4×4 Conversion: 1975 Toyota Hilux

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For a time, the only way to get certain models of smaller pickups in four-wheel drive from was to build it yourself – or hire an aftermarket company to make one for you. This eventually got so popular that entire companies were stood up to convert smaller model trucks to four-wheel drive, like this 1975 Toyota Hilux pickup. The seller doesn’t know the origins of the conversion but does note that it features heavy-duty hardware to give it four-wheeled traction. Find it here on eBay with bids to $4,050.

The listing notes that the Hilux features a Dana 30 front axle and a Dana 20 transfer case, with a suspension lift kit of unknown origins. The mixture of sensible tune-up parts and performance add-ons make this a true enthusiast’s truck, as it also features headers, Weber 32/36 carburetor, and some sweet period turbine-style wheels painted to match the body. There are some rough edges here and there, but given it’s a Southern California truck, rust isn’t an issue.

The interior is in good order too, featuring black vinyl bucket seats with matching seat beads and door panels. The seller does state that the driver’s seat shows some wear and tear, likely underneath those beads and that the seats and the steering wheel were pilfered from a Celica and swapped in. The driver’s seat may need fresh upholstery to be perfect, but it seems like something you can live with for the time being.

The 20R engine is as truck-like as it gets, but the seller notes it runs well despite being in storage for 16 years. The previous owner did a fair amount of work, including installing a new radiator, water pump, and head gasket, along with associated hoses and belts. These aftermarket 4×4 conversions aren’t super desirable yet, but there’s a certain charm to an era wherein the aftermarket would step in and do the jobs the big OEMs wouldn’t. Bidding seems fair at the moment, but a higher final price wouldn’t surprise me at all.

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  1. Doug from MD.

    I remember when Nissan actually Datsuns at the time came out. Man everyone wanted one. Haven’t got that excited about a truck since it was a big deal back then. Toyota’s generated the same response. Before that it was build it yourself as stated above. Great times.

    Like 0
  2. Corey

    This thing is awesome! I would love to drive this! Probably one of its kind still surviving. I didn’t realize the early yota 4×4’s were custom built. Very cool.

    Like 0
  3. angliagt angliagtMember

    This is probably a Wolverine conversion.They were a
    Toyota authorized company.

    Like 2
  4. Mr Dave

    I always wondered why the early ones had wheel adapters on the rear to get it to 6 on 5.5” wheels. I passed a few trucks up because of that and ended up deciding on the 71 SS454 4 speed El Camino instead, that I bought in 1976. VERY HAPPY with that decision.

    Like 1
  5. David G

    Neat little truck. A southern California company called Wolverine did many of these conversions to Toyota and Ford Courier trucks in the ’70s. There is even an article in a 1977 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine with a white Hilux Wolverine 4×4 conversion.

    Like 0

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