$450 OBO: 1978 Toyota Hilux

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Whether you like imports or not, you know as well as I do that old Toyotas never die. Beginning in the 70s and to the current day, Toyota carved out a reputation for building capable little trucks that seemingly could take endless abuse and never cost their owner more than the price of new tires and oil changes. That’s why I’m more than a little surprised that the seller of this 1978 Toyota Hilux here on eBay is letting it go so cheaply, since even he knows it won’t take much work to get this ‘Yota back to daily duties. Regardless, the price is $450 or best offer.

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Sure, it isn’t pretty. And it isn’t fast. But the 20R is one of those engines that simply will not die, and even in this truck’s current form, it still runs. However, it does need a few parts to fire up reliably but nothing that will break the bank. The seller says he used the truck daily, which explains why he fitted aftermarket air conditioning that still works. And despite the ugliness of the rust, it all looks like surface level contamination to me.

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The interior is another story; it’s ugly. The door panels, seats and dash are all torn up. If you’re looking for a mint interior, keep looking – this truck was used for daily duty and it shows. Still, getting some basic cloth bucket seats re-worked isn’t the end of the world, and there’s sure to be a source for used parts sellers that can provide a new dash topper. The same goes for the door panels, and a junkyard that carries older vehicles is likely to have one of these old Hiluxes kicking around.

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I actually know that last statement to be a fact – why? Well, my next project is similar to this in that it’s a Toyota, it’s yellow, and it sports an engine offered in the Hilux line (though not this one). I had to order an injection pump for my new distraction, and it came off of a recently junked 1981 Hilux in Oregon – so you should be able to find an interior without too much trouble. Mechanically, a starter switch, slave cylinder and battery are all just a phone call from Napa away. Who thinks this could be a reliable shop truck on the cheap?

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Comments

  1. Pookie Jamie P

    Why cant i find one like this florida? I can afford 450

  2. Fred W.

    Excellent deal if all you are looking for is a classic beater truck to haul stuff.

  3. Joe

    Potentially well worth bringing back to life. NC climate = rust. Undercarriage and frame needs to be checked out. Nice find!

  4. jaygryph

    Yeah, that’s a good price. These things rust out on the floor pan bolts under the windshield, the bed seam on the sides, lower fenders and in particularly bad areas the A pillars rust out at the top and bottom. If those aren’t all destroyed it’s probably a pretty solid truck.

    Have owned many of them over the years (have three at the moment), they’re great trucks.

  5. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    When I see one of these, I think of the Energizer bunny going on and on and on and on…

  6. Howard A Member

    Well, I guess there are affordable mini-pickups still out there, and I hate to correct Jeff, but old Toyota’s do indeed die, but not from a mechanical death. I suppose this truck could be a good “torch truck” for a junkyard, but looks pretty shot for on the road. 1 year in the salt, and it will probably look like this. ( which is what we saw in the mid-west) I agree, check the frame, I’ve seen these break in half. https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IuB1nOzlh9s/U8yAchvRVpI/AAAAAAAACq4/5dWbbtg5bEI/s1600/IMG_8537.JPG

    • Jeff Staff

      Howard, that is impressive. I should say – they don’t die of their own accord. Mother Nature is their greatest enemy, ahead of bad drivers, cash-strapped owners, and hard lives as work trucks.

  7. Ben T Spanner

    I had one brand new in central Ohio. Went looking for a used truck and the neighborhood Toyota dealer made a nice deal on a new 1978. Bed was made in Long Beach CA to avoid the chicken tax. Two winters or so and the ground to the bed for the rear lights gave up. Another winter or so and the a pillars started to rust. My friend had a 1975 or 1976. His was brown, so the rust blended in. Mine was white.

    I grew up just south of Cleveland, and I never remember rusted out a pillars. I sold the Toyota for around 2/3 of new price. Never had any mechanical problem.

  8. Andrew

    When will the outdated ‘chicken tax’ ever be lifted? The world is now a different place, and never mind those European chickens anymore. I would love to see small, reasonably priced pickup trucks or ute’s again. They can be imported from Brazil, like the Volkswagen Saveiro, Chevrolet Tornado, Fiat Strada, etc.

  9. Chebby

    Give it to a high school kid.

  10. Dominic

    I want the front end and back end. I’ve got one that’s a little beat up but those would make it cherry again. The engine has 95k original miles on it.

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