Revisiting Classics: 1975 Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux is an important vehicle as this pickup was the precursor to the current Toyota light-duty pickups, like the Tacoma. The Hilux arrived in 1968 and the name is actually still in use in some markets. The 1975 Toyota Hilux sits in the middle of the second generation, which lasted from 1972 to 1978. This pickup already had an established style and a good reputation, but it got additional features and other improvements.

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Get to Know the Second Generation

Before specifically looking at the 1975 Toyota Hilux, you can get a feel for this classic by looking at the generation in general. The second-generation Hilux arrived as a 1973 model year in May of 1972, which is also when the pickup first entered the United Kingdom; this was basically a reworked variation of the first generation and known as the N20. Compared to the first generation, the second-generation Toyota Hilux had a slightly longer wheelbase and a more comfortable interior, but a familiar engine.

The safety features also improved, including load-sensing brake proportioning valves and servo-assisted dual brake master cylinders. A long-wheelbase model arrived pretty quickly after the launch of the second generation and included a 2.25-meter loading bed. The standard transmission for this generation was a 4-speed manual. However, there was also a floor-mounted gearshift available if you went with two front bucket seats instead of the three-person bench.

1975 Toyota Truck

The 1975 Updates

For the 1975 Hilux, Toyota added the option of a larger 2.2-liter engine as the SR5 trim. There was also the new choice of a 5-speed manual transmission. In October of 1975, most markets lost the 2.0-liter engine, except for the American market, which kept the 2.2-liter. This left just the 1.6-liter, in response to new emission standards.

Looking Ahead

Those who want a point of comparison before choosing to get a 1975 Toyota Hilux should also take a quick look at the updates to the third generation, which arrived in September of 1978. The N30 series offered three standard-length models plus four with long wheelbases. By this point, the Hilux had earned a reputation for specifications that resembled that of saloons and ride comfort to match. To get that reputation, the wishbone front suspension from the second-generation Hilux got an update in the form of coil springs instead of a torsion bar.

This was also the generation that saw the introduction of the new Super Deluxe model, the top-of-the-range version. It had extra interior space thanks to a 90-millimeter-longer extended cab. All high-grade Hiluxes in this generation had standard disc brakes. There also was the option of the Toyota embossing on the tailgate.

Finding the 1975 Hilux

Since the 1975 Hilux was sold around the world in multiple markets, there are plenty of these light-duty pickups still available. The only challenge is finding one in your area instead of on the other side of the world. If you look hard enough, you may find one. There is no shortage of suppliers with parts for these models, especially since the Hilux is still in production in the United States – it’s just under a different name.

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