The word legendary is thrown around far too often by people. Every so often, however, the term is appropriate. In the case of the Toyota Truck of the 1980s, the title certainly was. The good news is Toyota seems to realize it and recently revealed a Toyota Truck Concept vehicle that was essentially an early 1980s Toyota Truck!
The Toyota Truck of the 1980s was so iconic that it didn’t even need a fancy name. No, it was just “the truck.” The truck was great because it was actually a compact truck and had reliability that simply was amazing. The key was the 22R engine that just ran and ran and ran and well, you get the idea. The truck is still seen driving around everywhere you look. The 22R stock engine is still running in many of them with only the occasional timing belt change, tune up and oil change being done. A truly amazing vehicle!
The modern equivalent of the Toyota Truck is the Tacoma. It is nothing like the truck of the 80s. It is simply huge in comparison and has none of the character of the 80s truck that became such an icon. Toyota seems to have figured out as much, which is where the Toyota Truck Concept came from.
The Concept looks for all the world like the 80s truck. It comes in the classic light brown and even has the 80s look with decals on the side, a light bar across the top of the cabinet with KC running lights and smiley face covers! It’s like stepping back in time. The particulars include a 4 cylinder engine [not a 22R], 4 speed automatic transmission and 4 wheel drive.
Toyota currently has no plans to put the truck in production, but one has to wonder if that view will change. The truck was introduced at the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association [SEMA] show. Of all the models brought to the show by Toyota, the Concept truck was bar far the most popular. You have to believe Toyota must realize that if they issue the truck again, it will sell like hotcakes. I, for one, would be in line!