I was recently in Utah, which is a rather large state out west that’s shaped like a washing machine, and I made a day trip to Moab to visit Arches National Park. If you haven’t been to Arches, it’s called that because it has a lot of arches. A couple of them collapse every year. I learned this on Wikipedia.
Anyway, the thing about Moab, which is a town near Arches, is that it’s sort of a paradise for all manner of off-roading SUVs and ATVs and 4-wheelers. I didn’t have quite enough time to spend in Moab taking pictures of all these things, but trust me, they’re there. I even saw a current-generation Ford Explorer with off-road wheels and tires.
So I was looking around Moab, enjoying seeing all of these cool SUVs and trucks, when I discovered something called NAVTEC Expeditions. When I say I "discovered" them, what I mean is that I passed a parking lot full of maybe a dozen perfectly-built 80-Series Toyota Land Cruisers, and my jaw dropped, and I made a U-Turn, and I took the above pictures through my windshield.
All over Moab, there are places where you can rent off-roader vehicles to explore the zillions of miles of trails they have in the area. So I was initially very excited by this 80-Series Land Cruiser parking lot, because I figured this was a place where you could rent an 80-Series Land Cruiser. This would be amazing. No more Chevy Malibu you got from the Avis at Salt Lake City International Airport. Imagine driving around the canyons in someone else’s built 80 Series Land Cruiser!
Unfortunately, it turns out they don’t actually do rentals, but rather guided tours; someone else drives the Land Cruiser while you check out the scenery. Their entire website is full of images that show these 80-Series Land Cruisers exploring all sorts of beautiful Utah areas, including Arches, and also Canyonlands National Park, which is nearby.
Still — even though you aren’t driving, this is quite possibly the coolest thing I can imagine: exploring some of the most beautiful scenery in one of the coolest soon-to-be-classic 4x4s around. I think I’d end up taking more pictures of the Land Cruisers than the scenery along the way. And so, ladies and gentlemen, if you ever visit Moab, keep this in mind: You can do a guided tour of the best spots from the awesomeness of an 80-Series Land Cruiser. No, you aren’t driving — but it still beats that Malibu from Avis. Find a Toyota Land Cruiser for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.