There was a time when a Toyota Land Cruiser was more than an anonymous-looking luxobarge made somewhat irrelevant by the existence of Lexus. It used to be a rugged, rough-and-tumble SUV built for climbin' and haulin' and kickin' asses. Now, because the off-road gods love us, Toyota is re-releasing their mid-1980s Land Cruiser 70 as a brand new car.
If you're an American, you can be forgiven for not being familiar with the 70-Series Land Cruiser; we didn't get it. But other markets did, and it was a hardcore 4x4 that came in SUV or truck form. Heck, it's even still around in several places, including Australia and other countries.
Now it's back in the Japanese market for one year only, Toyota says. This re-released Land Cruiser 70 has a newer V6 engine, a five-speed manual, "30 years of improvements" to make its frame more rigid, and a revised interior that helps it meet all the modern safety requirements.
As you read this, you're probably all like "This sounds great and I want one! But what's the catch?" The catch is that it's going to be available only in Japan, where it will cost about 3.6 million yen, or roughly $35,000 U.S.
Shame it's not coming here, but I hope it spurs other automakers to do more limited re-releases of their classic truck and car models. That would make a lot of old-school enthusiasts happy, and save us from hours of trawling Craiglist to find a beater we can hopefully fix up.