Big Red is a 1986 Toyota Landcruiser 60 Series Sahara and when we bought it was in pretty rough shape. This made it an ideal project as it was 100% original, rust free (which is RARE!) and unmodified which effectively gave us a blank canvas! Back in its day it was absolute top of the line when it came to a 4wd vehicle. It came with a Turbo Diesel engine, automatic transmission, limited slip differential, electric seats, windows & sunroof, cruise control, dual zone air conditioning all of which was absolutely unheard of in earlier 4wds vehicles!
Aside from the roof and the lower left quarter panel the paint is original. We removed all the retro decals, wet rubbed the paint back and hit it with a buff and the paint came back to life as if it was new!
In standard form a 60 Series is a well and truly capable 4wd vehicle but we fitted it out with a number of accessories to turn it into the ultimate High Country Tourer. The accessory list is as follows;
• 2” Old Man Emu Suspension Lift
• 1” Anti Inversion Shackle Lift
• 33” BF Goodrich KM2 Mud Terrain Tyres on 15” Dynamic Steel Rims
• ARB Air Lockers Front & Rear
• Extended Diff Breathers
• ARB Steel Winch Bar, Scrub Rails & Side Steps
• 12500lb Winch
• Full Length Roof Rack with Hi Lift jack & Shovel Holders
• Side Awning
• GME UHF
• Redarc Dual Battery System.
• Rear Drawer System
• VDP Centre Console
• Boost & EGT Gauges
• 60L Fridge& Fridge Slide
• 2 x LED Light Bars – Front Bar & Roof Rack
• Kaymar Spare Wheel Carrier
• 160 Litre Fuel Carrying Capacity
Under the bonnet of Big Red is the awesome 12HT Turbocharged Diesel engine. Even after 30 years some Toyota purists will argue that the 12HT is the best turbo diesel engine Toyota has ever built– we might be a bit biased but we tend to agree with them!.
We opted to change out the auto transmission for a 5 speed manual out of a similar model due to persistent high transmission fluid temperatures which is a common problem on the Toyota A440F transmission.
So why do we tour around in a 30 year old vehicle and not something later model you ask? We love its ruggedness and its simplicity that’s why! There’s no computers or electronic sensors that can shut the entire vehicle down if there’s a fault – if something fails on it, as it can on any vehicle driven in the conditions we drive, we have always been able to repair it to drive it out. Also the aftermarket accessories available for a 60 are HUGE, both new and second hand which makes it more affordable compared to accessorising a later model vehicle.
Big Red is the “pride of our fleet” and turns a lot of heads when we’re out and about. If you see us when we’re in the bush or in a carpark at the shops, come over and say g’day and we’d be more than happy to have a chat about what make it such a capable High Country Tourer!
High Country Adventure Tours