When Patriot Campers brought their first SuperTourer to the United States, a lot of off-road and overland enthusiasts lost their minds. Some loved it, others hated it, but almost everyone agreed that Patriot’s all-out approach to the build was as unique as it was well executed. Now, Patriot has unveiled a new LC79 Super-Tourer called Desert-Ops, and while I may have been on the fence about some of their previous builds, I am totally in love with this one. That’s because it combines the capability and function of a modern four-wheel drive with a little bit of ’70’s flare from Toyota’s past, and a whole lot of off-road upgrades.
The Retro Vibes
The tan paint is accented by a gorgeous multi-color decal package running from the Land Cruiser’s hood down its sides and onto the matching X1-N trailer, which you can read about here. The factory front grill has been replaced with an FJ-inspired TOYOTA variant and matched with an FJ40 4WD badge and 60-Series Toyota badge. An old-school sun visor hangs over the windshield, and a Toyota factory snorkel snakes its way up the A-pillar. “We would normally fit a TJM Airtek snorkel to all of our Super-Tourer builds, but the factory snorkel just suited our retro theme so we decided to keep it,” said Justin Montesalvo.
Keeping with the theme, the interior of this Cruiser sports sheepskin seat covers on both the front buckets and rear bench, handmade aluminum louvers on the rear window, and yes, a pair of fuzzy dice in the mirror. You can see all of that in the detailed video below.
This build isn’t just about some cool decals and badges though; it packs some serious capability thanks to a wide range of upgrades, and it all starts with the 4496KG GVM kit from JMACX. This package was an Australian first, giving the truck a 9,911-pound gross vehicle mass rating (GVM) and an 8,000-pound towing capacity. The kit includes front and rear coil suspension, a track correction diff upgrade and axles, JMACX front swaybar extension blocks, a JMACX XT shock kit, a 79-Series HD Tailshaft and much more.
Under the hood, this Land Cruiser features a new Top Mount Intercooler from Gold Coast company PWR, which helps manage temperatures in the scorching heats of desert summers. This is especially crucial for a truck intended to tow off-road, which is precisely what Desert-Ops is all about. The factory clutch has also been replaced with a 1,300-pound clutch from NPC, ideal for 4×4 applications and towing, and the brakes have been upgraded with a hydraulic brake booster from Marks 4WD.
Also increasing both power and efficiency is a Torqit Power Module Plus, which Patriot states significantly improves the air to fuel ratio. This means the motor is consuming less fuel while producing more power by maximizing the energy output from each drop of diesel. Their press release on the vehicle states that this power module “is ideal for towing heavy loads and for an all-round power increase.” The Pedal Torq Plus throttle controller has also been installed to increase throttle response, so you can go fast quicker. Finally, a PCOR electrical system streamlines integration with factory wiring, which not only keeps everything organized for easy troubleshooting in case of a problem but also makes adding accessories later in the vehicle’s life a non-issue.
As you can already tell, the exterior of this truck boasts a host of improvements as well. In the front, you’ll find a Megatourer style bullbar packing LED lights and a GME whip antenna. A 4-inch lift has been fitted, and the track has been widened for stability and matched with wider guards to suit the negative 25 offset PCOR wheel on 35-inch MTZ P3 tires. TJM side steps have also been added to make it easier to get in and out of the tall Cruiser.
The tray is a 300-millimeter extended PCOR tray that boasts all the usual bells and whistles, including a TJM compressor mounted in the rear, control locking, LED headboard lights and taillights, and a large rear drawer. Also included are an integrated winch cradle at the back, integrated tow bar, and rated recovery points.
To learn more about this truck, watch the video below or visit the Patriot Campers website here.