People have been driving cars off-road for as long as vehicles existed. There’s just something about going off the beaten path, pushing over difficult terrain, and arriving somewhere that the average sedan can’t reach. While there’s no shortage of modern off-roaders today, the automotive worlds has some classic off-road rides that have stood the test of time.
6 of the Best Classic Off-Roaders Ever
Classic off-road vehicles may lack many of today’s luxuries, but they were immensely powerful, capable, and retro cool. If you’re in the market for a new off-roader, consider snagging one of these classics before going for a shiny new option. All of the entries below have two things in common – they’re insanely tough beasts and the model is out of production:
- Ford Bronco
The ’66 to ’77 Ford Broncos were designed to compete with rivals like the Jeep CJ, and it executed the job beautifully. It used to be available as a pickup, hardtop, or convertible, and made easy pickings out of any terrain. Today, vintage Broncos are auctioned off at very expensive prices, so consider yourself lucky if you find one.
- Land Rover Defender
This machine is a true legend. The Land Rover Defender dates as far back as 1948, when it reigned as one of the most trusted vehicle in the planet, whether that’s driving over the African safaris or conquering the Australian Outback. The Defender has a reputation for bulletproof engines and tough construction. It is known to run for decades and able to tackle some of the roughest terrains in the world.
- Jeep CJ
The Jeep CJ model was the inspiration for one of the bets off-roaders available today, the Jeep Wrangler. The CJ enjoyed decades in production, and were closely related to World War II military versions. Since the CJ-model was super easy to customize, most owners tended to modify suspensions for extreme adventures like rock crawling.
- Chevrolet K5 Blazer
This classic was launched in 1969, and it was the most luxurious and largest SUV at the time. The Chevrolet K5 Blazer boasted a removal top even before it became a common feature among cars. It’s off-road ready chops was equal to other legends like the CJ and the Bronco.
- Land Rover Discovery
The Discover was Land Rover’s attempt in 1994 to capture the luxury SUV market. Don’t mistake it for a leisure cruiser, however – the Land Rover Discovery can pull of the most complicated tasks off-road. Its long travel suspension and solid axles made it a breeze to go up and down a jagged mountainous trail or bounce over rocky surfaces.
- Toyota Land Cruiser J62
Another monster of a vehicle, the Toyota Land Cruiser J62 was a four-door off-road king. Built until 1989, it was one of the most respected trail-busters at the time. The J62 can dispatch sand dunes, stony trails, and mountain passes without missing a beat.
Off-Road Hall of Fame
Today’s off-road vehicles offer an almost endless list of cutting edge features and amenities, but these classic off-roaders will always have a place in the automotive Hall of Fame. They paved the way for a whole new era of adventures on the road, and will continue to become icons for all time.