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Information was gathered by Mr Stubbs. Thanks You

History of the Toyota Truck
The Toyota Truck is the most recognized of the Toyota vehicles. Originally the Stout, it has become an icon in four wheel drive pickup truck history. Follow along below as the U.S. Toyota Truck becomes the awesome machine that it is today. The following years are Toyota model years, not necessarily actual release years.

The Toyota Stout 4x2 is introduced to the American market. This is the first Toyota Pickup available from Toyota in the United States.

Toyota introduces the Hi-Lux 4x2 with a 4 Cylinder 1.9 Liter engine known as the 3R. This Hi-Lux was quite plain compared to today's standards. Trucks at that time were primarily utility vehicles. The inside had only a metal dashboard, and a single bench seat.

Toyota remodels the engine on the Hi-Lux with a 1.8L called the 8R-C.

The 3rd generation Truck engine is released. It is a 2.0L designated 18R-C.

This next model of Hi-Lux, actually released Spring 1972 (therefore a '72 1/2), took on a new look, much less utilitarian. The new car-like design gave it the quality of a Corolla, but retained its Toyota tendencies to be strong, reliable and inexpensive to operate. Styling changes included turn signals removed from the top of the fenders, and built into the body.

As an option on the 1973 Hi-Lux, was a 7.5' bed. Prior to this huge step forward, hauling of this size could only be accomplished by full sized domestic trucks. This combination of a car-like ride and a Long Bed made the Hi-Lux a strong seller.

The Hi-Lux wins the honor of "Pickup Truck of the Year" from Pickup, Van & 4WD.

The 3rd generation Hi-Lux hits the streets powered by a 2.2L version of the 18R-C called the 20R and was also available (for the first time on a Toyota Utility Vehicle) with a 5-speed manual transmission.

The US version of the Hi-Lux looses its name and is now known as the "compact truck" from this point forward.

September 1977, the one-millionth pickup truck rolled out of the factory in Japan.

The SR5 option is now available on the truck. With its 5-speed manual transmission and powerful engine, the SR5 was intended to appeal to a new type of customer, the sport-truck buyer.

The 1979 model changes (noted as the 4th generation) were the biggest yet. The emphasis now was on passenger comfort while retaining its reputation as a true workhorse. The truck came in two wheel bases: short, and long, creating a real customized feel for the consumer.

The biggest development comes as the introduction of 4 wheel drive. Prior to this year, all of the Toyota Trucks were 2 wheel drive. From this point forward, the 4x2 and 4x4 trucks are a separate product line. Most major modifications from this point forward are the same between the 4x2 and 4x4 unless otherwise noted. The biggest exception to this is that the 4WD model was only available in a 4 speed manual transmission. It was modeled after the Land Cruiser, with a solid front axel, leaf springs on all wheels, and a rugged time tested frame. Aftermarket modification kits such as suspension and body lifts, made the Toyota Truck a huge hit with off-roaders.

The brand new 4WD model is a huge hit, winning the "4WD of the Year" award by Pickup, Van $ 4WD, "4WD Vehicle of the Year" by Off-Road, and "Toughest Truck of the Year" by 4x4 and Off-Road Vehicles.

The Toyota "Legend" can now be found under the hood. The 22R engine that has made the Toyota Truck so dependable is born in the form of a 2.4L gasoline engine. In the same year, a 2.2L diesel engine was now available as well. Body modifications included the "one touch" tailgate.

A 5-speed manual transmission is now available on the 4WD Truck.

The 1984 model year represents the 5th generation of the Truck. Changes to the model continue along the car-like feel of the Truck. The Xtracab is now available for storage behind the seats, and the diesel and 22R engines both were available in a turbo-charged version.

4WD Trucks now come with an available option of "Shift on the Fly". This is a system where the front hubs can be locked automatically, without having to exit the vehicle.

4WD Trucks now have an available 4 speed electronically controlled transmission.

With the affordability of gasoline engines, the diesel engines are discontinued. To give the gas engines a little more boost, the Turbo-charged engine was developed. All trucks now come with Independent Front Suspension (IFS).

6th generation trucks roll out available with a brand new V6 engine. With the optional V6, the Toyota Truck is now capable of towing 3500 pounds while still returning excellent gas mileage. "Rusty Bed Syndrome" of the older trucks was solved at this point as well.

Changes in the Truck were few until 1994. Styling was upgraded regularly and new luxury options such as sport seats, air conditioning, and a CD player. The Truck remained as strong and versatile as ever, while still providing everything that a luxury car could.

Toyota introduces an all new pickup truck, designed in Calty, Southern California, and built in Fremont California (at NUMMI) - The Tacoma. The Tacoma featured brand new high performance engines. A 142-horsepower 2.4L four cylinder with 160 lb.-ft. was standard on the 2WD models, while the 4WD models offered a 150 hp. 2.7L four cylinder engine producing 177 lb.-ft. of torque. On both models, an optional 190 hp. 3.4L V6 engine with 220 lb.-ft. of torque was available. This engine would be shared with the T100.

The suspension was new as well. This redesigned suspension offered a coil spring double-wishbone configuration, which replaced the Hi-Trac torsion bar double wishbone suspension of the previous generation. The lower arm uses a closed cross-sectional structure that adds strength while reducing unsprung weight. Suspension travel on the 4WD models increased from 5.9 inches to 7.7 inches, improving both on and off road performance. Tread width on both 2WD and 4WD also increased, improving steering stability and ride comfort. The Tacoma continued to use the reliable leaf type rear suspension with refinements to layout design.

For safety, a standard driver-side airbag, center high mount stop light, adjustable seatbelt anchors, improved side-view mirrors, and optional four-wheel ABS were added. Additionally, the Tacoma received side door impact beams, and three-point, automatic and emergency locking retractor (ALR and ELR) seatbelts in outboard positions, with an ELR seatbelt on the driver's side.

While mechanically unchanged, the 1997 Tacoma gets a redesigned front-end. The headlights were faired into a new grille, and the whole assembly is more aerodynamic and stylish than before.

The 4WD models Tacoma now has an available locking rear differential, bucket seats on non-SR5 Xtracabs, and revised striping on all SR5s.

A passenger-side airbag is added one year prior to the Federal standard of 1999. For increased safety, the passenger-side airbag can be turned off with the ignition key. Accept for a redesigned sound system and the addition of new colors, the 2WD remains unchanged.

4WD models get interior changes including rotary HVAC controls, 2 additional 12 volt power outlets, and repositioned cupholders. Outside the Tacoma, a larger front bumper and restyled grille and headlights along with new overfenders give Tacoma a more aggressive look.

Mid-year, the Tacoma PreRunner is introduced. This new 2WD pickup combines the rugged styling and off-road ability of the 4WD with the affordability of the 2WD model. The PreRunner was developed in conjunction with Toyota Motorsport's successful desert racing truck program. Much of the suspension tuning and development work was done with the assistance of Toyota-drive Ivan "The Ironman" Stewart. The PreRunner shares identical exterior styling with all '98 4WD models. They are available only as Xtracab models with an automatic transmission and a 4 or 6 cylinder engine.

Enhancing the PreRunner and the 4WD off-road ability is an available Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Off-Road package. The package offers a rugged combination of front and rear Bilstein shock absorbers, locking rear differential on V6 models, progressive-rate front coil springs and rear leaf suspension, modified camber rear springs, a larger front stabilizer bar, 31x10.50R15 white lettered Goodyear tires, 15x7" alloy wheels, black overfenders, and special Off-Road graphics.

The Tacoma PreRunner is available in a Regular Cab model with an automatic transmission equipped with the 2.7L 4 cylinder engine.

Standard daytime running lights are added to all models equipped with ABS. Also, the Tacoma StepSide, a sporty package that added a youthful alternative to the Tacoma lineup.

The Tacoma enters a new model year with an aggressive new styling change which include a new front fascia featuring a vertical grille, raised hood, new multi-reflector headlamps, and jeweled tail lamps. Inside, tether anchor brackets have been added to supplement child restraint systems. Also, several new upgrade packages, and 4 new exterior colors.

The Double Cab is introduced. The Tacoma Double Cab delivers the cargo hauling capability of a pickup, the passenger roominess and comfort of an SUV and rugged styling that makes an aggressive statement. The Double Cab is offered in SR5 and Limited trim levels with available off-road package in the 2WD PreRunner series with a 4 or 6 cylinder engine. It offers 11 inches of ground clearance, and a 61" cargo bed. It's 4 large conventional doors open to a well appointed and roomy interior, featuring spacious front and rear seating and a 60/40 fold-down rear bench with 3-point outboard belts.

The Tacoma S-Runner is introduced as a new Sport Truck. The S-Runner is offered in a 4x2 Xtracab trim level with a 5-speed manual overdrive transmission and powered exclusively by Tacoma's 190-hp V6 engine. Performance is enhanced with a low-to-the-ground sports tuned suspension with Tokico gas shock absorbers and stiffer springs, sway bars and bushings. Ground clearance is reduced by 2 inches from the standard 4x2. The

S-Runner boasts a full color-keyed exterior that includes the grille, lower valence panel, front and rear bumper, overfenders, and outside door handles and mirrors. For an extreme appearance, a dealer-installed Toyota Racing Development (TRD) body kit is available.

The color-keyed exterior is complemented by an aggressive interior feel which includes standard amenities such as front sports and power lumbar driver seat, front seat for and aft adjustable headrests, leather steering wheel and shift knob, tachometer with twin trip meters, AM/FM/Cassette audio with 6 speakers, tilt steering wheel, variable intermittent wipers and a rear console box.

Finally, the latest addition to the Tacoma family is the StepSide. This package is available on regular and Xtracab 4x2 models, powered by either 4 or 6 cylinder engines. The StepSides cargo box is a solid steel unit and the sporty image is enhanced by the use of front fenders, bumper and grille from the Tacoma 4x4.

So what does Tacoma mean? Tacoma comes from the Salish Indian word for the mountain that provided water to their tribe (later changed to Mount Rainier). The name suggests images of strength and power.

What about PreRunner? Well, PreRunner is a term that refers to a class of vehicle that is used to "pre-run" an off-road race course in order to save the race vehicle for race day. Often these "pre-runner" vehicle are heavily modified 2WD trucks.

The compact trucks (2 and 4WD) are built at the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc (NUMMI) in Fremont, California, the Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Japan, and all truck beds are produced at TABC in Long Beach, California. 4WD trucks are also built in the Tahara Plant in Tahara, Japan.

All Tacomas are produced at NUMMI.

The StepSide pickup truck was co-developed by design engineers at NUMMI, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA, Product Planning Group and Rob Millen Motorsports in Huntington Beach, California.

The above data is provided courtesy of Toyota Motor Company, Inc.

3 Posts
American History T

Right on.Thanks for the history.Kinda goes to show that Toys arent really the Japanese trucks everyone says they are,with a lot of factories right here in the good old USA, even so,I praise the Japanese on their ingenuity every time I go at wheelin. What about the 4.7 litre Tundra??Ive never seen one of those "built" lol.!!I wouldnt trade my 84 for anything(unless it was REALLY cool like another 84)

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