By on January 14, 2010

update on a classic format

I’ve given it some thought over the years, and there’s only one truck that I’ve seriously considered as a replacement for my F-100, and this is it. In fact, it’s almost a perfect update on the Ford, with the benefits of modern technology. Don’t laugh, but I’ll take mine with the 2.7 liter four cylinder. It’s got more horsepower (150) than the Ford (129), and a pretty healthy dose of torque. It’s not like I’m planning on pulling 10,000 pound trailers down the road. Oh wait; I actually have done that with the Ford…

no ladders necessary

As far as I’m concerned, Toyota made a giant blunder when they abandoned their T-100/gen1 Tundra platform for the current monstrosity. And I don’t just say that in hindsight. But then my perspective is not Texan, and I accept that different folks have different ideas about how massive trucks need to be. But here’s the ironic thing: these T-100 trucks are very popular around here with professional landscapers, who try real hard work them to death, but rarely succeed.

hold the leather and fake wood

The thing about big new trucks as I pointed out in my earlier post is that you pretty much have to use a trailer for hauling materials that some of us like to still put into beds. But landscapers (and others like me) like a low bed for placing materials, often need to back into tight spaces, or just don’t care to pull around a second bed on wheels. And the T-100 is old-school Toyota rugged and simple, has a full-sized bed and can fit three in the cab. And it gets up to 25 mpg with the four. Just the thing to keep operating and maintenance costs low. That explains why the resale value on these trucks are still holding up.

if and when the times come, this is it

Well, I doubt Toyota is going to bring back the T-100, but sooner or later someone’s going to see the hole in the market for a full size bed that’s reasonably low to the ground and married to a mid-sized cab big enough for a tall guy. A torquey  four cylinder, gas or diesel, and we’re good to go. Well, my old Ford isn’t exactly getting worried yet.

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37 Comments on “Curbside Classic: Potential ’66 F-100 Pickup Replacement Found – 1993 Toyota T-100...”

  • avatar

    Good call. I love the T100. If I ever needed a truck, that would probably be my first choice.
    The 2WD long bed versions in particular seem incredibly useful.

  • avatar

    I love these trucks, and would probably own one if it wasn’t for the way they hold their value as was said. The perfect truck for the guy who needs to do work, but is content with his penis size.

  • avatar

    The Toyota will be more difficult to fix and the cost for parts will be higher. Plus, the old Ford will haul and tow more.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave Skinner

      Seems to me the Ford is more difficult to fix on many levels. Example:

      A tune up requires 50% more plugs, a set of points and a condenser, as well as mechanical timing and carburetor adjustments. You’ll also have to go through all the process two or three times before the Toyota even needs a set of plugs.

      No fiber gears to strip out as well (see Paul’s write up on Ol’ Yeller).

      I agree the truck is simple, and Paul can undoubtably tackle any repair required, but that doesn’t mean the required repairs are any easier.

  • avatar

    Well, there is always the GMC Syclone.

  • avatar

    If I recall correctly, the T100 long-bed would also carry a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood between the wheelhouses – lying flat – which gives it bonus points for a less-than-fullsize truck.

  • avatar

    One bother has one of these, in Kelvinator white. It sits 90% of the time, and starts and runs 100% of the time.

    My other brother has an 1984 F-150  4×4 with the bulletproof 300 cid I-6.

    It’s a tossup on which I’d rather have. The ‘Yota is nicer, but you never have to care about whether the F-150 gets dented or rusty.

    I have to agree with the T-100’s durability. They are nearly indestructible.

  • avatar

    Dave Skinner:
    All of these items are simple tune up items that are easy to locate on the Ford. Plus, there is more physical room under the hood. Also, there is no computer or sensors to have to worry about. I much rather replace the items you listed 3 times over on the Ford. Finally, and more to the point, if the Ford does the job needed then why change? If it aint broke, dont fix it. Thank You for your reply! I enjoy talking to others on this board.

  • avatar

    Big fan of the smaller Toyota pickups here. Have had 5 HiLux/Tacomas, currently a 2003 Prerunner V6. Not sure what I will replace it with as the “new” Taco is too big for what I need. I haven’t run the specs, but it seems to me that the current Tacoma is pretty much a redo of the T100.

    • 0 avatar

      I haven’t run the specs, but it seems to me that the current Tacoma is pretty much a redo of the T100.

      Agreed; I’m sure the dimension are quite similar, but of course the T100 has the lower box sides that Paul is after.

    • 0 avatar

      I own a ’96 T-100 xtra cab with the 3.4 liter V6.  It’s a great truck.  It has nearly 180K miles and was completely trouble free for over 150K miles when I had to replace the starter and later an idle air conrol valve.  The starter was cheap and the IACV expensive (dealer part only) but mitigated by using a private mechanic.  It still runs like a champ and has never failed to start or run.  It is a rock solid vehicle and a damn good truck.  No you can’t tow a 10,000 lb boat with it but it’s a great family truck.  I haul plants, mulch, plywood, furniture,etc.  I average 18-19 mpg in city and 23-24 mpg on the highway.
      The Tacoma is an OK truck but is in no way the T100’s equal.  It’s smaller inside, has a narrower bed and equipped with the V6, doesn’t get any better mileage.  I think Paul has nailed this one:  the T100 is probably best packaged light duty truck (considering capabilities, size and fuel economy) that you can find.  Just my opinion.

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree. Try putting 4×8 building materials in a Tacoma. The Taco is just an updated HiLux, fancied up for the US market.
      Dad bought a T-100 for himself. He gave it to my kid when he was done with it and no matter what she did to try and destroy it, it wouldnt die.
      As I stated in another thread, I have a 1st gen Tundra, regular cab, 8′ bed and hose-it-out interior.

  • avatar

    There is one plus with the Toyota: The ride has got to be nicer!

  • avatar

    You need that Toyota Paul.  When can I come get your F1oo?

  • avatar

    F-100= Apples

  • avatar

    wow 3 curbside classics and a bunch of cut and pastes from other sites.  Why not have a truck review for “truck thursday”? I’m sure I’m not the only long time reader who rarely visits this site anymore.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Wow even when I owned a 93 Toyota truck I hung my head in shame at this thing.  One of the worst trucks Toyota put on the road. Rated to tow 1.5K more than the current compact with the same engine offerings. Please. 

     Any current  full size truck will give you the same or better MPG on the Hwy or while towing and similar around town. Plus tow, carry and haul more. So why bother with this wimpy, wretched thing .

    • 0 avatar

      Go back and read Paul’s article on why he dislikes the majority of bigger-is-better trucks being sold today. I’ve actually used a pickup for work, and I dearly missed the ease of hand loading and UNloading my Chevy LUV 4×4. My ’93 Toyota 4X4 replacement was better in many ways, but its bed height was definitely noticeable while shoveling it full.

      Here’s an example of bigger-is-better in action. My Subaru Baja has a tiny bed, but it does exactly everything I need right now (not a work truck). If Subaru put a longer bed on it, more people would probably find the AWD bugger more useful. The ground clearance of the Baja is 8.5 inches, 0.1 less than a 2010 F-150, but I’m willing to bet there’s more than 12″ of difference in bed floor and bed rail height. Why? Spend some time actually working around that increased height (to what end?), and Paul’s dislikes will start to make sense.  

  • avatar
    Oregon Sage

    Another option of similar size and utility is the Jeep Comanche pickup.  I had one with the 4.0 straight 6 and 5 speed.  I cross shopped the T100s at the time and picked the Jeep primarily based on price.  Last time I looked T100s were still holding their value quite well and few Comanches are even available.

  • avatar

    Oregon –

    I had an ’89 Commanche, 4×4, 4.0L auto.  We had a 6ft western plow on it and it was a great truck.  It was only 3 seater but did the job.   If I needed a pickup, I’d buy another one.Also of note, these T100s had poor crash results if I’m not mistaken….so don’t get hit on the way to the dump.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually the T100 did reasonably well in crash testing for the time: 4 stars driver and 5 stars passenger in frontal crash.  Side impact testing was not done.

    • 0 avatar

      Frodo,  You may be looking at a 96 model.   Toyota made some safety changes later on.  The 1993 was a 1 star disaster.

      That said, I think Toyota overall makes a reliable truck.

  • avatar

    I’m sure the ’66 Ford would do far worse in a frontal crash — probably more like the ’59 Chevy tested by the IIHS.  It has no energy-absorbing steering column and only lap belts after all.

  • avatar

    Why is it that in order to get a Diesel you have to buy a monster truck?
    That little 4-cyl 2.8 liter VM Motori CRD that appeared in the Liberty around 2005 or so would make a GREAT mill for a small pickup. Probably get 35 MPG as well.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I would bet a lot of money that Toyota would have more cash in the bank if they had just kept making the T-100 with modest updates instead of spending mutiple billions of dollars designing the new Tundra, building a dedicated factory for it and launching what was surely the most costly first year marketing blitz in Toyota USA history. And all for what? A distant sixth place also-ran status in a permanently shrunken pickup truck market.  ( )

    They could have spent one tenth as much money freshening the T100 over time and probably would be making a modest profit on it. Look how little has been spent on the Tacoma in recent years, yet it still outsold the Tundra in 2009 by 40%!

  • avatar

    I honestly don’t know if this blog is 90% populated by people who believe ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, but it seems that way. I’m technically still a ‘youngster’ (ie under 30) and I honestly think far too many car company’s seem to believe that more gadgetry and more STUFF makes a vehicle more appealing. Now I know that vast numbers of fellow under 30 year olds have the attention span of a fruit fly, but seriously, how many people need trucks and cars loaded with more computing power than a modern PC (or Apple if you’re that way inclined)? Whatever happened to vehicles that were built to do a job – not do the job, entertain the kids, make international phone calls, apply braking to the correct wheel when driving too fast aaand have a massive variety of funky different coloured light options which make NO difference whatever? Maybe I’m just old before my time, but a car/truck is a vehicle for moving people and stuff around in, not being a gadget filled, vaguely reliable, pain in the ass which depreciates too quickly.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 zillion

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with you except for your opinion that a car is just for moving people and stuff.  I like simple, but also am firmly of the opinion that half the fun is getting there.  My car…a 90 Miata with mechanical steering and roll up windows.  The only option is AC.  If I needed a truck I would want it similarly equipped which pretty much means I’d be getting something of a similar vintage or shopping government auctions.  I wish Ford would bring back the F-100.  My friend had a gray one from the 80’s and it was the stoutest truck I have ever used.  I like the original (through 1988) Rangers too.  They were built to be a small F-150 rather than just a little truck like the S-10 of the era.

  • avatar

    I live in a 35 year old house. In kitchen are all the original appliances, replete with black glass fronts. I don’t know how many people have told me I should change them out to “save energy.” Yeah, right, spend $3,000 to save electricity….but I digress.
    I have owned a few Toyotas in my years and they all remind me of my Inglis fridge. Nothing to look at but dead reliable. Causes no emotion, just does the job but when I look at the mechanicals of my Inglis or my Toyota,  I am always impressed at the quality of the components and the fact that it was obviously designed to last a long time. Somebody really put some thought into that fridge and those Toyotas.
    Now it is become de rigeur to bash Toyotas all over the internet for whatever reason. I seriously doubt any Toyota bashers have ever owned one because they make a darned find product that last for years, like the T100 and my Inglis fridge.

  • avatar

    Sinistermisterman:Now that is refreshing to read. The same plus another zillion.

    Canucklehead: amen. My house was built in 1947 and has an OKeefe & Merritt gas stove that probably came with it when it was built. It works. It’s simple. Easy to repair. The house is simple, easy to maintain,modest, does exactly what it is supposed to do: shelter me from the elements. Wasn’t built to impress the neighbors. I live the life, so yeah: I get exactly what you are saying.

    WTF do I need with a 4 seat vibrator or rolling condo to get to and from work ?

    If only they would take some of the sh** off  . I would rather a lower price than something filled with electronic crap all scheduled to go haywire after the last payment is made. I can choose my own “preferred” package [ what I prefer, not some marketing guy or bean counter].

    The last vehicle I saw that actaully whetted my interest was an 07 Ranger: 5 speed manual, tonneau cover, nice factory wheels, crank windows and rubber floor covering in place of carpet. An automotive minimalist’s dream. An honest vehicle at a fair price.
    What an alien concept.

  • avatar

    Good choice…the new truck market certainly came up short for you, and I’m sure you’re not alone. I never realized how closely the T-100 followed the old-school pickup truck archetype. Any plans to spray it in matte yellow?

  • avatar

    I made a similar upgrade.  Sold my ’96 f-150 4×4 with the bullet proof 300 six that also got horrible mileage  and picked-up a ’82 Toyota 4×4 with the long bed with the bullet proof 22r that gets 22 mpg in town.  In my automotive family the f-150, although reasonably reliable was the most expensive vehicle I owned to repair, this included competition from BMW’s and Hondas.

  • avatar

    Thats a pretty sad sea of gray dullness interior. Hopefully they offered something that looked a little nicer than that bargain basement mess. But this probably won’t bother most buyers of this type of lower end pickup.

  • avatar

    Where’s all  the Ranger love? Whenever pickups are mentioned on this site, the Ranger gets loads of defenders. Not so much this time?

    Mr. Paul, a Ranger doesn’t fit you? I’m curious as to why? Is it much smaller than this truck (sorry never got T100s down here, forgive my ignorance)?

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Yes, the Ranger is a compact: small bed, small cab. The T-100 and F-100 are full sized trucks; their beds are as big as the biggest new trucks. I want to be able to haul large loads and I don’t like sitting in cramped cabs, because I’m very tall (2 meters).

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you as ever Mr. Niedermeyer for your kind attention. Now I understand much better the context of your articles and decisions. Anyway, if you do get the Toyota truck, it would provide an interesting comparison to the Ford truck.

      Kudos and greater health to you!

  • avatar

    Sorry for the late addition, but I just joined. Amazed to have finally stumbled upon a knowledgeable car community focusing on…well, just the everyday type of stuff that’s been filling my extra cranium space since the late 70’s when I was a budding car buff. But now back on topic.

    Lord, I hope you got the 2.7

    Ahh the T100. Back in the summer of ’08 the truck bug bit me again and I surmised that a gently used ’93 T100 (with just 112k miles) to be the elusive jack of all trades for my needs. It had just the right options; Benign white in color, 2wd, 8 foot bed, 4-spd auto, (for the little lady to pilot) cold AC, blue cloth interior in great condition, decent MPG’s, and the SR5 package. It drove rather well and, upon my inspection, appeared to be a solid purchase.

    BUT, it also had the ***3.0 v-6***

    This would almost seem to be not worthy of mentioning, if it weren’t for the head gasket issue. For those unfamiliar, ponder this. It seems when these motors were manufactured there was a wee bit of a “dimpling” problem (block I think, but may have been the heads) where the two bolted up and said gasket was in between. It seems that enough folks had problems that Toyota stepped up to the plate. And step up they did…in the form of a free head gasket replacement. Unique about this was that it was almost free of strings. i.e. no vehicle mileage limits, nor any time requirements. Yes you could have a 15 yr old truck with 300k on the odo, and they would do it. No questions asked.
    If it had been done (as with my truck) in 1996 when it had 30k on the odo, never again would they be responsible.
    Guess how I found out? At 124k miles and after developing a misfire and losing coolant, I visited a Tacoma forum. They actually had a kindly Toyota tech on their MB who was running folks VIN’s.
    You could have knocked me over with a feather. I would go on to learn of the many unique parts to the T100 that were interchangeable with exactly ZERO other models.

    I’m surprised more aren’t aware. Good luck Sir.

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