If you spot this Toyota on the mean streets of Louisville, a lot of thoughts can come to mind. Some find it beautiful, some find it terrible. Some find it very appealing, some find it disgusting. Whatever you think if it; you’ve got to give Andrew credit for the effort and time he puts into it. Let’s take a closer look and see why it looks like it does and what Andrew thinks if it himself.
Where do you live? What do you do for a living?
I live in Louisville, Kentucky, and am 20 years old. I am what is best referred to as a “mobile paint technician” but is mostly referred to a paint butcher! I go around to car lots and repair/refinish vehicles on the [dealership] lots.
What kind of Toyota are your driving? How did you come to own it?
I drive an 1982 Toyota pickup longbed. I bought the truck in Pennsylvania, while attending Wyotech, from another student. The truck is actually the first vehicle I ever bought.
What´s powering the Toyota? Some specs of the engine?
The truck is powered by a 2.2 liter 4 cylinder diesel engine. What surprises people the most is that this is factory, not a swap! The engine specs are pretty laughable, I think it puts out about 60 horsepower and about 100 ft-lb of torque. and no, im not planning on swapping it with anything more powerful, it’s what makes this truck so unique in my eyes.
What have you already done to it? What are you still planning on doing?
Hmm, where to begin. Well i started by fixing the rusted out floor. I never realized how bad the rust was until I pulled up the interior. Every piece I made for the floor was formed by hand and mainly fixed by myself with the help from a few good friends and the wisdom of the streetrod instructor at Wyotech. After that, the frame also received extensive rust repair and most of my time was spent undoing previous owners’ modifications.
The mod list is pretty short really, lowered with 3in drop blocks out back and the torsion bars lowered in the front, 14″ x 7″ Enkei 92’s, Nardi steering wheel with NRG hub quick release and lock, and that makes up most of it. As for what’s next? I plan on freshening up the engine and suspension, and seeing as I’m a body guy, I should probably get around to fixing the rust on the body and repainting it.
How easy is it to get parts for these Toyotas?
It’s extremely difficult. I don’t think I’ve seen but maybe two other Toyota trucks this old actually on the road, and I’ve never seen another factory diesel-powered one in my life! It took almost a year and a half to find the bed for the truck alone.
A lot of people surely don’t know what that ‘thing’ is hanging from your the passenger window. Some more experienced readers will now that it’s an old-school version of A/C. Can you tell us how it works?
That’s one of my favorite parts on the truck! I’ve wanted one ever since I was a little boy and saw one on an old Beetle. It works by evaporation; you fill it up with water and when hot air is forced into it while the vehicle is in motion the water evaporates and forces cool air into the car. The biggest downfall is that it doesn’t work while sitting in traffic!
At the same time, some people will frown their eyebrows when they look at the Toyota. Why is it looking like it is? Are you trying to create a genuine old-school look, driving it as cheap as possible, or are other thoughts behind it?
I built this truck for me, if others dont see in it what I do, or don’t like what I have done, thats cool. I grew up with the attitude that even if I don’t like someone’s style or choice in mods, it doesn’t matter. What people should focus on is the amount of time effort and energy that went into a build. I started off with a very specific idea on how I wanted the truck – period correct Japanese wheels, lowered, over the top paint work, etc..
After working on it though, I realized what I wanted wasn’t what I needed. Even though it would have been an awesome truck if I followed my original plans, it would have no longer served as a practical every day vehicle – let alone a truck. As for the old school look, I just fell in love with the “patina” of the truck. I really enjoy reusing old, discarded parts rather then buying new stuff; the wheels were stamped in 1984, the fender mirror is off a 1963 Benz, I have an 8 track player from the 70s in it, and of course, the Thermador car cooler is extremely old. Even though someday I might return to my original plans; I am extremely happy with how it looks at the moment.
Are you a gearhead? What does that mean to you?
Ever since I can remember, cars are all I cared about. I would read hundreds of magazines from cover to cover and read repair manuals just to learn as much as I could. Now I work on cars all day for a living and am still able to come home and work on my personal vehicles as much as I can. It never gets old to me, it relaxes me, and there is nothing else I would rather do.
Where can people find & connect with you?
I’m mainly on toyotaminis.com, great site and probably some of the most helpful nicest people I’ve ever met.
This is one of those cars you either love or hate. There’s no inbetween. You either love his style, or you hate it. Which one is it for you? What are your thoughts on this early ’80s Toyota pickup? Or do you have a similar vehicle? Let us know!