Journal: What’s Your Favorite Classic 4x4?

What’s Your Favorite Classic 4×4?

By Mauricio Cremer
April 10, 2015
64 comments

We at Petrolicious love our vintage European sports cars. We give you detailed content about racing heritage and company origins, as well as, introduce you to the owners of these beautiful machines. But—and here’s mine—what about classic 4x4s?

When I was a kid, maybe seven or eight years old, my father had a G.I. Joe-like 1943 Willys MB “Jeep”—tow rope around the bumper and everything. I remember looking at its knobby tires, its single-colored steel, and its open cockpit. I was hooked. That vehicle helped me appreciate and, later, love the idea of owning a classic 4×4. As I grew older, I discovered the Land Rover Series II, the International Scout, the original Ford Bronco, Jeep Wagoneers, Nissan Patrols—and who could forget the Toyota Landcruiser? These are good, honest, brokers of the road.

As an enthusiast, I love going fast as much as the next guy. I picture myself in a beautiful race car, flying down the track or on a picturesque windy road, but there’s something about climbing into the driver seat of a truck that makes you feel like you can go anywhere!

My current project is a 1989 Toyota FJ62 Landcruiser. I love this truck for many different reasons, but this will be a bridge to one I have always wanted: the 1973 FJ55 Landcruiser, otherwise known as the “Iron Pig”.

You know my favourites, so what’s your favorite off-roader?

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Alejandro de Mas
Alejandro de Mas
3 years ago

I just came into possession of a 1990 Ford F-150 with the 4.9 L straight-six and 5-speed manual, I love that vehicle and I have now become the third generation in my family to own it and I love it!

oldsoulwoodworks
oldsoulwoodworks
6 years ago

I love the classic race cars but have always had a soft spot for classic 4×4’s, I had a 1965 Falcon daily driver and a 1969 IH Scout 800A project when my wife and I found out our son was on the way. The Falcon wound up getting sold and funded more than half of my new “family” car, a crew cab F-150. I’ll have another racer one day but glad to have the scout still, vintage 4x4s are much cheaper to restore generally than cars….

Dannigirl
Dannigirl
5 years ago

Hi ,,what are the pigs worth these days in reasonable condition ,,cheers

Tim Morgan-Barrett
Tim Morgan-Barrett
6 years ago

I have a 1999 nissan patrol.. the 2.8 diesel one… its a proper tractor..
Corners like a supertanker, accelerates like a glacier, and will pull the arse out of the universe… excellent tow truck…

Enrique Fernandez
Enrique Fernandez
6 years ago

Suzuky G.V. in a oasis.

Enrique Fernandez
Enrique Fernandez
6 years ago

For me ,they are two: Cherokee 4.0 and Suzuky G.V.2.0 both, non AT .I do a long trip in Atacama desert (Chile) in diferent season and no have any problem.

Toomas Paasuke
Toomas Paasuke
6 years ago

Well here’s mine – GAZ69 ’67:

Christian Leyk
Christian Leyk
6 years ago

Definitely the Suzuki LJ80. Fell in love when I first saw the brochure probably around 1980 when it first appeared in Germany. My first car was a LJ80 and I’m currently rebuilding my second one.
Having said that, I do like the Land Cruiser FJs, the Jeep M38 and the Ford M151..

Avinda Dimitries Perera
Avinda Dimitries Perera
6 years ago

Good ole 78w JDM Prado.

Avinda Perera
Avinda Perera
6 years ago

Can’t attach anything, can’t edit comment, can’t delete. Please excuse the random comment. Nice 60 series you have there, These things look extremely tough even stock. …as for the comment, that is my daily drive a 1995 Land cruiser prado 78 . See how many comments this article has compared to the other great articles on this site! Goes to show how timeless and popular these Land Cruisers are. Amazing.

Pietro  Lo Fria
Pietro Lo Fria
7 years ago

Whoops….couldn’t attach

Pietro  Lo Fria
Pietro Lo Fria
7 years ago

Guys…I’m going with the Toyota Hilux…well…at least the one from Top Gear!

[url=”http://gearpatrol.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/arctic-trucks-hilux-red-top-gear-3.jpg”]Your text to link…[/url]

Taffy Sastrawiguna
Taffy Sastrawiguna
7 years ago

1991 Lamborghini LM002 Americana..
I think it is already a classic.
… and it is a 4×4 🙂

http://lambocars.com/off_road/lm002.html

Peter Bruschi
Peter Bruschi
7 years ago

This Bronco will never let us down! It’s been through it all and it just keeps going. My dad’s driven it since he was 12, been part of the family since ’66.

Samir Shirazi
Samir Shirazi
7 years ago

my first ride was a 78′ Golden eagle. I really dont know how to choose between that, G class and Range rover yet

RdS
RdS
7 years ago

I have a 1984 Toyota 4Runner – bought as a practical-yet-interesting car to carry things about when needed.
Its slow, yet basic (solid axles, leaf sprung, small 4cyl) – but was amazed how practical this type of car is to use. A carpeted ute with no rear bulkhead? extra seats in the back when needed? It’s a shame Toyota doesnt offer this configuration anymore..
It does it do everything I ever expected of it, with a ton of quirky 80’s style; and really is just so easy and relaxing to slowly cruise around in. I absolutely love it.

Adam Holter
Adam Holter
7 years ago

For me, there’s really only one vintage 4×4: jeep’s pre-AMC CJ5. The first vehicle I ever owned was a ’63 CJ, purchased during college to use on my farm. It had already had the piss beaten out of it be however many previous owners it had racked up, yet it always came back for more abuse. On the road it was a nightmare…I once had to drive almost 10 miles through some very hilly roads without brakes because I had torn a brake line on a stream crossing. Similarly, the steering was completely worn out and with 5.38 gears 55mph was just a dream. But, dang, when the ol’ bastard got off road…that’s when the old CJ came alive. It was magical! Only once did I get the thing stuck, such was its off-raising ability. The tires weren’t great, but the motor was plucky and the short wheelbase made it very tossable. When the body mounts rusted away completely, I cut off the back half of the body to make a flatbed. It was awesome as a little farm vehicle, but alas my dad blew up the motor one day while I was on a business trip, and so I had to sell it. For me, Willy was the be all and end all in vintage 4x4s…in hoping in the next few years to buy another!

Adam Holter
Adam Holter
7 years ago
Reply to  Adam Holter

Darn, pic didn’t work.

Peter
Peter
7 years ago

I’ve always liked the ’71 Broncos. Something like Parnelli Jones would use in Mexico.

Nick Nakorn
Nick Nakorn
7 years ago

As a hands-on environmentalist and confirmed petrol-head, I needed a capable, small 4×4 for work and to use as a family car. In the early 1990s I discovered the Subaru L-series. The L-series, or Leone as it’s called in other markets, was not all that common in the UK but farmers around my home town in Devon were keen on them. Over 20 years, I’ve had 4 of them – all cheap and second hand. When they rusted out I’d find another slightly better one until the day came when there were almost none left. My latest and last L-series is a 1991 model that was almost completely rusted out so major surgery was required. According to ‘How Many Left’ there are about a dozen UK spec L-series estates (wagons) left on UK roads so mine is now very rare indeed.

I’m undertaking a ‘running restoration’ as it’s my only car other than my project Nagara MG Midget.

With selectable four-wheel drive, high and low ratios, a locked centre diff and a very light kerb weight of only 1060 kg it is for me the perfect 4×4. I’m going to modify my spares car at some point too for some serious off-road potential.

For now, I’ll leave you with a snap of the Subaru as it is now.

Nick Nakorn
Nick Nakorn
7 years ago

Mauricio, I actually tried looking for one of those too in the 1990s but couldn’t find one. What I like about those 1980s and 1990s ‘soft-roaders’ is that they are actually more capable than Landrovers in slippery wet conditions and have a better turning circle. For work in woodlands and farmland, that’s more useful than big tyres and massive ground-clearance. With modern materials, I think a similar formula could be even better.

Dan Donohue
Dan Donohue
7 years ago

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for a nicely modified Jeep CJ-8 scrambler! Heck, if it was good enough for Ronald Reagan, it’s good enough for anybody!!

Bart Mulder
Bart Mulder
7 years ago

…. and when you’re stuck, I will come to help you out!

[b]my Niva. [/b]

Sandee Weiner
Sandee Weiner
7 years ago

It’s the G for me!

Christopher Burton
Christopher Burton
7 years ago

1. Land Rover Series III
2. Jeep CJ
3. Toyota FJ-40

J P
J P
7 years ago

Mauricio, what have you done so far to your 62?

J P
J P
7 years ago

Mauricio, how about some info on what you’ve done to this fine FJ62?

JB21
JB21
7 years ago

While I adore early Land Rovers, odd Jeeps here and there, and tempted by old Land Cruisers, my favorite 4×4 has got to be Lamborghini LM002. And call me shameless, I quite like like H1 Hummer just for being so ridiculous.

Otávio Tucunduva Mattana
Otávio Tucunduva Mattana
7 years ago

this one

Takudzwa Munyaradzi Maramba
Takudzwa Munyaradzi Maramba
7 years ago

Not really classics yet but the 1990s era Mercedes-Benz W463 G-Wagens are the coolest 4×4’s….in the world. Those and the Nissan GQ Patrols

antoni millson
antoni millson
7 years ago

the [b]toyota fj40 swb[/b].
you could drive it anywhere.
toyota’s best vehicle in my opinion, although relatively unsung next to the big-sellers such as the corolla, etc.

[b]landrovers[/b] always good + strong, but the fj40 was just more dynamic than it’s contemporary version of the landrover.

the old willy’s jeep was cool, parred down + purist. a classic amongst 4x4s.

one common characteristic amongst these 3 is that they were simple + practical. not flash, luxurious, or cross-over or anything else. they purely did what they had to do, + were all the more better for it.

Ernest Samushev
Ernest Samushev
7 years ago

My Ford Bronco.
Russia, Siberia

Lukas Vass
Lukas Vass
7 years ago

My 1991 Puch 300GE LWB auto 🙂

Francis Dupuis
Francis Dupuis
7 years ago

Gotta go 69 blazer with a canvas top, manual tranny.

Darel Matthews
Darel Matthews
7 years ago

The ’67 IH Scout 800 I spent four years restoring.

John Cozzi
John Cozzi
7 years ago

Mid ’60’s International Harvesters. I had a 65 as my second truck and loved it. And you cannot go past a Range Rover 2 door. Currently I have a ’77 all original. The original SUV that started it all. But really I also think the early LandCruisers are just awesome.

Steve Fox
Steve Fox
7 years ago
Reply to  John Cozzi

Yup, next time you find me hoisting a cold one at the Broken Birfield Bar, my pig will be parked out front. Second owner, 57K miles, almost no rust, super original…these pics are somewhere in NorCal, stopped at an FJ45 get-together on my way home to Missouri after buying it from the original owner in Hollywood in 2005, drove halfway across the country at 52mph grinning the whole way. My FJ60 is my 4-wheeled dirt bike, a rust bucket with not a straight panel on it, but the FJ55 is my baby.
Steve

TwistandLean
TwistandLean
7 years ago

Daihatsu F20 or similar small Suzuki 4×4’s of the period. Small, light and with skinny tyres, these things were almost impossible to get bogged and required almost no maintenance.

Andre L  Hulstaert
Andre L Hulstaert
7 years ago

For me: Range Rover, maybe not the most reliable but tremendous off-road performance and comfort. I started out with an original 3 door one and now am at my third, a 1998 P38 4.6 HSE full option and with 300,000 miles on it. Still in perfect condition, runs its 120 without a problem all day long, fords rivers and tackles mus and sand. I keep it in pristine condition as shown by the recent picture. Therefore I refrain going off-road in heavy woods. It is featured on (later today) my Vans and Commercial page on my site: http://www.hulstaertphoto.us/vans-and-commercial/

Mark Saintz
Mark Saintz
7 years ago

None. They are all mobile chicanes.

Keith Roush
Keith Roush
7 years ago

My house is at 9.320′, so I’ve had a few 4x4s over the past few decades. After gen I and II Jeep Cherokees, an assortment of pickup trucks and Baja Ford Bronco, I’d have to say that my favorite was a 1982 FJ 60 Land Cruiser…it just did so many things well.

Mat smith
Mat smith
7 years ago

A classic Land Rover Defender released from military service in the British Army. An icon.

Chris Chapman
Chris Chapman
7 years ago

Although a former Land Rover employee I should recommend the 101 FC but I once took an Isuzu Trooper round an offroad course with absolutely no rattles or squeaks – it’s a shame Isuzu never replaced it. Also the Suzuki Ignis – lightweight but amazing ground clearance compared to some bigger SUV’s.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
7 years ago

Monteverdi Safari just because it’s different. http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monteverdi-Safari-110.jpg Monteverdi was also first to build a four door Range Rover. It is said they received a small royalty on the factory four doors Range Rover Classics .

Sebastian Motsch
Sebastian Motsch
7 years ago

Most classic or vintage 4x4s have their individual character. Some appeal more than others and most of the times this is due to the overall styling. I personally like all the vehicles already mentioned in the other comments. I would like to add the Mercedes-Benz G and the Unimog to the list. For expedition travel I would always go for a LandCruiser for obvious reasons, first of all the legendary reliability.

For all of you interested in classic 4x4s:
I just recently wrote two articles about classic 4x4s still working hard every day on the beaches of Oman:

http://www.drivebysnapshots.com/fishermans-friends/
http://www.drivebysnapshots.com/catch-of-the-day/

This is where the durability of the vehicles is ultimately tested. I have huge respect for the engineers who created those amazing machines decades ago…

Håkan Sjöberg
Håkan Sjöberg
7 years ago

My two cents. Look at it. The Legacy Power Wagon.

Sandy Ganz
Sandy Ganz
7 years ago

International Scout II

Leonardo Sciarrini
Leonardo Sciarrini
7 years ago

I really love the original 3 doors Range Rover, but there are many beautiful classic 4×4 out there!

Riccardo
Riccardo
7 years ago

For me it would be the Jeep Grand Wagoneer of 1988/89 vintage, obviously in “woody” form.

last time I actually was inside one was around 1985… so I hardly recall what they’re like, but I think its a beautiful and classy car. Such as shame then that apparently they were not very well built and do not make a viable ownership proposition.

Another 4×4… the Lancia Delta Integrale! 🙂

Vazha Natroshvili
Vazha Natroshvili
7 years ago

Land cruiser 70

Vazha Natroshvili
Vazha Natroshvili
7 years ago

Land Cruiser 70 forever!!!

Narveer Rai
Narveer Rai
7 years ago

Range Rover P38A

Gonzalo
Gonzalo
7 years ago

range rover

Mike Bolton
Mike Bolton
7 years ago

The Jeep Scrambler. I have been obsessed with this vehicle ever since I was a little boy. The classic looks of the Jeep plus a (sort of) truck bed? Nothing could have gotten better. I got the opportunity to purchase an ’82 last year and have been daily driving it every day since. It has been both the most enjoyable, and most frustrating daily driver I have had yet.
Excuse my finger in the top left of the picture. I was in a hurry yesterday and didn’t notice it until I uploaded the image.

Boyso
Boyso
7 years ago

My 1944 Ford GPW jeep. No photos since it’s in parts currently while I restore it 😛