Vintage WasabiCars: The Mega Cruiser Graveyard

This video and many like it are the bane of my existence! Sure, the fact that they get heaps of views is cool and all, but the requests that follow from people wanting to buy things they can’t have just isn’t fun. Speaking of not fun, the following: Negotiating a sale with people who aren’t selling, filling out paperwork to export a vehicle, and trying to eat burgers that are taller than your actual face! Sorry Mega Cruiser lovers, this ain’t no Happy Meal.

It’s simple. I love car spotting. There’s joy in discovery and satisfaction in documenting. Uncovering the cars of Japan, not from forums and Facebook, but from its junkyards and backstreets, is great adventure. And, to everyone hitting me up, having this hobby doesn’t stop you from learning Japanese, getting on a plane, knocking on a door and getting turned down in person. Yeah, I think I’ll stick to making my vids.

Well, thank you for that indulgence. I will now hand you over to WasabiCars’ official writer, Gabriel, who will tell you all about these unique and interesting vehicles.

Thanks Dan! Now I’ve heard of Mega Cruisers but I never really did any research into them. Turns out they’re actually pretty rare!

Much like the American Hummer H1, the Mega Cruiser BXD10 was originally designed to be used as a transport vehicle by the military, thanks in part to its six-seater configuration. As Dan points out, it could be adapted for various uses with radar dishes, surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, and more.

After the BXD10 came the BXD20, a much tamer version made for civilian use. These could be had with either the standard low roof or an optional high roof.

All Mega Cruisers were powered by a 4.1 L turbo diesel inline-4 engine rated at 153 hp (114 kW) and 282 lb⋅ft (382 N⋅m) of torque at 1,800 rpm. All that power, or lack thereof, was pushed through a 4-speed Aisin automatic transmission with a two-speed transfer case for 4WD capability.

This thing was massive too, with a wheelbase of over 11 feet (3.395 m) and over 16 feet (5.09 m) in length. Not only that, but it’s also almost 7 feet high (2.075 m) and over 7 feet (2.17 m) wide. It had a load capacity of 1323 lbs (600 kg) and a curb weight of 6283 lbs (2,850 kg).

Off-road features included front, center, and rear differential locks, as well as four-wheel steering. It also had a central tire pressure system installed as an optional feature for those who were serious about waving goodbye to paved roads.

Only 3,000 Mega Cruisers were produced from 1995 to 2001 with 12 of those being left-hand drive ones.

Was this thing cool? Sure! Was it practical for Japan? Absolutely not. Sales were not very good, reportedly due to Japan’s strict vehicle taxes and narrow streets. If Toyota officially sold these in the US, it could have been a serious competitor to the Hummer. As it currently sits though, it’s another rare vehicle for us JDM (and maybe even off-road fans) to ogle over and wish we owned.

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