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1971 Toyota Hilux - Gudlux

Budget Build, Badass Results

Mike Alexander
Jan 1, 2010
Photographers: Henry Z. De Kuyper
OWNER: Robin Moody
RIDE: 1971 Toyota Hilux
HOMETOWN: Arlington, TX
CLUB: Exiles
When hunting for a new project, many of us go through the same phases and can't decide what we want to build, we just know that we want to do something different.
Photo 2/11   |   1971 Toyota Hilux rear Left View
Well, when Robin Moody first stumbled across this 1971 Toyota Hilux it was sitting all by its lonesome in a driveway. Robin did what any good minitrucker on the hunt for his next project would do and left a note on the door. About a week later Robin received a phone call, and that very same day he struck a bargain and Robin drove the truck home. That's right, he DROVE it home. Now, it wasn't in perfect condition; in fact it still isn't, but that's what makes this little Hilux so damn cool!
The funny thing is Robin told the original owner that he was just going to "restore" it. Robin knew this was a body style that not too many people have messed with, but he also had other big projects already in the works, namely a 1963 Cadillac Hearse, so he never wanted to turn this into a full on crazy buildup. Like most, he began with a small budget and wanted to stick with a simple buildup of something he could just have fun with and drive whenever and wherever.
Photo 3/11   |   1971 Toyota Hilux front View
The first order of business was handled by Robin and his wife. They buffed out the chalky oxidation and brought the original paint to a surprising shine. After that Robin measured the backspacing, did a little research, and quickly found out that he had to have custom offset wheels made. The guys at Centerline Wheels came to the rescue and had 17-inch Boulevard wheels to his door in 11 days flat. Robin cruised Gudlux with just the wheels for a bit as he was deciding which route to take next. After lowering it and unsuccessfully trying to sell it, he decided that he would keep it and dump a little coin into it.
After many late nights of pondering the right "look," Robin decided that the chevrons on the mirrors and the turn signals really hinted at a military look, so that's the route he wanted to take. He had reverse stencils made after researching military lettering and symbols and painted them on using a light coat of spray paint, and then aged the paint using fine cut buffing compound. The toolboxes in the bed that now house the batteries for the hydraulics are Craftsman units that he dented up and then painted olive drab green. The battery hold-downs are surplus military straps from the Army/Navy store.
Photo 4/11   |   1971 Toyota Hilux right Side View
The whole time Robin was tinkering and creating the perfect military look, Keith from Nfamus Air Suspension was busy building the perfect hydraulic suspension setup to complement Gudlux. The original plan was to go with airbags, but Robin picked up some used hydraulic equipment for cheap and with a lot of help from Derrick over at they created the perfect setup. Robin asked Keith to use a lot of dimple dies when fabbing the bridge and other parts to carry the military theme into the frame. There is a boxed crossmember under the bed that the link bars are mounted to and sports 1-inch dimple dies throughout. Robin wanted the finished product to be left in bare metal to show off the craftsmanship of Keith's work and keep with the theme - there is a definite beauty to bare metal that's been brushed with a scotchbrite pad. This is the very first truck that Keith has built using hydraulics and he couldn't have done a better job.
Photo 5/11   |   1971 Toyota Hilux rear View
The best part about this entire build and the theme is that it's inexpensive and didn't require extremely time-consuming additions such as crazy body mods, bodywork, paint, and interior. It allows the well preserved interior and exterior to be displayed, which on a truck like this is pretty neat as most people probably haven't seen this body-style Toyota in person. The theme allowed Robin to really obsess over the little details that sell the whole look without doing a bunch of crazy and expensive mods, but he still landed a feature for sticking to his plan and being creative. Looks killer, and we can't wait to see what's next! For more details, check out the Lowdown.
Photo 6/11   |   1971 Toyota Hilux front Left View
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 17x7 Centerline Boulevards with Satin Centers
Backspacing: 5 inches
Tires: 215/40ZR17 Hankook
Photo 7/11   |   1971 Toyota Hilux fuel Cell
Chassis Modifications
Suspension Front: 6-inch chrome hydraulic cylinders with accumulators and no springs
Suspension Rear: Four-link, custom bridge, 12-inch cylinders on powerballs with accumulators
Control Arms: Heavily modified stock arms
Pumps: Two pumps with a shared plexi whammy tank, Marzocchi Pump Heads, billet bearing caps, pumps run at 24v
Hydro Accessories: Two Optima batteries in each toolbox to run each pump
Frame Mods: C-notch, custom-made and relocated crossmembers
Misc.: Dumps, slowdowns, and all other plumbing hidden under bed, hard lines under bed, all metal work left bare and coated with Gibbs Penetrating Oil for a natural finish
Performed By: Owner and Nfamus Air Suspension
Body Modifications
Misc.: Tranny tunnel notched in back for driveshaft clearance, rear wheeltubs raised with filler panels
Performed By: Keith at Nfamus Air Suspension
Photo 8/11   |   1971 Toyota Hilux batteries
Brand: Stock, buffed-out, military graphics courtesy of Krylon and reverse stencils
Misc.: Hot-rod inspired pinstriping front and rear
Performed By: Owner
Misc.: All original with Fatmat on floor and back wall
Performed By: Owner
Head Unit: Kenwood CD with iPod connect
Mids and Highs: Sony Mobile ES 6 1/2-inch components in custom fiberglass kick pods
Performed By: Owner
Engine: Toyota 8RC with 18R high-compression head
Header/exhaust: Muffler mounted under cab
Transmission: Stock four-speed
Detail Work: Hidden hard brake lines under rearend
Misc.: Engine turned mech. fuel pressure gauge, 13-gallon spun aluminum fuel cell in bed
Performed By: Owner
Special Thanks From Owner:
"My mom and dad, my wife Wendy for putting up with the long nights and all of her help. Ben 'The Beejer' Holt, Keith at Nfamus Air suspension for making all this happen. Derek at, Angel at Synthetic Designs, Aurelio at A&M Customs, everyone at for their support, Jay at The Hack Shack, Big TJ, Eric Pierce, Old Gregg, Seth from Twistedminis and everyone else who helped out that I forgot to mention here. And of course Mini Truckin' magazine for the awesome feature!"



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