1997 Hilux Surf 2.7L Locked
In 1997, SUVs didn't get much better than Hilux Surf. Rocking a refreshed and spacious cabin, these safe, capable, and collectible Toyotas seem to be skyrocketing in value. Finished in a fresh coat of Carbon Black (416), a current BMW hue, this stylish 4x4 is offered with a mere 103k verified and documented miles. Aside from some light dings, chips, and scuffs, the paint is in good nick and the truck is set off by a set of bronze refinished 16" OEM alloys, aftermarket running boards, privacy tint, and a factory swing arm mounted rear tire that is coveted by US 4Runner enthusiasts. Our tough truck is a snap to service and is powered by the same 2.7L powerplant that was offered here stateside and it even includes a center locking diff! For families, weekend warriors, and JDM SUV diehards, this Japanese Classic is quite special and is turn-key ready for an American adventure!
The cabin is different from every other Surf we have seen to date. It seems this is the first example of the revised interior, and the changes are subtle but impactful. The Panasonic headunit looks a touch more modern than the stock unit and sounds decent. The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding and the dash lacks any cracking or fading. We did want to note some light discoloration from a Japanese navigation mount and a loose center climate vent, but otherwise, the cabin is in remarkably good nick. The gauges are clear and easy to read and have been redone to integrate the shift selection display. The seats, trimmed in a familiar corduroy upholstery are now flanked by softer thatched cloth on the side bolsters and seatbacks. They lack any major rips or tears and are comfortable over long drives. Unlike the 4Runner model, the rear bench is 4-way reclinable so that those in the back can relax on road trips. Electric windows, door locks, and mirrors all work in typical Toyota fashion. It even has the rare power sunroof option for those who prefer natural ventilation. In combination with the adjustable driver's lumbar support and tilt adjustable steering wheel, you can see why so many folks daily drive these trucks. The automatic climate control blasts piping hot heat for the winter ahead and cool A/C if you happen to live out west. If you have a furry companion or some big old 2x4s, feel free to unfurl the electric rear glass to help out! The door cards and headliner all have withstood the past quarter century without sustaining major damage, although we did want to note some light staining on the carpets. On the positive side, the stylish OEM carpet mats obscure most of the damage and are included in the purchase of the vehicle, as are the maintenance booklets and owners manual.
Body-on-frame SUVs are largely a thing of the past, which is an awful shame. Today's soft roaders just can't stand up to the abuse of an off-road excursion. The 3RZ-FE is a killer mill, and ours is fresh off an oil and filter service. A new battery delivers an instant crank, and a new air filter allows the four-banger to breathe freely. One of our trained techs also replaced the fuel filter, serpentine belts, spark plugs, and new distributor cap and rotor to keep her purring like a kitten. A new valve cover gasket has been installed, too, keeping the oil topped up. Power is fed through an automatic gearbox and the driver can choose between two and four-wheel drive. New shifter bushings reduce the slack when selecting the proper gear and the selective tranfercase has a little secret hidden up its sleeve. This example is our first gasoline four-cylinder N185 that includes a locking center differential. Helpful on the beach and on the back forty, this little bugger is hard to get stuck. If you somehow manage to do it, rest assured this Hilux has another gear. Well, technically it's a gear reduction, and the low-range 4WD is impressive, although we realize most will keep these things on the pavement exclusively. The suspension has been refreshed with new rear shocks. The ride quality is above average, and large and small potholes are gobbled up by the platform. A new left front wheel bearing was taken care of too, to shore up the driveline. Lastly, we mounted and balanced five new 31" Falken tires. They look mean but most importantly they will last for tens of thousands of miles to come.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.