LC-curious about a daily driver

Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Portland, OR
Hi everyone,

I've been looking for a change to a more capable daily driver, cruising around various sites getting wild ideas and thought you lot seemed open and helpful for a newb with questions. Don't want to jump off a cliff before checking with the experts! Thanks for putting up with the brain-dump below.

Quick background - first car was an '87 Trooper that I loved dearly, but it couldn't last after early years in Minnesota and later years in the hands of a teen male. Current ride is an Atlas that, while capable of getting a lot of stuff a long way in comfort and deals with snow/ice fine, can't get it very far off the beaten track. It's also not much of a looker, although better than some of its contemporaries. My family of 4 is in Portland and we use the Atlas to camp, ski, road trips, etc. We don't currently tow anything but my wife keeps dropping hints about a small camper, so who knows (I know, it means I'm getting a camper).

I'm pretty locked in on looking at a Toyota after experiences with European cars after their first few years, so tick that off. It might be the contrarian in me, but I've started gravitating toward the JDM space over a contemporary 4Runner or Tacoma. Less of an up-front investment, still good capabilities, reliability, efficiency, can tinker a bit more, and the tech that I use frequently (Apply Play sound, backup cam, heated seats, air pressure monitoring) can be retrofitted.

After perusing what's available out there, I've been gravitating toward a 70-series or 80-series LC. My heart says 70 (probably would have to be a HZJ77 if I want to tow, FZJ78 with a 3.0 if not?), but my brain says 80 (more built-in creature comforts, more space, easier parts). My id says 62 with an LS3 conversion, but my checking account cringes at that.

Am I on the right track or being bats*** crazy? Anything more I should be considering? We're lucky with a number of reputable LC shops around here, so upgrades (turbo that HZ?!) and specific upkeep shouldn't be an issue, but there's also a part of me that worries about going too far out on a limb. Any sanity checks are welcome.

Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
1,606
Location
Bend, OR
Welcome! I'd start by test driving an 80 series (USA spec) and go from there. This looks like a good one in your area:

1993 Toyota Land Cruiser - Lots of Receipts - NICE!

Don't worry too much about tech, its easy to add a new stereo that has bluetooth, etc...

Keep in mind an old landcruiser is a totally different beast than a new VW Atlas suv. I mean TOTALLY different, but in a good way.

Oh and the ih8mud offical welcome: :flipoff2:
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Portland, OR
Welcome! I'd start by test driving an 80 series (USA spec) and go from there. This looks like a good one in your area:

1993 Toyota Land Cruiser - Lots of Receipts - NICE!

Don't worry too much about tech, its easy to add a new stereo that has bluetooth, etc...

Keep in mind an old landcruiser is a totally different beast than a new VW Atlas suv. I mean TOTALLY different, but in a good way.

Oh and the ih8mud offical welcome: :flipoff2:
Thanks for the reply and welcome!

My neighbor has an LX450 that I've driven a few times, so appreciate the advice on the test drive (and the good find on CL!). I'm definitely looking for a more stripped down interior space that I can then update as needed, but understand I could easily overcorrect. My wife and I joke that we both prefer to drive her sedan, only really liking the space of the Atlas, so we'll see if I get her on board too.
 
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