UNOBTANIUM: Snoopy The Troopy


Snoopy the Troopy was purchased in this condition, as an ex ambulance. Here Snoopy takes in the views high above the Blue Mountains.

This little piece is the start of a series I’m calling “Unobtanium.” It highlights vehicles that we can’t legally import here in America, but many off-road and overland enthusiast wish we could have. There is a 25yr import rule in America on vehicles that were not imported here by the manufacturer, meaning they have not gone through the crash testing and emissions control tests to be certified for import.


Snoopy has quite the presence, even in nearly stock form.

The first vehicle I’d like to highlight is “Snoopy” the Troopy, an ex ambulance 1997 Toyota 70 series Land Cruiser troop carrier owned by Matt Scott & Laura Chain in Australia. It is a HZJ75 model with a 1HZ 4.2 N/A diesel and a H55F 5-speed manual transmission. I got the opportunity to not only drive this incredible vehicle on and off road, but also help with its transformation from basic used ambulance to a proper overland vehicle.


The 1HZ 4.2 N/A diesel power plant in Snoopy isn’t all that powerful, but is a proven bulletproof design.

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The H55F 5-speed manual transmission allows you to get the most out of the little diesel engine.

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Snoopy is always ready to get out and explore.

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Upgraded LED headlights are a HUGE upgrade over the stock units.

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Upgraded shocks are needed to handle tough off-road conditions and the extra weight of the overlanding kit. A must for the MANY miles of corrugated dirt roads in Australia.

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The upgraded Ambulance seats and overhead console are quality features that came with this rig.

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The interior of Snoopy was fully upgraded for long term overland travel with: a platform drawer system, fresh water tank, house battery, dual zone fridge and much more.

Toopys, or troop carriers, are sought after by overlanders because of their huge interior volume, bulletproof durability and off-road capabilities. They can be set up in a variety of ways which create interior and/or exterior living, sleeping and/or storage space. There are also a large volume of available aftermarket off-road and overland parts for the 70 series Land Cruiser that can quickly elevate this capable stock vehicle to something extremely capable off-road and comfortable to live and adventure out of.

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Snoopy stands proud with a small lift, tall skinny tires, full TJM bumper/winch/side rails/side steps and lots off off-road lighting.

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A Front Runner roof-rack upgrades the carrying capacity of the rig and provides a solid platform for a RTT and awning. (PHOTO: Matt Scott)

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High speed in the High Country of Australia.

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There is some very steep and somewhat technical terrain to be found in the High Country of SE Australia. (PHOTO: Laura Chain)

Snoopy is currently doing a big overland adventure around Australia and recently tackled the tough Old Telegraph Track up to Cape York, the NE most point in Australia. Considered one of the most technically challenging tracks in Australia, it fully proved the capabilities of this amazing overland machine. Read about Snoopy’s Cape York adventure HERE.

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Snoopy loves to play in the water.

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The Blue Rag Track is one of the most scenic and famous off-road routes in Australia.

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Snoopy quickly converts to a comfortable home anywhere it is parked. Portable solar helps keep the house batteries topped off and the beer cold.

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When nasty weather sets in the huge interior space allows you to prepare meals and relax out of the elements. (PHOTO: Matt Scott)

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The roof rack also makes a great camera platform. (PHOTO: Matt Scott)

While you can buy older Land Cruiser Troopys from around the globe and import them legally into the US, you can’t YET bring in quality examples like “Snoopy.” Newer turbo charged diesel V8 models are even more lust worthy, and even more sought after unobtanium for North American Toyota overland enthusiasts.

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I can assure you that Matt & Laura love their Troopy, Snoopy, and will be sad to have to leave it in Australia when they return to America.

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