Over the years I have come to accept a peculiar truth as part of the general Land Cruiser culture. While there are few for whom the Land Cruiser is not a desirous thing, there are virtually none who genuinely dislike it, or deny it due respect. That…speaks volumes to the validity of the Land Cruiser as a trusted overland platform.
For the last many months I have come to work each day with a beautiful blue Land Cruiser in plain view. An extensive project undertaken by our neighbors at AT Overland, this Cruiser has been the near constant target of my amorous goo-goo eye glances. I don’t want for many things, but I admit, it would be great to hop in it and head for the margins of the map. Deprived of such an opportunity, I was afforded a brief few hours with this truck to photograph it and admire the work done by AT Overland.
Unlike many restorations this particular project started as a frame-off endeavor. That evolved into a mechanical metamorphosis with the swap-out of the original gas engine to the much coveted 4.2-Liter 1HZ turbo diesel. This gives the truck legendary reliability and while it may not be “zippy” it pulls like a team of mules.
What I found most beguiling about this truck is the absolute perfection that defines it––inch by inch. There is not a single bolt, wire, panel or accessory that is compromised in any way whatsoever. Even crawling under this Cruiser to find a rough and unrestored darkened corner turned up empty handed. Every aspect of this Land Cruiser was meticulously restored or improved.
Speaking with Martyn and Mario of AT Overland, they had mentioned the owner had but a few requirements, chief among them was reliability. While the build-out is extensive, it is restrained in its complexity, something that suits this near 35 year old classic.
The ARB bumper looks right at home on the Cruiser.
The rear Kaymar bumper has dual swing-outs for the tire and dual jerry can mounts.
Aggressive yet understated, the sliders mean business.
True as an old fashioned girl, there isn’t a single imperfection in the sheet metal.
The belly of this beast displays the full scale of the restoration and build out. Leaf springs provide bulletproof reliability.
AT Overland is meticulous with the installation of their electrical components.
A battery monitor sits on the console in clear view of the driver. Water behind the front seats provide for easy filling and access.
Magic buttons every overlander wants at their fingertips.
The owner wanted to be able to sleep within the truck and the comprehensive organizers fit the bill.
The early 80s were not well known for quality lights so updated lights were installed. 12v plugs for storage power are easy to access.
A Fiamma awning provides the necessary shade all long voyages need.
The fridge and stove are quickly accessed at the tail of the truck. The quality of construction is astoundingly good.
It is a beautiful rig, one we wish we could slip into our own fleet. Built to travel the globe, it needs nothing more than fuel and a departure date.