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Hilux SWB RN36 history / numbers


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Hi guys

I have just inherited (of sorts) an RN36 Short wheel base hilux (1980). Its a little tired but completely original down to the factory boom box AM radio!. I have heard mixed stories of the origins of the SWB - someone told me that Toyota Australia brought in 200 of these as a trial to see how they would sell (as the first 4x4 Hilux in Australia) and someone else told me they were a limited run as a sports utility vs tradesmans car

Would be really interested to know if anyone has any info on how many came in and any other info on them



ps - its in a very rare colour for 1980............... yellow ! :-)


Edited by bill91817
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Hey Bill,

I don’t think that’s correct about the numbers -  they weren't that rare on the road in the eastern states & only later (81-82) did the LWB overtake it  & subsequently replace it. Yellow was reasonably popular colour with red, then orange, white, blue & the occasional forest green one around. I would think the most popular colour was red followed by the yellow in the 4x4's. that car really started the whole white FRP canopy thing is Aust as people wanted something better than the canvas / steel frame solution - an icon really!.


Try Wikipedia here = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Hilux#Third_generation_(N30,_N40;_1978%E2%80%931983)


& I think if you hunt around you should get a copy of Overlander magazine or 4x4 Australia from about late 79-80 where they had one of the front cover  - I did have the mag but not any longer sorry. Somebody here might help you with that = https://www.facebook.com/Overlander4WD & search on fleabay for 4x4 Aus  - try here as well = https://www.whichcar.com.au/4x4australia


Here's a bit of info which you might not have found - http://www.productioncars.com/vintage-ads.php/Toyota/Truck


& surely Toyota Aust must have a media department which you might find somebody helpful…. Maybe…..   https://www.toyota.com.au/contact

I'd be interested to see what you find so perhaps a follow up post?

rgds G.

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ah roger that - a bit slow over here sometimes you know....

i was thinking perhaps the yellow ones all rusted away before they made it to WA

not a lot of them around so certainly a worthwhile project to keep original if you can = classic


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  • 1 year later...

Hi guys I hope you still around 

I have a 1980 hilux red with an alloy tray 

I found an original tray for a 1980 model but it’s a short wheel base one 

my truck it’s a 1980 red 

how do I know it it a short wheel base 

my car is arriving from Melbourne and I am purchasing the tub in QLD 

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