People have been taking cars off-road long before there were designated off-road vehicles. Adventuring further than paved roads is a pastime for some and a necessity for others, and while there are plenty of modern off-roaders out there, you shouldn’t overlook the classics. Classic off-road vehicles were purpose-built and often lacked many of the modern luxuries that we’ve come to expect today. They were tough, capable, powerful, and usually wicked cool. If you plan on spending any time off road, consider one of the following classic off-roaders before you go out and buy that shiny new Jeep Wrangler. Some of these are older than others, but they all have two things in common: they’re tough off-road and the model or particular generation of model is out of production.
1. Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender is legendary. With its roots going all the way back to 1948, it’s a trusted vehicle all around the world, whether you’re roughing it in the outback of Australia or experiencing a safari in Africa. The Defender is known for its tough construction and bulletproof engines. These things can (and have) run for decades and take on some of the most challenging terrain the world has to offer while doing it.
2. Ford Bronco
Ford’s bringing back the Bronco, but it’s doubtful the new vehicle will come close to being as cool as the original 1966 to 1977 model. The Bronco was designed to compete with off-roaders like the Jeep CJ, and compete it did. It was available as a hardtop, pickup, or convertible, and had no problem tackling just about any terrain. It’s a tough off-road machine that is well-liked by enthusiasts, and today vintage Bronco’s demand quite a large sum at the auction block.
3. Jeep CJ
Like the Land Rover, the CJ- model Jeeps spent decades in production, and inspired the modern-day Wrangler. These Jeeps were off-road ready (they were closely related to the military Jeeps of World War II), rugged vehicles that would take on just about any terrain with ease. They’re easy to customize, and many CJ owners modify their suspensions to go rock crawling. There were a few different models –including this rare CJ-8 pickup shown above. Regardless of the specific model, the CJ was one cool Jeep.