Crapwagon Outtake: 1987 Toyota 4×4 Truck

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
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crapwagon outtake 1987 toyota 44 truck

Go to any small town cruise-in, and you’re likely to find one: a tribute to the owner’s favorite “movie car.” A “Bullitt Mustang, or for the younger guys who like fixing stress cracks in cheap fiberglass, a “Gone in Sixty Seconds” Mustang. A “Smokey and The Bandit” Trans Am, complete with screaming chicken. A racist General Lee. If the show is at a private golf club rather than the back lot of a Sonic Drive-In, perhaps a “Goldfinger” DB5.

DeLoreans figure heavily into this mix, too. Faux flux capacitors abound. But for me, my absolute favorite movie car is Marty’s Toyota HiLux from “Back to The Future.” Gleaming in black, with polished rims, a phalanx of lights atop a useless roll bar, the truck of Marty’s dreams was also that of mine when I was seven. I recall building a plastic scale version as a poor substitute.

There are folks out there who will dress up used trucks to recall the legendary movie vehicle, like this one on eBay. I can’t imagine restoration parts are easy to come by, with a vast majority of these tough trucks being used as troop transport somewhere in less-developed lands. A recently rebuilt engine helps ease the shock of the odometer figure.

The seller wants $3,500, which might be a bit crazy for a faded, rusty, 271,000-mile, old pickup. But squint a little, ignore the independent front suspension that wasn’t available in ’85, and you can imagine yourself with a Jennifer next to you, and a Flea in the next lane over.

Seven-year-old Chris wants to turn on some Huey Lewis, and place a bid. Thirty-something Chris is listening to Dave Brubeck, however, in an effort to tune out the child within.

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in ebay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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4 of 51 comments
  • Agroal Agroal on Sep 02, 2015

    "See bacon. Or cat videos. Or Bernie Sanders (I promise, that is the last political statement I’ll make on these pages)." - Author Chris Tonn. August 13, 2015. Keep to automobiles Tonn. You will tend to seem less biased and dumb.

  • JimC2 JimC2 on Sep 02, 2015

    Didn't like Alex Logan's pickup truck as much? (I bet a few people from the B&B get the reference.)

  • Dolorean Dolorean on Sep 03, 2015

    Chris, what's the comparison between the size of this little Xtra Cab versus today's Colorado/Canyon mid-sizers? Beyond the power, what's the scale difference?

  • Dr. Claw Dr. Claw on Sep 04, 2015

    That HiLux was always an interesting choice of car for the kind of character Marty was... may not seem so weird now though, as popular and "aspirational" trucks are now. Back then, I wouldn't have been surprised if he was in a Mulletstang or another of the Mullet Era Pony cars like the Daytona/Turismo. Big fan of 80s Toyota.