There are two types of excellent cars and trucks. The initially is what we concentration on most on these internet pages, those vehicles that supply good activities via what they do for the driver. GT3s and Miatas dominate those conversations. The next kind of greatness is just as essential: Machines that don’t inherently present excellent ordeals but enable them. If that is your barometer for results, you just can’t do considerably much better than a 100-Series Land Cruiser.
Taken on its very own, my 2004 Lexus LX470—the posh man’s Land Cruiser—doesn’t appear like considerably fun. It is got significant comfortable leather seats, uncomfortable and nondescript styling, and none of the tough-man bona fides you get with a contemporary 4Runner TRD Professional or 50 percent-ton truck. The driving practical experience is nothing exclusive, possibly. The hydraulic suspension is pillowy soft and prone to key overall body roll in the corners, the steering devoid of truly feel, and the 235-hp 4.7-liter V-8 overburdened with 5590 lbs to haul. Almost nothing about it is likely to gentle your senses on hearth.
Irrespective of that, in the four months considering that I acquired it, the LX has turn out to be my favorite vehicle I’ve ever owned. I have had much more fantastic memories in this truck than in my S2000, E39 M5, and NA Miata combined. The explanation for that is easy. The LX doesn’t just enable adventures, it necessitates them.
In any other case, I’d be a idiot to run this sort of a gas-guzzling behemoth as a solitary guy now residing in California. Capacity like this calls for an owner who’s going to use it. So I have.
It started out the working day right after I bought the truck, when I loaded it with half of my daily life in Brooklyn and established off back again home. The adhering to 7 days I drove the 500 miles again from Ohio to get the rest. Merged with the journey back from buying it up in Maryland, that designed for about 1500 miles of driving in week 1. The LX, with seats ripped from an outdated man’s place of work and suspension off a ‘67 Cadillac, produced the miles disappear.
A several times later, I loaded up all three rows with relatives and established off for nevertheless one more travel to a Jason Isbell live performance. My stepmom had no complaints about a stint in the 3rd row. My father, who drove us residence in the LX, hasn’t stopped asking about it due to the fact. He’s contemplating of having one particular when he retires.
Then I loaded it up all over again and moved West, getting as significantly of my everyday living with me as I could. I have presently composed about how it performed, but the quick model is that the LX exceeded my expectations and gained above a further admirer in Andrew, my finest close friend and co-driver on that vacation. As a result of the best interstate move and what felt like an unlimited blizzard, the LX—loaded up to the windows in just about every dimension—never faltered. It just worked.
The same’s been correct in the two months due to the fact I bought to San Diego. 1st it hauled household furniture, then tenting gear, then surfboards, then camping gear once again. It labored so properly as a desert camping rig for a few grown men that the up coming time we did it with 4. A trunk piled to the roof with firewood and bottled drinking water didn’t halt us from discovering Joshua Tree’s off-road trails, letting us to take a look at both of those its significant-speed unpaved prowess and its compliance in excess of what should not have, technically, been jumps. The 18-yr-outdated Lexus ate it up.
Of system, many vehicles could do most of these matters. But I can not feel of one more car or truck that could do all of it—the limitless freeway miles and the seven-man or woman live shows and the weighty-responsibility hauling and the off-road shenanigans—for under 20 grand and with plenty of dependability that I’d be comfy hauling off the high-faculty buddies to a backcountry camping journey.
So after a long time of swapping autos each individual two-five months, I assume I have located a keeper. In four months it has crossed a countrywide park threshold 7 instances, traversed the complete place after, enabled a few existence-affirming adventures, transported countless pals, and blasted all of my favored songs. It is accumulated 8000 miles in my care, bringing the total to 195,000 on its odometer as of Monday, without demanding anything at all but mild bulbs and oil.
It is old, amusing-on the lookout, scratched, and out-of-date. It guzzles $5.60 a gallon California fuel and however accelerates like a Prius. But it is received my weekend experience gear sitting in its trunk, it continue to reeks of a few individual campfires, and it is the finest supporting actor in a dozen recollections now.
A hundred miles into our Joshua Tree journey, my good friend Connor set it greatest: “Mack, this is the finest issue you’ve ever bought.”
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