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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

No joke: Toyota Land Cruiser 300 bakkie a reality Down Under

Despite a four year waiting list, an Australian firm has offered customers the chance of turning their Toyota Land Cruiser 300 into a bakkie.

An apparent waiting list of four years and on-going supply issues related to the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 earlier this year, resulted in a personal apology from the brand’s President and CEO, Akio Toyoda.

According to a translated version of the statement picked-up by motor1.com in January, the grandson of Toyota Motor Corporation founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, said, “We sincerely apologise that it will take a long time to deliver the Land Cruiser to you after you place an order.

Toyota Land Cruiser 300 bakkie
Rear section of the Land Cruiser 300 removed. Image: creativeconversions.com.au

“The Land Cruiser has been very well received in Japan and around the world [but] if you place an order now, the delivery time may be up to four years. We will do our utmost to shorten the delivery time for our customers”.

Subsequently, reports from Japan alleged that orders been halted for both it and its twin, the Lexus LX for the domestic market, as a result of demand outstripping supply.

ALSO READ: Toyota Land Cruiser 300: Which is better, petrol or diesel?

Outside of Japan, the Land Cruiser 300 has been subjected to excessive price mark-ups with Australia, a key market, being one of the hardest-hit.

The delays hasn’t stopped a Brisbane-based engineering firm though from creating a custom-made double cab version of the Land Cruiser 300 for customers wanting the provided luxury with the hauling capability of the Hilux and Land Cruiser 70-series.

Toyota Land Cruiser 300 bakkie
Removal of the rear section turns then redesigned to turn the Land Cruiser 300 into a chassis cab. Image: Creative Conversions Facebook.

Not sanctioned by Toyota Australia or indeed Toyota Japan, the conversation by Creative Conversions involves the rear section behind the second-row being removed completely and an entire new section with a fixed rear window grafted on.

A reported investment of AU $2-million (R23-million) that takes 15 000 hours to complete, the process further involves the chassis being re-engineered and strengthened, the various electrical connections rewired and rerouted to accommodate the now chassis cab end and the interior upgraded.

Toyota Land Cruiser 300 bakkie
Extensive redesigning has gone into making the Land Cruiser 300 a bakkie. Image: creativeconversions.com.au

Depending on customer requirement, the conversion comes in three stages that results in the wheelbase being extended by between 700 mm and 800 mm, therefore making it capable of accommodating a typical Australian tray-type loadbin measuring between 1 800 mm and 2 100 mm.

In stage one guise, the gross vehicle mass (GVM) is upped from the standard Land Cruiser 300’s 3 280 kg to 3 800 kg, while the second stage ups the ante to 4 495 kg. The final stage keeps the GVM unchanged, but increase the braked trailer towing capacity from 3 500 kg to 4 200 kg.

Toyota Land Cruiser 300 bakkie
Opened flap hides a storage area integrated into the redesigned panel, separating the cabin from the bare chassis. Image: creativeconversions.com.au

Said to have been in the works for two years, the firm, whose resume includes similar conversions to the Land Cruiser 70-series as well as the outgoing Land Cruiser 200, didn’t disclose any pricing, though it is likely to be pricier than the $26 195 (R301 734) charged for a double cab conversion of the latter.

No changes have been made underneath the bonnet though where the Australian-market Land Cruiser 300 only offers the 227kW/700Nm 3.3-litre turbodiesel V6 engine paired to the ten-speed automatic gearbox.

Toyota Land Cruiser 300 bakkie
Aussie-style tray loadbin measures between 1 800 mm and 2 100 mm. Image: creativeconversions.com.au

As with the New Zealand-only Suzuki Jimny pick-up, the double cab Land Cruiser 300 is a strict Aussie-only model with no plans, at present, of a similar setup being initiated elsewhere.  

Additional reporting by carexpert.com.au

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