Breaking News! “Project 70″ to Legally Import 70-Series
Over more than a decade in business, Landcruisers NW has experienced firsthand enthusiasts’ strong and consistent demand for several types of Toyota Landcruiser products that are not readily available in North America. After turning away thousands of such enquiries, we decided to help. First, we surveyed the marketplace. We found that Landcruiser enthusiasts revere the 70-series, they love diesel powerplants, and they covet manual transmissions. Landcruiser enthusiasts adore the core product values of durability, capability, and solidity, but have seen the US market deprived of the three best Toyota illustrations of these values.
Because of a strict legal environment, and US-government (EPA and DOT) restrictions, obtaining these vehicles has meant a long and expensive battle with authorities. And due to the scarcity of these products in markets similar to the USA, most of what is here has been obtained from the Japanese market; meaning that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car and it can be dangerous to drive.
In deeper conversations with our customers we also encountered a great deal of reluctance to engage with the darker side of the market. Although the EPA is clear about its 25-year requirement for classic car imports; there are more recent models that mysteriously show up in forums. Some owners complain that only a few states will issue titles for their vehicles, and online debates rage about the legality of the vehicles and the honesty and accuracy of their advertisements. Amongst LCNW clients we have found a strong desire to steer clear of complicated administration and paperwork and anything resembling a fraudulent transaction. Our enthusiasts want the freedom of the Landcruiser without any risky business.
Finally we engaged in exhaustive international research around product. It turns out that the US is not the only market deprived of the 70-series; most of Europe cannot get it either. In fact, Toyota limits its most utilitarian specifications to be publicly sold only in the most demanding markets on earth. So LCNW sat down with people who have been using the 70-series products in their most appropriate applications and on the continent where its image is synonymous with that of the automobile itself: Africa. We engaged the dealers who sell Landcruisers to aid programs and governments, and those that use them for what they are designed for. And then we found where these vehicles have been for the last twenty-five years. We drove them, we tested them, and we found what our customers have been asking for- an enthusiast’s nirvana: 70-series diesel-powered manual transmission Landcruisers. We found short wheelbase two-doors, long wheelbase heavy-duty troop carriers and heavy duty pickups; and everything in between. We even found vehicles that we didn’t know existed in the Toyota lineup, and 4x4s we didn’t know we liked from other brands. It got very exciting.
LCNW’s sources in Africa are not the place to find untouched, unused product. Africa is the place a 70-series was designed for, and each vehicle has its own story. Many were used in complex humanitarian operations, during wartime, and in the African bush. Of one thing you can be certain; none of these vehicles was ever touched by snow salt, and our vehicles tend towards very little rust. One hundred percent of the units we source are legal and legitimate, and ready for importation. We are testing and sourcing the best examples, sorting out the best runners for overland-ready or project rigs, and parting out the others to support our rebuilds and project cars, and for those who might want to swap out power- and drive-trains in existing vehicles.
As a result of this work, LCNW is launching an exciting importation program (“Project 70”) in early 2015. LCNW will be importing several 70-series Landcruisers per month, in addition to parts and accessories for 80-series Landcruisers. Occasionally, we may bring in another kind of vehicle for those of us whose interests stretch beyond Toyota. But the focus of our activity will be to satiate our enthusiastic clients’ demand for manual, diesel, and 70-series Landcruisers; mostly in left-hand drive. LCNW will continue to service its clients needs in rebuilding and restoration products, and we are hopeful that this work will grow as Project 70 moves forward.
What Project 70 Will Bring:
Project 70 will focus on three product categories:
Complete, running 70-series vehicles intended for projects/ restoration/ rebuild
Complete vehicles ready for the trail or overland expeditions
Parts, accessories, and components for Landcruisers already in the USA.
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