LOVING ON LANDCRUISERS
I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I’m a Design Director and Partner at 3 Advertising, a full-service marketing firm. I’ve had a love affair with the Toyota Landcruiser ever since high school when my mom bought me my first car, which was a 1974 FJ40 Land Cruiser. My high school friends and I would go camping as often as possible, taking our Land Cruisers on many adventures.
I have been building and modifying them ever since high school and the FJ40 was the first off- road vehicle I upfitted. It was stock when I first got it but over time I rebuilt it with a new motor and a bunch of mods. Just owning a Land Cruiser was my favorite part of it all. I loved driving it and exploring in it.
I’ve known about Maltec for a while and know that they build some very special trucks. They are a German company that builds expedition trucks based on Mercedes, Land Rover and Toyota platforms. I got this NAS 70 Series Double cab about a year ago and I love it. It’s a 1993 80 series chassis with a 70 series double cab and pass through carbon fiber camper. The whole truck is custom and it’s just what I wanted. We are a family of four, and it has four Recaro seats and also sleeps all of us comfortably. It’s really well designed with great use of space.
I wanted a truck that could take us to some remote camping locations and a truck that would keep us safe and comfortable. Land Cruisers are extremely reliable and capable machines and I have always owned one and I think I always will. I love the look of them and love where they can take me. Some people say they are tractors with a more comfortable seat. Unstoppable. I think this love for building stems from my love of exploring and camping. It’s safely taken my family and me to many locations, even if it’s at 13,000 feet. We usually end up at a campsite above the treeline.
THE PARTS METHODOLOGY
I pick the parts and accessories carefully. I want all the accessories to be just as reliable as the truck itself. I have my work done at Overland Motor Sports in Albuquerque. Some of the small stuff I do myself.
I think the camper with Webasto heater is my favorite. In bad weather, it’s just a game-changer. I can stay dry, comfortable and warm in the worst of weather. There were really no challenges putting this build together. Maltec makes the process easy and seamless. It took about a year and that’s pretty fast in my book. A lot of emails with progress reports and photos. I loved the experience, I really felt involved and part of the build. Next is onboard air, center console and comms/navigation.
THE BEST MEMORIES
Our best trip had to be in the San Juans which is part of the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. We arrived at the trailhead at about 10 at night while it was raining and very dark. We headed up the trail and arrived at our campsite at around 11,000 feet. Crawled to the back, pushed up the tent, turned on the heater and had a cold beer. It rained all night and we slept really well. When we woke up, we were greeted with the most beautiful and breathtaking views and my family loved every minute of it. It was memorable for all of us.
“The experience of being out with your family, friends and adventure rig is priceless. I definitely recommend everyone that has the opportunity to go out and just have fun in their own equipped off-road vehicles.”
Our favorite places we’ve been I would say is southwest Colorado. All that area is incredible to adventure and explore in. When it comes to battle scars on the Land Cruiser, so far it’s been the trails around the Silverton and Ouray area, which are steep with tight switchbacks. This rig eats it all up, and I love how this truck wheels.
PREP, PLAN AND PRICELESSNESS
I try to keep everything in the truck, which makes it really easy to head out. All I need is some food, water, fuel and I’m on my way. I try to plan ahead and always let someone know where I will be for every trip. I also bring a Garmin “inReach”, which is essential and gives me peace of mind that I’ll have comms in remote areas. I carry spare parts, tools and all the recovery gear I think I may need to make trail repairs. I have a very good medical kit and plenty of water. I also try to go with someone, it’s nice to have two trucks just in case.
The experience of being out with your family, friends and adventure rig is priceless. I definitely recommend everyone that has the opportunity to go out and just have fun in their own equipped off-road vehicles. For us, this truck has taken us to some unbelievable places. Get ready for lots of great memories and adventures if you want to do the same.
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1983 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER
• 37×12.50R17 Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tires
• 17×8 Braid Dakar Beadlock A system
• 1HDT 4.2L Turbo Diesel Toyota 5 speed manual
• Toyota disk brakes front and rear
• Maltec skid plates
• Maltec custom bumper 70 series cab fitted to an 80 series chassis with carbon fiber camper
• Baja Designs LP9 with S1 flush mount wide corning lights
• Frontrunner light bar and sidelights
• KC Cyclone underbody lighting
• Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum with Factor 55 fairlead and FlatLink E with rope guard
• Maltec sand ladders
• DMOS delta pro shovel
GEAR STORAGE, ORGANIZATION, ROOF RACK, BED RACK:
• Alu-Box mounted to Front Runner Roof Rack
• Custom interior and exterior integrated storage boxes
• FrontRunner awning
• Step 22 Stingray flat boxes
• Alu-Cab shower cube
• (4) Helinox chairs and table
• Exped sleeping bags with Exped sleeping pads
• Step 22 Stingray Flat boxes, Hedgehog Toiletry rolls & Tenkile Tech Pouch
• CGear sand-free mat
• Halite dry bags
• Alu-cab shower cube
CAMP KITCHEN GEAR:
• Primus cookware
• Nespresso Pixie compact espresso machine
• FrontRunner folding table
• (2) Dometic fridges
• Partner steel stove
• ARB onboard air, Step 22 Pangolin tool roll
ELECTRONICS, COMMUNICATION, IN-CABIN ACCESSORY MOUNTS:
• (2) Dometic fridges – one front load and one drawer
• Webasto heater
• Warm water boiler/heat exchange
• Outside shower. Hot and cold water
• Fresh filtered water 15 gallons
• Sink with hot and cold water
• 3-burner stovetop
• LED camper lighting with charge posts
• Sleeps four – one bed above and a bed below
• Pass through cab
• Teak floors
AUDIO, MULTIMEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT ELECTRONICS
• Simarine PICO onboard information panel touch screen
• (4) Recaro Sportster CS leather seats
• (2) SunWare 100wp solar panels
• Victron Energy 2000w power inverter
• Shore power plug in
• (2) AMG house batteries and one starter battery
• Alpine Halo 11 with Alpine backup camera Focal speakers
• Rocky Talkies
• Gamin InReach