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2018 Custom 4x4 of the Year finalist: Toyota LC79 GXL

By Justin Walker, 26 Nov 2018 4x4OTY

2018 Custom 4x4 of the Year finalist: Toyota LC79 GXL

Workhorse turned adventure tourer was built to tick one off the bucket list.

ALLAN and Kathy Huxtable initially built this LC79 for shorter escapes, but circumstances changed when Allan accepted a redundancy and the couple sold everything and hit the road on a more permanent basis. The vehicle already had a schmick canopy, rooftop tent, kitchen, fridge and electrics, but a few things needed to be added such as a caravan and a tinny, which, in turn, meant more mods.

The canopy and its internal setup has been tweaked slightly over the years, but the setup (two side doors and one large rear slide-out tray underneath) retains all the essentials, with the kitchen accessed via a large lift-up door. Allan has also utilised one of MSA 4X4’s excellent drop-down fridge slides for the Waeco fridge.

2018 Custom 4x4 of the Year: The finalists

The opposite side of the canopy is where larger gear is stored, as well as a Coleman hot-water camp shower. Also fitted inside the canopy is the power system, comprising two 120amp/h deep-cycle batteries, an ARB air compressor and a Redarc 1000-Watt inverter; while Redarc’s Manager30 battery management system keeps it all running smoothly. Hidden underneath is a 110L stainless steel water tank, accessed via a 12V pump.

The rooftop tent, capable of fitting a double mattress inside it, features a heavy-duty PVC outer with a full-mesh inner. The tent’s solid top incorporates a boat loader for the couple’s Sea Jay 3.9 Nomad tinny, along with a permanently affixed Redarc 200W solar panel. Allan has built a unique boat-loading system that uses the Cruiser’s Runva 11XP winch, which is housed in an ARB bullbar.

The addition of the caravan saw Allan replace the LC79’s standard leaf-sprung rear suspension with a trick JMACX Offroad Solutions rear coil-spring conversion, while also upping the GVM to 3900kg. This kit offers a wider rear track to match the 79’s front end, hardened axles, Lovells coil springs, Icon remote-reservoir dampers, and airbags (controlled via an in-cabin setup) for towing. The Cruiser sports a four-inch lift as a result and rolls on 16x8-inch Allied Wasp wheels shod with BFGoodrich LT285/75 R16s.

A subtly modified 4.5L TDV8 donk punches out 160kW and 603Nm; the turbo has been tweaked by Munro Turbochargers, a Unichip Q4 has been fitted, and there’s a two-inch crossover pipe, with a three-inch stainless steel straight-through exhaust. Stopping the rig is an upgraded brake booster with braided lines and slotted rotors up front.

Custom 4x4: Read our full feature on Allan & Kathy's LC79

The cabin has all the essentials: EGT exhaust gas temp gauge, boost gauge, airbag controls, and gauges. Allan has also added a roof console, centre console and door pods, with the latter housing the Alpine sound system’s speakers. Dynamat sound deadener was added throughout, while new seats will replace what Allan describes as “shit” stock items.


Check out the Top ten finalists of the 2018 Custom 4x4 of the Year, cast your vote and be in the running to win a Maxxis voucher valued at up to $2000!