The first 4x4 compact Toyota.
This model is very similier to
the Toyota introduced in North
America. It would a few years
later before the Hilux and
North American pick-up split
into two distinquished models.
The all new Toyota compact
truck was small, effecient and
rugged off road.  Just what
people were looking for.
When Toyota introduced the new truck all over the world in 1979, it was an instant hit.   Both the US and
overseas models had diesel and petrol motors as an option.    The only petrol motor available in the US was
the 20R for '79-'80 models, and the 22R for the '81-'83 models.   Some foreign models did have another
petrol engine as an option (more details on this engine in the future).  The optional diesel engine was the 2L.

This new Hilux would introduce a frame and basic front and rear suspension that would continue through 3
additional  Hilux generations.  While later frames would have slight differences, the same basic layout and
suspension would remain in production for almost 18 years.   A testamont to an excellent original design.   
Even the petrol 20R engine, which was first introduced a few years earlier would survive in an updated form
through at least 1997 and possibly even a few years longer on some African Hilux models.   

It's commonly thought that Toyota didn't introduce a 4 door model until the 2nd generation 4x4 in 1984.  But
the fact is, Toyota offered a 4 door model in this generation as well.   See pictures below.

The Hilux namesake was actually applied to US models beginning with the first two wheel drive Hilux in the
early 1970s and continuing through the early 1980s.  Toyota dropped the Hilux name on US models in the
early 1980s for unknown reasons.  I suspect it may have been in anticipation of the two paths that the U.S.
and foreign Toyota trucks would take in future generations.   Since 1984, the foreign and North American
trucks were essentially two distinquished models with dramatic differences in some models.   Chief
complaints of this first generation were thin single wall sheet metal for the cab and bed, which can easily rust
out.   These were tough trucks, though, and many lasted far longer than any of the competition's trucks.    
Most were driven into the ground over a period of many years and several decades and few remain today.  
But since the same basic fundemental design continued in production through 1997,  and with parts of the
original design still in production today, it's legacy will last for many more decades to come.
Pictures of the 1978-1983 foreign Hilux 4X4s.  While pictures of US model trucks of this generation are
abundant, overseas Hilux version are a bit harder to come by.  All pictures are of the overseas version.
Click on images for larger view.
A British 1983 Toyota Hilux 4x4
located in the United Kindom.
Click on image for larger view.
Another Australian Hilux owner
proving how tough these trucks
really are.
Three pictures of an early 1980s Toyota Hilux playing in the Australian mud.
Four  pictures of a 1983 Toyota Hilux.  Highly modified.  Also playing in Australia.
A highly modified 1982 Hilux 4X4,
in preparation for the Australian
Tuff Truck challenge.  Twin
A 1983 Hilux from Australia, owned by Scott Henry.  This is a factory 4 door.    These pictures were sent to me by Buddy
Dryden of Australia, but were originally posted on the www.pirate4x4.com board.  You can see Bud's website at
www.buds4x4.com  for more info on Bud's project Toyota, check out This Link.
Smári Sigurbjörnsson from Iceland sent me these pictures of his 1980 Toyota Hilux.  He said that it has a 22R engine, ARB air lockers
front and rear, 38" radial mudders on 15x15" wheels.   As can be seen it's built to be driven on the ice and snow that is prevelent in parts
of Iceland. The super wide tires are common on rigs built in that country and work well when driving on vast expanses of soft snow.  
Of course, the question everyone wants to know is about the back half of this Hilux truck.  The rear half of this Hilux is a custom built
steel enclosure.   The pictures you see above were taken in 1995, when the Hilux and custom rear enclosure were  rebuilt due to rust.

Well built rig and what appears to be possibly a one of a kind.
A factory 4 door 1983 Hilux 4x4 in Australia.   Unfortunatley this one
is about to be parted out in an Australian wrecking yard.