In the United States, we know it as the Tacoma. In other parts of the world, it goes by Hilux. Back in the day, it was simply named the “Toyota Pickup.” But no matter what badge Toyota slaps on it or what specific chassis lies beneath its cab and bed, wherever you go on Earth, you’re eventually bound to see a beat-up version of Toyota’s compact pickup truck roaming around.
The Toyota Pickup has a (well-deserved) reputation for being one of the toughest trucks in the world; none other than Top Gear famously ensured that title by trying to destroy one and failing miserably. But this particular 1981 Toyota 4×4 SR5 Pickup, up for auction on Bring a Trailer right now, was made just a little bit better with a few simple upgrades.
There’s not much you need to do to improve the Toyota Pickup, but no one will complain about the two-inch suspension lift kit courtesy of Old Man Emu that’s paired with new leaf springs, Nitrocharger shocks and Mastercraft Courser A/T2 tires. The current owner also went about fortifying the truck’s reliability with a new radiator and water pump.
Said owner also added a handful of upgrades to make the trusty old Toyota’s interior more enjoyable. The comfy front bucket seats come from an ’85 SR5 Corolla; plus, there’s new LED interior lighting, Dynamat sound deadening and a TEQ shift knob with a new shifter bushing. It may not sound like much, but seeing as how this truck has already spun through its five-digit odometer once and is now back around by 7,621 miles, simple add-ons like these qualify as luxury appointments.
What you won’t get from this truck is power. Under the hood is a 2.4-liter inline-four good for a measly 97 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque when it was fresh from the factory. But the Pickup’s reputation wasn’t built on its grunt; reliability and ruggedness are the Toyota Pickup’s calling card. If you want a long-lasting workhorse of a vehicle famously proven to be indestructible by none other than Clarkson, May and Hammond, the Toyota Pickup is the only vehicle holding that distinction.
Best of all, the current bid for this truck sits at just a little more than $4,000. Considering how far this truck has left to go, that’s an absolute steal.
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