog exempt in the state. According to the ad, the truck “Runs and Drives Strong and Fast” and with a honkin’ big V8 up front and an empty bed over the driving wheels, I’ll bet it’s also entertaining as heck to drive when things get slippery. Maybe a couple of bags of concrete in the back would be a good addition?
The bodywork is reasonably clean save for the pinched part of the nose which looks like it got punched. All four tires are oversized for the truck, but the rears are comically so, riding on wheels so deep dished they might as well be used to make what Chicagoans think passes for pizza.
Inside, things are a little worn and torn, with some splitting in the textured vinyl of the driver’s seat and a creepy cover on the steering wheel. The tiny floor-mounted shifter doesn’t call itself out, preferring instead to hide in the existing plastic console. If you can scramble into the rear area, things look a little better and the entire area is covered in the sort of diamond-pattern material that kit car builders once seemed to love.
The truck’s mileage is given as 10,000, but even that’s not explained in the ad. The seller does note that the title is clean and pegs the truck’s condition as “good.” The ad also offers up a price tag of $6,000.
Ok, that’s a lot to unpack, and probably raises even more questions than are answered by the ad. Still, we need to wrap this bad boy up — it’s almost the weekend after all. What’s your take on this extended-cab V8 Hilux and that $6,000 price? Does that seem like a deal? Or, is that price just as odd as the truck?
H/T to Don R. for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.