By on September 2, 2015

$_57

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.

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51 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: 1987 Toyota 4×4 Truck...”


  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Do you like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too New Wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically.

  • avatar
    rpm1200

    Good thing you don’t need no credit card to ride this train.

    Soundtrack: nRv5LwX4jzI on youtube

  • avatar
    onyxtape

    Remember to watch out for vintage Rolls Royces that happen to roam about in middle class neighborhoods, lest any interaction with aforementioned vehicle ruins your future life.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Used Toyota pickup prices, nearly everywhere and in nearly any condition and mileage, are almost-but-not-quite ridiculous. For instance, where I live you can’t find a ’96 Tacoma *at all* for less than $5000. Slightly above that, you’re looking at 275K plus miles for basest base model if you can find any at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Exactly. I got tired of looking at used Toy trucks that people wanted top dollar for so I just went out and bought a new one in ’93. In the end it was cheaper than buying used.

      I started looking at this generation and thought the bodies and interiors were junk for the most part. The next Gen, like my ’93, was heads and tails better. Double wall construction in the box, no ugly body seam that started rusting after 2 winters. An extended cab that was actually big enough to be useful. An interior that didn’t self destruct after a few years like the little rat trap pictured above.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        Toyota offered to buy back my 2000 Tacoma for $15.5K back in 2011 because of frame rust. $15,500 for a truck I paid $19K for new in Dec. ’99. I was actually driving when they called me with what they called a “surrender offer”. I pulled over and asked her to repeat the amount again. Needless to say I accepted it quicker than a fart leaves a fan factory. I bought a new 2011 Tacoma for $12K out of pocket. Other than a size larger it’s better in every way.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    “YOURE FIRED!”

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    That pick up has had a total of 11 owners in its history… That combined with the Autocheck score of 3, would make me use the $3500 as a downpayment on a newer Tacoma (if i was THAT bent on buying a Toyota pickup) instead of this leftover….

  • avatar
    jrmason

    My absolute favorite compact truck of all time. I could go on for hours telling of the countless off road stories I’ve had in these trucks. I also loved the first gen 4runners with the removable hard tops, maybe even more than the pickups. Owned a handful of each over the years and beat the hell out of every one of em. The drive trains outlasted the frames almost every time up here. The weak spot in the frame was always just behind the door.

  • avatar
    TheAnswerIsPolara

    Was there ever a scene in Dukes of Hazard that was considered racist? Getting a bit weary of the revisionist history.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      The only “racicsm” is the flag on top of the Lee, harmless show otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        “The only “racicsm” is the flag on top of the Lee”

        Couldn’t be further from the truth.

        What’s sad is this is the crap that our youth has been brainwashed with in school for the last 40+ years (myself included).

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I should note that I personally do not see the confederate flag as “racist”, and given how PC television was at that time others found it fine too.

          These days you can swear, rob, hustle, prostitute, but dont you DARE hold up a flag! Thats trigger material!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “I personally do not see the confederate flag as ‘racist\'”

            Then you have some pretty thick blinders on. The flag was created as the symbol for an army that existed only for the purpose of continuing a race-based system of slavery.

            Does that mean there was racist intent in using it in DOH? Probably not. Just cluelessness. But it’s unavoidably a racist symbol.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            At dal:

            I know what it was made for, I’ve visited several Civil War sites and even spoke with a few family descendants of soldiers that fought in the war. In 50+ years later a flags meaning can change.

            Now its more of a joke often applied to trucks just to proudly say “Hey I’m a hillbilly!”, I’m sure that was the case with DoH as well.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “In 50+ years later a flags meaning can change.”

            I suggest you ask some descendants of people who were slaves in 1861 whether they think its meaning has changed.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Find me someone and I’ll ask.

            Only on the internet would an article about an old Toyota turn into a discussion on flags and slavery.

    • 0 avatar
      agroal

      I agree. No need for the author to go down that road. How about those Jewish written & produced guilt-ridden, liberal Norman Lear/Bud Yorkin sitcoms that aired at the same time back in the ’70’s? They insulted Caucasians contently. When Redd Foxx’s character Fred Sanford (I loved him) could say things like “Nothing worse in the world than an old ugly white woman”. Double standard.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        I normally hang around and watch the big boys argue without commenting. Just had to make a comment here but happily three folks beat me to it. Also wanted to say that they are pretty free and easy with the term crapwagon. This truck will probably log another 300k miles. Just not in the US.

        Chris, I could not care less about your personal beliefs and may even share them. However, it’s a distraction to have to sort them out in order to enjoy an otherwise well written article.

        • 0 avatar
          Chris Tonn

          Apologies for dragging the piece down with that line.

          Personally I’m torn on the flag issue..but this isn’t the place for that conversation. I’ll leave that sort of sentiment out of future pieces.

          • 0 avatar
            FractureCritical

            no, you shouldn’t leave it for future pieces.
            this is a car site. not a political site, not a social commentary site, not a soapbox site. (though it has been those things from time to time in the past.)

            It’s a car with a flag on it that was at that time an innocuous decoration on the roof. Treat it no differently than you would your own family members from the same time frame who were not as politically aware as we are today.

            Don’t waste your time and ours by being ‘conflicted’ about things that don’t exist anymore.

            If flags on the roof of cars in TV shows from 30 years ago are what keep you up at night, then you have a pretty good life. Find a real problem that matters in the meantime.

            Go read up on the state of our roads and bridges in this country and spend your nights worrying about how to fix them so 20 ton school busses don’t go through bridge decks or ride across fracture critical truss bridges that haven’t been seriously fixed in 80 years. That’s what keeps me up at night.

            I’ll even buy you a soapbox.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Testify! Pass the plate! Halleluah! And Holy $hit! Where’s the Tylenol??

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Its not your fault Chris, you never know what “triggers” people in todays society.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Claw

      The show itself? No.
      “Dukes” was basically what passed for prime-time family programming for a time where the uptight puritans among us took most offense to the length of Daisy’s signature shorts. I always viewed it as a hamfisted send up of rural, Southern culture, inspired by films like Smokey and the Bandit. And hilarious.

      With regard to the General Lee, the idea of the Confederate flag as a “racist” symbol is certainly not “revisionist”; it may seem so to those taken out of their lifelong bubble regarding that flag’s use in contemporary times (the last 60 years, to be clear).

      It likely wasn’t the intent of the show’s creators to follow alongside the mostly-pernicious usage of the flag as symbol, but to highlight and poke fun at goofy redneck types in the South in a light-hearted manner. It was the early 80s and times were different.

      That being said, the idea that the flag never was percieved as racist or that the current discussions surrounding its use is the result of some manufactured outrage-driven revisionist history is ridiculous; it’s 2015. Back when Dukes was on TV, cars were engineered to ride at 55 MPH, and Detroit was selling squared off slabs of pig iron still being marketed to Boomers’ parents, while their European cousins were dropping classics like the Sierra and the Escort XR3. Now our Fusion is their Mondeo. We have the Internet now, which means while it’s easier to disappear up your own tailpipe than ever, it also means it’s easier to become aware of life outside our own bubbles.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    The earlier Hilux trucks go for decent money if in good shape, which is very rare. There is no shortage of buyers for an low/no rust early straight axle truck. I just sold my 82’ 4×4 which ran but was very tired for 3K. Posted it on CL and a guy drove 4 hours the next day and handed me cash without even driving it or looking it over.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    Looks a little dull. Biff needs to put a few more coats of wax on before it’s ready for tonight.

  • avatar

    Living in the Rust Belt, that HiLux looks pretty good for its age, especially with a recently-rebuilt engine. If it’s as solid as it looks, $3500 doesn’t seem like a bad deal.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Haggle for $3k, get a nice deep dish black paintjob, the all corners tubular bumpers painted back front and rear, and then dig through the Cali junk yards to find the circa ’80s California Sunset license plate for her. Oh, and don’t fogret to add the TOYOTA sticker to the top of the windshield.

  • avatar
    bricoler1946

    If I recall, this was the pick up that Clarkson and co. couldn’t destroy on Top Gear. A pretty amazing truck.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Having seen BTTF as an adult of a certain age, I was much more enamored of Doc Brown’s 1948 Packard Custom Eight Victoria.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    These are pretty neat compact trucks, but good luck finding one thst isnt 2-tone rust.

    $3500 is still pretty steep even with an engine re-build, for that kinda cash I could “truck up” a $500 car, and still have money left.

    btw I liked Biffs convertible as much as the Delorean.

  • avatar
    agroal

    “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.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Didn’t like Alex Logan’s pickup truck as much?

    (I bet a few people from the B&B get the reference.)

  • avatar
    dolorean

    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?

  • avatar
    Dr. Claw

    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.

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