Technology has traveled a lot of terrain in advancements for off-roading enjoyment. But some of our best memories are in those old 4x4s comprised of nothing but man and machine. Check out these throwback 4x4s that focused on capability and not connectivity.
The Jeep CJ-7 introduced wider rear leaf springs to deliver a more stable ride and has a 93.5-inch wheelbase, allowing it to go where other 4x4s could not. It is one of the most accessible 4x4s for modifications with basic tools and a lift kit. Jeep fans know and love the CJ-7.
Land Rover began production of the Defender in 1983. Originally introduced as the “Land Rover One Ten” and “Land Rover Ninety,” reflecting the length of their wheelbase. The Defender brought some modernizations to the 4x4 sect, including coil springs, a permanent four-wheel drive system featuring a lockable center differential and a taller one-piece windshield.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is known for needing little modification straight out of the factory. Its stock four-wheel drive had the capability to overcome just about any obstacle facing the driver. There are many Land Cruisers around with hundreds of thousands of miles on them. But their stock engines are still taking their owners on adventure after adventure.
Appearing from 1969 to 1991, the Chevrolet K5 Blazer brought a full sized 4x4 to enthusiasts across America. A choice between a V8 or V8 diesel brought an ample amount of horsepower to make it over any obstacle and get through tight places with a sharp turning radius.
Debuting in 1966, the Ford Bronco remains one of the best off-road vehicles made. A 92-inch wheelbase brought a Jeep-like turning radius, with later models having the option of a V8 engine for extra power. Eventually, the Bronco was replaced with the F-150 line.
One of the original 4x4s produced in the United States, the Dodge Power Wagon was based on the Dodge WWII military truck. The original design lasted into the 1970s with a 126-inch wheelbase and three different engine sizes to choose from. Whichever power wagon you pick, you’ll have a heck of a time off the road.
Originally created in 1961 as a competitor for Jeep, the International Harvester Scout help set the stage for future four-wheel drive recreational vehicles. The original Scout featured a fold-down windshield on the prototype and moved to feature a removable hard top with options of a full-length roof, half cab pickup and/or soft-top on the Scout II. Four-cylinder and V8 options provided plenty of power for the stickiest of situations. The International Harvester Scout was built to last, but never really caught the American public like Jeep and the Bronco did.
What are your favorite throwback 4x4s?