Journal: What Vintage 4x4s Excite You?

What Vintage 4x4s Excite You?

By Josh Clason
November 19, 2013

My interest in different vintage vehicles is a bit like the tide: it comes and it goes. When it comes, it is hard to swim against the desires of knowing more and wanting to eventually acquire the subject of whatever kick I may be on lately.

Most Recently this kick has come in the form of vintage 4x4s, which began when I saw this old Alfa Romeo Matta at the Best of France and Italy show a few weeks ago in Los Angeles. Seeing the Matta stirred up the feelings for acquiring an old off-roader. This isn’t solely out of the norm for myself, as I have had a few 4x4s in my past, the most “vintage” (take this word with a grain of salt) being a 1988 Mitsubishi Montero 2 Door. I purchased the car for $500 and had so much fun taking all over the mountains of Utah and regret selling it a number of years back. As much as I loved the old Montero, I now have a desire to pick up something a little more vintage and lately my evenings have been consumed with scouring many web forums dedicated to Land Rovers Series I, II, and IIIs, FJs, Broncos, and Jeeps.

All of this searching and scouring the web has left me wondering: what vintage 4x4s excite you the most? 

Photo Sources: Petrolicious’ Instagram (@PetroliciousCo)

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Peter Inshaw
Peter Inshaw(@fb_1557448261)
2 years ago

67 Series IIA w TDI On the transporter now n can’t wait

Geoff Sutton
Geoff Sutton(@geoff-sutton)
2 years ago

My first car was a 1980 Jeep Cherokee Chief widetrack with Levis denim interior. I think that will always be my favorite because nostalgia wins.

Bart Mulder
Bart Mulder(@streetscreamer)
8 years ago

Despite I ranked it on 3rd place in earlier posting, I will go to get a Lada Niva tomorrow (#Top Gear talk ON: SUB ZERO COOL !!!! Top Gear talk OFF#) It will be a present for my wife’s birthday. (eeek! 5 car in ownership then…. becoming a fleetmanager in leisure time too?)
Since she had her driving license she loved off-roading. The nimble Niva also stole her heart with its iconic apearance and perfect offorad skills. It will be taken to Czech Republic where we have a holiday house. The nice hills and forests will be fun to drive!

Charlie Callahan
Charlie Callahan(@kayoteq)
8 years ago

1985 Subaru Brat, missing the targa stripes and bed seats. Not sweating about that detail, I can’t ride back there and drive. Just add a 17mm and you can fix itr with the included tool kit.
Most complicated thing is the carb.

Added the 1982-83 GL Cyclops ‘passing light’ because it’s my car and it bolts in.

Basic evaluation: great vehicles, also a great tendency to rust in vital areas. 4 speed with hi/lo select. 4wd can lock up if used incorrectly. Not fast. Australians and other maniacs have been known to put a newer motor in these for sub-light speed, but for now I’m enjoying all the retro things like the full-size spare under the hood, a carburetor..

An AM/FM radio that has a line in so music’s not a problem.

About the only other mod was fitting a Forester 3rd brake light just because people expect 3rd brake lights these days.

Being a unibody, well, it’s caveat emptor. Even mine is missing sections of running boards and the rear apron is n/a. Not necessary for operation. Just keep a can of rust converter handy.

pj baert
pj baert(@pjb155)
8 years ago

jensen FF? class, V8 and 4×4!

Pim Hansen
Pim Hansen(@voltcontrol)
8 years ago

A Volvo c303 please.

Kyle Hamilton
Kyle Hamilton(@fb_100005081592426)
8 years ago

A Land Rover series III. AWL DAY

jeffrey vogel
jeffrey vogel(@wolfchen)
8 years ago

best vintage 4×4 is the Jeep Commando ,Long wheel base, V^ power, top comes off, no computer or electronics and parts interchangeable with the whole CJ range so easy repairs and upgrades. So light it barely needs 4WD on my local beach

8 years ago

Not sure if it’s my favourite of all… but very close at least, is my current daily driver, a Range Rover Classic Tdi from 95.
Stylish, confy on road, reasonably frugal, a absolutely capable off-road.

Craig Forrest
Craig Forrest(@dcforrest)
8 years ago

I enjoy my 1982 Jeep CJ-7 immensely. It has a soft top and hard top but they are rarely used. Off-road the windshield gets folded down. Doors? Who needs doors?

Charlie Day
Charlie Day(@njd)
8 years ago

LOVE the old Suzuki Samurais. Like a budget, mini-rover.

Charlie Day
Charlie Day(@njd)
8 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Day

Also, I wish they brought the Skoda Yeti over to the US so we could try that out. People seem to rave about it abroad.

Travis Burns
Travis Burns(@tburnz)
8 years ago

1987 Dodge Raider 2.6 w/weber conversion and 87 Suzuki Samurai hardtop. Pure 4×4 love.

Peter Bruschi
Peter Bruschi(@fb_1708750635)
8 years ago

Early Broncos! Here’s my ’66, been in the family since it was new!

Kyle Kufahl
Kyle Kufahl(@fb_681595513)
8 years ago

The late 50s to mid 60s Dodge Power Wagons were always my favorite. An unstoppable off roader and legendary for its toughness. I’d love to get one and swap the 251 cube flathead six with a lightly modded Cummins 4BT turbo diesel to give it more every day usability for the modern world. After that, hit the trails with the ol’ Dodge.

I also love the Suzuki Samurai and Toyota FJ60.

André Faria
André Faria(@fb_100000804880817)
8 years ago

Soviet Lada Niva

Still made today almost equal to 1977.

Stephan P
Stephan P(@alfettaracer)
8 years ago

The FJ 60 I have. I would also like a Panda.

Arturo Allard
Arturo Allard(@art0921)
8 years ago

My favorite “vintage” 4×4, I already own it. My Mitsubishi Montero 1989 4-Door, is slow and heavy … but for me, it’s the most fun car I driven.

Brian Driggs
Brian Driggs(@dr1665)
8 years ago

The slowest, least powerful, least comfortable vehicle I have ever owned is my 1989 Pajero 2-door.
It’s also the most fun. I think I’ll miss it when it goes to fund the Delica in a couple years…

8 years ago

Ford Bronco all the way! 😉

Brian Nelson
Brian Nelson(@brian508)
8 years ago

Any Dodge trucks from the 1960’s and even new as an 80’s power wagon/ram power. I think value of those trucks will go up in the next decade or so, once the prices of old fords and chevys skyrocket .

Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson(@meccanica)
8 years ago

International Scout, series 1. That’d do me. Owned an ’80’s Suzuki Samurai for a while though too. That was a fantastic 4×4 – went everywhere the big trucks went and then some.

Pete McLachlan
Pete McLachlan(@pyropete)
8 years ago

Series II Land Rovers. Simple, unstoppable and any idiot can keep them going. Unfortunately they are becoming a high priced trophy cars for urban collectors, an environment in which they serve no purpose.

Pete McLachlan
Pete McLachlan(@pyropete)
8 years ago
Reply to  Pete McLachlan

My old Series II on the North Rupununi trail

Adam Holter
Adam Holter(@aholter90)
8 years ago

CJ-5, please! This is mine:


Todd Cox
Todd Cox(@mc70)
8 years ago

It’s hard to beat an old Jeep (CJ-5 or earlier), or a 1st Gen Bronco. Who can resist an early FJ-40?

Julian Gonzalez
Julian Gonzalez(@fb_829804128)
8 years ago

60 series Nissan Patrol!

8 years ago

Old Land Rover, Land Cruiser LWB, Lamborghini LM002, but what I really like would be Audi Quattro, Lancia Delta Integrale, Escort Cossie, stuff like that.

8 years ago

Recently, we’ve restored a CJ7, a Scout SSII and a fully loaded ’79 Bronco and all three of those were pretty fun to have around.

Jerry Bowles
Jerry Bowles(@jerrybowles)
8 years ago

My series 2.5 Land Rover!

Cees Huisman
Cees Huisman(@fb_1405001422)
8 years ago

Any original Land Rover and especially the two door Range Rover classic!

8 years ago

Our Niva’s pretty kickass. If we hadn’t broken the steering box (mostly our fault) it’d be knocking about quite happily at the moment. As such, it’s waiting for an exhaust gasket and then it’s good to rock and roll.

Old Series Landys are pretty cool as well. One of my mates had an S3 2.25 and it was brilliant.

Future Doc
Future Doc(@futuredoc)
8 years ago

I am a fan of the non-jeep inspired 4wd vehicles.
Toyota Corolla/Celica All-Tracs
Subaru Leone Mk2/Brat

…and the 60 series Land Cruiser

Oh and should we count the Porsche 953?

Ib Erik Soderblom
Ib Erik Soderblom(@kaiserpingo)
8 years ago

Had two Niva’s (!)

They are crap in many way’s, but…

I miss them !

8 years ago

Any G503 jeep ! (I have a 1944 GPW)

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
8 years ago

For a left field choice how about a Monteverdi Safari ?

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle(@mosler)
8 years ago

Id have to say i always enjoyed the AMC eagles back in the day. Also the original Ford Broncos are a cool good 4X4. And last but certainly not least A Jeep CJ 5 with a lift kit and some big fat tires

Bart Mulder
Bart Mulder(@streetscreamer)
8 years ago

1) Volvo Sugga
2) 1903 Spyker 60/80
3) Lada Niva
4) Fiat Panda1 4×4