We’ve assembled an incredible list of modified machines for the inaugural Custom 4X4 Of The Year award.
Toyota’s LandCruiser 70 range has long been one of the favourites of the 4x4 community. As one of the last ‘real’ 4x4s available on the market, there’s no wonder this particular model is so sought after.
With so many enthusiasts still preferring the 70 Series over newer designs, aftermarket parts and modifications are readily available to fix any perceived shortcomings of the model.
For this particular rig, Leigh Hardman of Marks 4WD started with a brand-new LC79. First the ride height was increased by 150mm via Marks portal axles and the rear axle was widened by 50mm to match the front end track. The portal boxes also added another 100mm to the track width. LC200 wheels with a +60 offset are used to reduce the width back to 80mm over stock.
The front axle has been fitted with heavy-duty, one-piece swivel hubs and air-operated free-wheels hubs, activated via a button in the cabin. The factory front and rear lockers have been converted to air-actuation, so it’s simply a matter of priming the ARB air compressor and hitting the button to put it in 4x4. Everything is then locked via the transfer lever and factory locker dial.
The Toyota LC79 has had its brakes upgraded and now include slotted rotors, high-performance pads and braided stainless-steel lines. In order to further bolster its stopping power, the Cruiser also features a Marks 4WD hydraulic brake booster conversion, with a drum-style brake on the back of the transfer case in order to assist the park brake holding the vehicle on a hill.
A six-speed auto 6L90 transmission unit from General Motors has been mated to the calibrated and tuned 1VD V8 engine – a perfect match for more grunt. The engine has been flash-tuned and fitted with a Safari Armax four-inch snorkel with larger openings. A four-inch intake tube leads to an HPD intercooler with a Redback three-inch exhaust.
The rumble of the tuned V8 and squeeze of the brakes lets you know that not all is as it seems in this Landy, however Leigh’s not easily contented. Since our photo shoot, this truck now sports a metal canopy/camper box on the back.
Vote for Marks 4WD LC79 to decide this year's Custom 4x4 of the Year.