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Forbidden Fruit: Maltec Land Cruiser Overland Truck

As Individuals, we take nice delight in our distinctive nationwide treasures. The Invoice of Rights, Nationwide Parks, baseball, barbecue, rock and roll — the checklist goes on. As well as, our cultural melting pot has given us entry to an enormous number of iconic creations from overseas shores; we didn’t invent pizza or tacos, however we’ve definitely embraced them. So, it’s all the time stunning to return throughout an merchandise that’s basically unobtainable in America. Such has been the case for the 70-Collection Toyota Land Cruiser. Nonetheless, one have a look at Tim McGrath’s customized Maltec Land Cruiser would possibly make you query that reality.

Editor’s Word: This text was initially revealed in Problem 8 of our sister publication, Carnivore journal.

Mixing the 70-Collection and 80-Collection

Produced from 1984 by way of the current (sure, it’s nonetheless in manufacturing), the 70-Collection is an immensely standard car for militaries, authorities organizations, and off-road adventurers world wide. Nonetheless, it was by no means offered in the USA — we acquired the rounder and extra luxurious 80-Collection, offered right here from 1990 to 1997. Though it’s attainable to carry over some foreign-market 70-Collection Land Cruisers beneath the 25-year-old car import legislation, making one street-legal comes with a protracted checklist of extra complications and prices, particularly should you dwell in a state with strict emissions rules.

Above: It solely takes just a few seconds to deploy the pop-up roof and arrange camp. The truck additionally features a deployable awning and bathe enclosure with cold and hot working water.

Tim McGrath, founder and lead designer for overland attire firm Sackwear, fell in love with the 70-Collection Land Cruiser, particularly its 79-Collection pickup truck submodel. “The folks that know concerning the 79 want they offered them right here within the States,” he says. Realizing the difficulties of legalizing an imported 79-Collection, he started on the lookout for alternative routes to realize the looks and rugged performance of one in every of these vehicles. This led him to Maltec, an organization in Germany that builds customized Land Cruisers that — regardless of their look — are literally primarily based on the simply importable 80-Collection chassis. They agreed to construct him a North American-spec truck that contains a modified 70-Collection cab and carbon-fiber camper on high of an 80-Collection body.

The construct started with a 1993 80-Collection Land Cruiser. After eradicating the unique physique, its body was stretched to match the specified wheelbase for the camper conversion. A four-door cab from a 79-Collection donor car was mounted onto the 80-Collection body, and the again of that cab was minimize out to create a pass-through into the carbon-fiber camper shell that was added subsequent. Usually, having a customized car constructed midway throughout the globe can be relatively nerve-wracking, however Tim says the builders listened to his wants and had been extraordinarily communicative. “Maltec did an awesome job maintaining me linked with the progress, and despatched me a lot of emails with pictures. I trusted their experience and craftsmanship since they construct actually superior rigs.”

Above: The Entrance Runner roof rack holds two Alu-Bins and a big dry bag for gear storage. Extra rails atop the camper can be utilized to retain a kayak or paddleboards.

Along with the physique modifications, Maltec put in a 4.2-liter 1HD-T turbo-diesel engine and five-speed guide transmission, a configuration that was additionally unavailable in U.S.-spec Land Cruisers. The truck’s underbody is armored with quite a lot of Maltec skid plates to fend off rocks on the path; it rides on OME 3-inch-lift springs and OME shocks, 17-inch Braid beadlock wheels, and 37-inch Cooper tires.

Above: Regardless of its many creature comforts, this Land Cruiser isn’t any pavement princess. It may possibly nonetheless go nearly wherever and take Tim’s complete household with it.

Tim says this mixture balances a spacious inside and compact exterior, with “sufficient room to journey and sleep 4 whereas nonetheless remaining small and succesful.” He explains, “There’s not a whole lot of room, however it’s doable — I suppose that’s the trade-off. I can wheel this factor to locations the place most campers can’t go. I really like that we will arrange someplace loopy and keep snug, heat, and dry at evening. We are able to even cook dinner inside and watch a film.” It wasn’t a simple or cheap course of, taking a 12 months to finish and costing north of $200,000, however he doesn’t remorse it for a second.

Above: Maltec constructed the camper with luxurious teak flooring, customized cupboards, Dometic home windows, and a completely enclosed pass-through into the cab.

Over the course of the final 12 months, Tim has taken his Land Cruiser out on household expeditions no less than as soon as a month. In one in every of his most memorable experiences, he and his daughter drove to Colorado, arriving late within the night to a darkish and slender trailhead. They continued onward, winding up a steep mountain street to a lake simply above the tree line at 12,000 toes. He recollects, “The truck tackled the obstacles with none points and delivered us safely. We had been the one ones there beneath a star-filled sky, and had paddle boards to maintain us entertained the subsequent day.”

Above: A triple-burner range and espresso machine permit Tim and his household to take pleasure in a scorching breakfast with out leaving the consolation of the camper.

Maltec Land Cruiser Specs


1993 Toyota Land Cruiser

4.2L 1HD-T turbo-diesel inline-6, 5-speed guide transmission, 4×4 with 2-speed switch case

Previous Man Emu springs and shocks

Wheels & Tires
17-inch Braid Dakar Beadlock A wheels, 37×12.5R17 Cooper Discoverer STT Professional tires

Physique Modifications
79-Collection Land Cruiser cab with rear cutout; Maltec aluminum entrance bumper, skid plates, fender flares, and carbon-fiber camper; Entrance Runner roof rack, awning, and camper roof rails; Alu-Cab exterior scorching/chilly bathe, two 42L Alu-Bins and Halite dry luggage for storage

Inside Modifications
Maltec cupboards, grey and black leather-based door panels, suede headliner, and teak wooden camper flooring; 4 Recaro Sportster CS leather-based seats, Webasto heater, 15-gallon recent filtered water tank, water boiler, scorching/chilly sink, three-burner range, espresso machine, higher and decrease beds (sleeps 4)

Lighting & Electronics
Twin AGM home batteries, two 100W SunWare photo voltaic panels, Victron Power 2,000W energy inverter, Alpine Halo 11-inch head unit/navigation, Simarine PICO touchscreen info panel, two Dometic fridges, LED camper lighting with cost ports, Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum winch with Issue 55 fairlead and FlatLink E, Baja Designs S1 bumper lights and LP9 Professional driving lights, KC Hilites Cyclone rock lights

Constructed by:
Menden, Germany

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