Desert Barn Find: 1979 Toyota Hilux 4×4

The desert can be cruel, but it can also hide some real gems of survivor cars and trucks. The trick is, of course, finding one that’s been garaged so the interior isn’t completely destroyed or the paint baked right off, while the body remains as rot-free as the day it left the factory. That’s certainly the case with this 1979 Toyota Hilux 4×4 pickup that comes from New Mexico and retains its awesome period decals on the doors and bed sides, and appears to remain completely stock down to the steel wheels and 20R engine. The Toyota runs and drives and comes with a clear title in the seller’s name. Find it here on eBay with an asking price of $14,000 or best offer.

The Toyota sports a long bed with a full-length bed cap. While the short bed is the preferred look and feel, the longer-style bed also helps keep the price down a bit. Those short bed, 4×4 survivor Toyotas are going for strong money, and will likely continue to attract a following for some time. The body looks decent on this truck, and while certainly not perfect, the lack of rust is a big attraction for anyone who’s a fan of Japanese tin but is accustomed to finding cars and trucks of this era full of fender rot and soft floors. The seller notes the mileage as being 92,685.

Now, the interior has suffered a bit, with a dashboard that will need replacing if you’re looking for a perfect specimen. Personally, cracked dashboards drive me nuts, and this one is in the sort of condition that even a fuzzy cover will have a hard time hiding. Fortunately, the rest of the interior looks to be in good shape – well, depending on what’s beneath those seat covers. Let me rephrase: the rubber floor mat is in good shape, and the original shift boots and steering wheel look to be holding up as well. The radio is missing, but the Toyota is an original A/C truck. No word on whether it still works, but it seems doubtful.

The 20R engine is one of those mills that’s hard to kill, but short on thrills. It will get you anywhere you need to go with nominal maintenance, but the question I have is whether this New Mexico barn find has any immediate mechanical needs. The seller notes it runs and drives, but doesn’t detail what sort of reconditioning was needed to get this one back on the road. Obviously, you’d like to see information about fluid and belt changes before making the decision to buy, or any recent maintenance performed, especially with the current asking price. Still, this seller likely knows that if the first guy doesn’t take it, the next one will, so there’s likely not much pressure to spend more on this survivor pickup than he already has.


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  1. chrlsful Member

    Looks old enuff to B single walled bed. “Yes” if 4WD wanna short bed, st truck LB, but for these – willing to change (if right price). Must B a 5 speed as I remember I wanted one new. Just cab space is the Q. I love the looks of the ’73/9 F series. Felt like I was sitting at the kitc. table (square position) AND no room to move back. May B the same in this 1 which makes distance and DD tough. Ex cab might B more desirable than shrt bed (plus step side wid dat 4 WD!).

  2. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    El Paso, Texas

    Like 1
  3. Bhowe Member

    Take a closer look. The rubber floor covering is absolutely shot, missing and gone on the drivers side. This is obviously a guy that sees these trucks going up in value and wants to find a fool to over pay. 3500 tops. I just sold an 81 short bed 4×4 for less than that and it was in better shape.

  4. Gary Rhodes

    Put a floor mat and dash in it and be good to go. To much money IMHO though.

    Like 1

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