The Toyota Hilux is an immortal legend, its reputation set in stone through incredible trials. Either quiet farm work for decades, ripping across warzones taking part in revolutions, or when a tall guy from England tries deliberately to destroy one. Having a truck like this here in the United States is a unique experience. For one, people love to see old Toyota trucks that are well-taken care of and being enjoyed, probably mixed in with nostalgia. Then they see it’s right hand drive, hear it’s diesel and suddenly it takes on a very exotic flair. Everyone looks at this truck. When it’s brought to Cars and Coffee, people approach it with reverence, whispering to each other about how they can’t be killed. Regardless of the mystique surrounding the name ‘Hilux’ now, the truck itself is an incredibly engineered monument to longevity and simple operation. Something like a Porsche or Ferrari has an in-built air of desirability, sexy, cool. Those vehicles are born coveted. This Hilux wasn’t born privileged, it has earned it through decades of hard work.
Body on frame, solid front and rear axles, disc brakes up front, drums in back. Under the hood is what keeps this truck moving, a 2.4 liter NA diesel engine. Completely cast iron, completely mechanical, completely unaware of the idea of breaking down. All-mechanical 4WD system, no push-button 4WD here. Original white steel wheels with the original center caps are present, wrapped in white-letters-out BF Goodrich KO2s. Paint is Toyota’s ‘dark gray metallic’ and shines wonderfully. Decal package on either side has held up incredibly well, especially considering this truck is almost 33 years old. Versus the ‘Toyota Pickup’ that we were graced here with in the US, this one is a double cab variant, allowing a couple more people to come along. This ends up having the effect that people recognize what it is from far away, but start asking questions the more they look at it.
Inside you’ll find quite a bit more gray, with excellent condition front and back seats. Included is an excellent info ‘pod’ on the dashboard that includes an inclinometer and altimeter. Crucially, this Hilux is factory equipped with air conditioning that works great. Head unit is a radical Pioneer unit from the era that includes a working tape deck and slot-loading CD player, but also a functioning spectrum analyzer. We’ve also installed an FM line bypass, giving you an AUX in from any source with a stereo jack. Best of all, this line-in works with the spectrum analyzer. Inside the glovebox you’ll find the original owner’s manual, with a stack of maintenance history, registration documents and the manual for the already-mentioned tape deck. The rear bench seat can be folded forward, revealing the included bottle jack and tool kit.
Condition-wise is excellent, as the pictures clearly show. The paint is in very good shape, with various scratches on various panels, detailed with pictures. There were holes in the floors of both the driver and passenger’s footwells which has since been repaired properly with new panels welded in, please see the photos. The bed has bits of rust, but the largest condition issue is the headache rack has been bent backwards 6~ inches, and it looks like they drove into something very low at speed as there are three gouges on the roof as well.
This has been used as our daily driver since March of 2021 and has not missed a beat, even in the brutal Florida heat. We’ve replaced all absorbers with Toyota originals, all bushings in the suspension, the front rotors, calipers, pads and hardware. We’ve done the same in the rear, new drums, shoes, cylinders and hardware. Truck also includes its OEM running boards and a front push-bar; we removed them for aesthetics. She drives straight and true, is a joy to all that see it and gives a sort of direct experience you simply can not buy in a truck today.
This is a gloriously unique truck, right at the pinnacle of ‘Toyota’. Marty McFly and his ‘four by four’, Top Gear and their destroyed-but-not-dead Hilux, this 88 Hilux double cab sits right beside them. Everyone loves it, everyone respects it, and its legend will only continue to grow as time marches on. If you want one of these vehicles then I’d move sooner rather than later. Tomorrow there will be less than today, and they will be even more expensive and coveted tomorrow.
Talk to us about the 1988 Toyota Hilux SR Double Cab LN65 by filling out the form below. We will get back to you as soon as we can!