Hooniverse Truck Thursday: Very Prado Ya

Don’t call the Prado soft. It may be the slightly lighter-duty variant of its Land Cruiser sibling, but it’ll still chew up your nearest CUV and use the resulting slurry it to lubricate its center diff. While laughing maniacally.

In case no one’s guessed by now, I live in the great Pacific Northwest, which explains why my ubiquitous plaid Amazon shirt is always soaked with Starbucks-branded rain (which falls from Microsoft clouds running Windows 7). Despite the dampness, old J-tin manages to stay relatively un-oxidized due to a lack of salty roadways, and our outdoorsy nature and mild climate mean that Toyota FJ60s roam the roads like so many urban deer looking for a stray nibble in a trash bin. Perhaps there is no higher concentration of old Land Cruisers than here. That being said, we’re also a hop-skip-and-poutine away from British Columbia, where jealousy-inducing import laws mean that RHD Japanese market imports roam the roads like so many deer … dammit, I just used that simile. You get the idea. And that’s where this lucky Prado resides.

Can you import it into the States? Frankly, I don’t have any clue. Word on the street is that there are some slightly shady loopholes to register a Japanese-Canadian vehicle in Washington State, but the idea of risking a federal seizure (with no compensation given) causes my Milhouse conflict-aversion genes to light up like the supercomputer in War Games when it was trying to nuke the planet. (I can guarantee you that particular simile has NEVER been previously used.) Other states? Who knows? If you’re coming to us for quasi-legal advice, you get what’s comin’ to ya!
Craigslist Vancouver B.C.

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  1. facelvega Avatar

    Is the Prado a lighter-duty version? I always just think of it as the actual truck version, as opposed to the luxo-barge version that we get here. It's the Prado under various names that you see doing hard duty in the non-western world more often than the rounded Land Cruiser.
    But wait, I forgot, since yesterday I have a new stock response to any truck-related posting: 1978 Bitter Blazer.
    <img src="http://svammelsurium.blogg.se/images/2011/1978-chevrolet-blazer-by-bitter_140754487.jpg"&gt;

    1. Alex Kierstein Avatar
      Alex Kierstein

      The main difference, as I understand it, is that it didn't have a solid front axle and it was tuned for slightly more on-road duty. Of course, any OCD toyotaku out there are free to correct this assertion if your idiot-savant mentat-like brain says "TILT" at that.

      1. 7shades Avatar

        You're pretty much correct.
        The Prado always was/is IFS. This model is based on the 70 series landcruiser (with a pissweak engine) but future generations were built on a unique platform.
        North Americans CAN buy a Prado… In the form of the Lexus GX. No diesel option though.

      2. tenthousandfeet Avatar

        These had solid axles and a real 2-speed transfer case. I think the real "light duty" part of things came from the small (and fragile) 2.4L turbodiesel under the hood.

  2. Feds_II Avatar

    Either save up for a real cruiser, or go for a Pajero/Patrol. The engines in the JDM Prado's do not like north american duty cycle. Cracked heads are the order of the day.
    It's been a while since I've done my research, but I believe the prado is a continuation of the previous generation cruiser platform, slightly decontented. Compared to a cruiser, they are much more utilitarian.
    I was very ready to buy a JDM SUV, and my research sent me toward the Pajero on an aggregate of performance, reliability, and cost. Where it not for the draconian insurance practices in Ontario, I'd be in one now.

    1. 7shades Avatar

      See my comment above… This model was based on the 70 series LC, future models unique.
      Good luck with the Pajero… Do NOT buy a petrol engined variant. Just…. Don't.

  3. tristan Avatar

    ah, the EX5…that appears to be the 2.4 lt turbo diesel, possibly the worst diesel motor in the toyota arsenal , although this one would be the 2lt-e version with an astounding 100hp and an axle shreading 229 torques. all draging round 5000 lbs of japanese iron .
    as the motor will be working hard non stop be prepared to be stranded on the side of the road with a cracked head every 50k
    but you will be able to sleep at night knowing that believe it or not this model has only just been superceeded. in the last year
    sure the engine is long gone, 1kz, 1kd, 1kz and now the 1vd (with widend chassis rails) but up untill recently you still got the 1980`s dash and panels.

    1. tristan Avatar

      sorry, 1hz/1hd

  4. 7shades Avatar

    Nope… These things are garbage.
    Take a heavy 70 series Landcruiser chassis and body, but with the 2LTE engine which was woefully underpowered even in the lighter Hilux/Surf.
    Incedentally, the latest VDJ76R Landcruiser still uses the same body… Albiet with updated front panels, interior, and a stonking 4500cc Turbodiesel V8.