Back in 2010, the only true “Top Gear” (and presenters) filmed a segment about the seemingly indestructible Toyota Hilux pickup truck. The segment has gone on to become legendary among automotive types on the internet, as the truck repeatedly failed to die, despite an utterly insane amount of abuse that included letting it get washed out to sea, and parking atop a building that was then destroyed with explosives. Somehow, using only basic hand tools, the show’s mechanics were able to keep the plucky truck running through enough destruction to fill one and a half Michael Bay movies.
It would seem, based on Top Gear’s findings, that you couldn’t do much better in a Mad Max style apocalyptic world (where somehow gasoline remained plentiful enough to power entire fleets of hot rods) than the Hilux, but there’s always been one problem: they haven’t been available in the United States since 1995. Don’t get me wrong, the Tacoma is one hell of a truck, and despite being smaller, lighter and less powerful than America’s meat-eating pickups, Toyota’s North American pickup remains a favorite among my redneck buddies in Vermont and Georgia alike, so they must have done something right. For those of us here in the States, the Tacoma has reigned supreme in the minds of many as the premier survival ride on a budget: it’s tough, has good ground clearance, parts are plentiful and it’ll run forever.
There’s just one problem: since everyone knows how good they are, it’s pretty hard to find even an old, high mileage Tacoma for a price most of us are willing to consider “cheap.”
I didn’t include the caption beneath this listing for the sake of space, but suffice to say that paying almost $7,000 for an 18-year-old truck with 285,000 miles on a salvage title isn’t really my idea of prepping on a budget. For most of us, that’s verging dangerously close to daily-driver money, rather than prepper-passion project.
Don’t get me wrong, if I come across the right Tacoma within my budget I’d probably scoop it up, but I still can’t help but feel like I might be able to find something tough and durable to tinker around with that doesn’t require a loan–and that’s when I came across these videos of a group of guys trying desperately to kill this ’94 Volvo 850 Wagon.
I’ve never particularly been a Volvo guy, but after watching this video… they may have just made my list of potential survival rides.
Image courtesy of Volvo