Moab is my favorite place to see cool cars. And I go there a lot. On a recent one-night trip to test out the new Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, I couldn’t help but notice an especially high ratio of weird old cars and funky off-roaders, even for this place. I managed to get pictures of a bunch of them, too — so without further ado, here are all of the weird cars I saw on my most recent trip to the off-road capital of the world.
I was hoping to find a Unimog in Moab to get a picture of alongside the G-Wagen. I was excited when I saw this one as soon as I rolled into town, but the owner looked to be dealing with a mechanical issue under the hood, so I opted not to bother him, instead, settling for this mediocre shot I took through the G-Wagen’s windshield.
Here’s a third-generation Nissan Homy. The third-gen Homy was sold from 1986 to 2001, and was also sold as the Caravan and Urvan.
While the full-size Homy was never sold in the U.S. (this one was a gray-market import from Japan), Nissan did offer the smaller Vanette here in the states from 1986 to 1989 — but most were recalled and crushed due to their tendency to burst into flames.
Here’s a 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser in a unique color scheme. The 60-Series Land Cruiser went on sale in 1980. The model sold in the U.S. was known as the FJ60 through the 1987 model year, while an updated model known as the FJ62 went on sale for 1988. The easiest way to tell the two apart is by the headlights: the 60-Series has round headlights, while the 62 has square headlights, like this one.
Here’s a 1993 Mercury Capri. The most notable thing about the third-generation Capri was that it’s one of only a few vehicles to be built in Australia and sold in the U.S. These were front-wheel drive and came with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine — either with or without a turbocharger — paired with a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual.
This one I really couldn’t believe. It’s a 79-Series Toyota Land Cruiser 6×6. The 70-Series Land Cruiser obviously isn’t sold in the U.S., making it a remarkable sighting on its own, but a 6×6?! Next level car encounter. I saw this thing driving up and down Moab’s Main Street on three separate occasions. I imagine it was there for testing. For what? Who knows.
Shortly after encountering the 79-Series Land Cruiser 6×6, I saw this 4-wheeled 79-Series pass by on a flatbed trailer headed in the other direction. Two not-yet-25-year-old 70 Series Land Cruisers in one day! Only in Moab.
It’s one thing to see weird 4x4s in Moab like the 6×6, but a Lotus 7 replica? It’s surprising to see such a unique sports car in a town of under 6,000 like Moab. It had a Michigan plate.
This is a 1964 Clark Cortez. I only know this because I asked my friend Gavin, who runs one of my favorite Instagram accounts, @VintageRVSpotter. These were extremely heavy, weighing in at 8,000 pounds — and given their steel construction, they’re extremely rust-prone. Sold as the Clark Cortez from 1963 to 1970, and later as the Kent Cortez from 1970 through 1979, only 3,211 were built altogether. Find the owners of this one on Instagram under @Van.Project.
And finally, here’s a 2004 Airstream Sprinter Westfalia Camper: one of only 250 to be sold in the US.
Chris O’Neill grew up in the Rust Belt and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in the auto industry for awhile, helping Germans design cars for Americans. Follow him on Instagram: @MountainWestCarSpotter.