There has been this massive and insane run on old Toyota Land Cruisers in the past few years. Recently there have been sales of FJ40s at auction for insane amounts, which has been wild to see. As someone who has lurked in the FJ vintage market for the past five years, I can’t believe how high things have gone for a vehicle that at one time was totally unimportant. And while I haven’t pulled the trigger on an old FJ (yet), I have become a professional online hunter of trucks I will never buy or own. Jonathan Ward from ICON probably wants to kill me at this point because I ask him his opinion on some new random classified just about every day, or at least once a week. He probably knows I am not going to buy (unless just the right thing came along), but entertains me nonetheless. But sometimes the thrill of the chase is almost good enough.
During one of my many searches I would come across an outfit in Tampa called Volcan 4×4 (which may or may not have taken inspiration from ICON), who sells some very nicely reconfigured FJs and other assorted vintage off-roaders. Most of the stock originated in Central and South America only to be bought, shipped and overhauled in the U.S. by Volcan in Florida.
The company mostly sells soft top FJs, but you will catch an odd Land Rover Series II or even a super random Nissan Patrol from time to time. Well maybe the Patrol isn’t random to me, but I certainly don’t see them around much and when this 1967 truck popped up on Volcan’s Facebook, I was certainly intrigued.
Just like the FJ, the Patrol was Nissan’s answer to the Willy’s Jeep. The styling of the earliest models of the Patrol certainly resembles a Willy’s, and to some degree look a bit more interesting – or maybe just a bit more oddball. As you can see by this ’67 pictured, around the second-gen of these guys in the mid-sixties the trucks had morphed into a sort of handsome Land Rover-Jeep hybrid looking things. The real allure here (and Volcan definitely does a great job with the aesthetics by the way) is the simplicity that these vintage off-road vehicles offer. They just don’t ever seem to want to go out of style or fall out of favor, which is likely why people are going ape shit for them at auction. Though, all that doesn’t really matter if you are a professional vintage off-road lurker like me.
Comments on “On the Hunt for Vintage Off Road.”
In that colour too.
It would be interesting to see someone start a car company that produces more minimalist cars and trucks. Not smaller like a Smart Car, just less technology, bare bones vehicles. I love the interior of that Nissan.
Recently saw a patrol pop up here in Nashville. It was sold in a matter of hours, for a price I couldn’t believe. Cool vehicle, with extra points as a rare find.
Thank you for the nice comments on our 1967 Nissan Patrol L60 “Pearl” (we name all our trucks). Volcan 4×4, LLC is a small Florida classic car dealer with a sister company in Colombia that purchases, overhauls and exports classic 4x4s. Each truck gets a minimum one month overhaul overseen by the owner. This is our third classic Nissan Patrol we have done in a year. Our first Nissan was a blue 1979 LG60 longer wheelbase model that was picked Hemmings Find of the Day. The Nissans were formidable competitors to the FJs and really have a unique style and a very smooth and powerful 4.0 liter straight six. Volcan 4×4 is also a leader in the niche market of providing the unique Toyota FJ43 model. We have delivered 5 FJ43s to clients so far.
Our current project is overhauling a 1986 FJ73 model which we hope to be one of many future 70 series projects. We don’t get the diesels in Colombia but we can source rust free LHD trucks and have access to great Colombian specialists who work on these trucks every day. Again thanks for the write up on the Nissan Patrol. They are definitely iconic vehicles and we were very fortunate to find our “Pearl” for a client.
I love the Nissan Patrol. I especially like the 80’s models with the inline 6 diesel engines but the older models like this one are works of automotive art as well. At least they are to a guy like me who goes by NISMAN lol. That is one sweet Patrol and a much rarer sight than a Land Cruiser. They will go anywhere you dare to take them and they are nearly bulletproof. Parts are also readily available making them much more practical to drive than one might think. Buy it, you’ll like it!
You… complete me.
Agreed. Would love to see a more minimalist design in cars and trucks today.
Completely agree with you guys. Today’s 4x4s and trucks are overwrought with needless tech and gadgetry. I don’t need/want AC, heated seats, and a touchscreens in my truck damnit!
It’s rather ironic that today’s Japanese autos are often the ones with bulging fenders and tail lights. Despite some minor improvements for 2015, the 4runner is a bloated mess.
FJ’s, Patrols, Scouts, old Willy’s…. What are your thoughts on the old EU models? Old Land Rover Defenders are pretty amazing in my opinion, and then you can get crazy and find some (more tame versions of) Unimog’s and Pinzgauer’s.
No airbags. No modern safety features. These cars are pretty but please, they are incredibly impractical and borderline unsafe.
Wonderful looking 4×4, thanks for sharing. 80 series Landcruiser’s (92-97) are handsome, cheap, modern, and are slowly appreciating.
In Russia there is a mass market car called UAZ Hunter which is still ptoduced. It looks exactly as Nissan Patrol, can be bought new and I bet vosts a lot more. Google it.
Bob, is it not that lack of modern contrivance that makes them so attractive?
I am waiting to see the movement back to analog features on trucks and autos like we have seen with cameras. Todayâ€™s best cameras are learning how to merge analog features, solid tangible feel with technology after many camera manufacturers went overboard with technology and abandoned the tangible feel of pulling film, working aperture dials, hand-focusing, etc. When I look at contemporary cars they all feel soulless, too much unwanted gadgetry and design that is really inspiring. Example: The current Dodge Challengerâ€™s body is fantastic but when you sit in it there is no design continuity with the retro-inspired exterior. Icon and Vulcan is tapping an unmet market, I hope the big players pay attention and get us out of this sad state of car design.
I’d love to drive one of these beauts … what a great vehicle!
Mathew, its interesting to hear that. Hardy rough road cars come with a lot of benefits.
Rumors keep popping up that Ford is bringing back the Bronco. If they actually ever do, it would be a great opportunity to create a spare, lean body with modern safety and equipment.
@Matt, when you’ve witnessed an accident and seen what the lack of airbags can do to the occupants of a vehicle, you’ll work hard to never drive in an old car again. YMMV. They’re lovely cars and very charming, I agree. No airbags = no purchase.
Now I have another vintage vehicle to obsess over.
As a 37-year-long owner of a 1973 FJ40, which I bought from the original owner for $3500, I’ve watched with amusement the spike in auction prices for pristine examples. Mine’s in nice shape, but it has 300,000-plus miles of work and travel on it too. So far I haven’t been offered more than five times what I paid for it; it would take a lot more than than to pry the keys away from me, and if it happened at any price my wife would kill meâ€”that’s our first-date car.
Incidentally, there’s a long-standing legend, most certainly apocryphal but amusing nonetheless, that Toyota and Nissan reached an agreement in the late 1960s whereby Toyota would stop importing the 2000GT so that Nissan could introduce the 240Z, and in return Nissan would stop importing the Patrol so Toyota could dominate the market with the Land Cruiser.
A year ago, I made the trip to Tampa to meet with the Volcan 4×4 guys and was very impressed with what they are doing. I am VERY particular about details and am usually skeptical, but Charlie’s a rare guy that is doing things the right way. He creates tremendous value for his customers I know, once people find him, he will eventually have more business than he can handle. I am thrilled with the investment I made with Volcan 4×4!
Obviously Bob is everyone’s auntie.
Comments are closed.