It’s Alive!

A tow truck brought my baby home today, and it started, no problem. Aside from some serious toe-out, it’s totally drivable. So, I’m going to keep her and fix her up. It will be a great learning experience, since I’ve never done body work.

And now, pics:

Bumper Damage
Bumper Damage

The highway has a long series of cables instead of rails or barricades, which was great. The cable absorbed a lot of the impact, but on the other hand, it also slingshot the truck back over 2 lanes of traffic. The driver-side front tire hit first, then I think we spun around counterclockwise and caught the passenger-side of the bumper on the cable. It did not want to let go.

Bumper Damage
Bumper Damage
Side Damage
Side Damage

The whole side is crushed, and the door window is completely shattered. Surprisingly, the extended cab window only suffered a few scratches.

More Side Damage
Side Damage
Tailgate Damage
Tailgate Damage

I have no idea how the gate got scratched so high up. The guard cable is only about 3 feet high.

Tailgate Damage
Tailgate Damage

From the side you can really see how badly the tailgate was damaged.

Rolled my Toyota Pickup

Driving carefully on the highway in a winter storm last night, a huge gust of wind sent my truck sliding. I hit the center guard rail made of cable which acted like a giant rubber band shot my truck back across the highway. Then as I hit the shoulder going sideways, the truck rolled.

My 3 passengers and I got away with only a few scrapes and are lucky to be alive. Thank goodness I had roll bars.

Now it seems my dream is dead. I fell in love with this model of truck when I was a teenager, but couldn’t afford one until now. And now she’s gone. Seems pointless to rebuild it.

Toyota Pickup

Toyota Pickup
Toyota Pickup

This is my 1996 Volkswagen Taro, which is actually a rebadged 1995 Toyota Pickup. Outside of America, it’s also known as a Toyota Hilux. When ordering parts, I usually order from the 89-95 Toyota Pickup category to make sure I get the right parts, since Tacoma production began in 1995.

When I was a kid, we moved from Chicago to Texas, where everyone has a pickup. At the time, I was prejudiced against pickups and said I would never get one.  Then one night years later, I was working as a security guard, and I saw a brand new Toyota Pickup 4X4 with chrome trim, and I fell in love. At the time, I was 18 and couldn’t afford a Toyota, so I bought a 1990 Mazda B2200, which was a great truck. I put almost 200K miles on it, and never had any problems.

20 years later, (now living in Sweden) I finally got enough cash to buy my dream truck- or more accurately, the truck finally got so old that I could afford it. But actually, that’s not even accurate because a 16 year-old Toyota Pickup in Sweden costs as much as a 2 year-old full-size Chevy in Texas. That’s the cost of “free” health care in Sweden- everything costs at least twice as much, but I’ll save that for another post.

So, after all these years, I finally got my dream truck and I love it.  Trucks aren’t so common in Sweden, and old Toyota Pickups are even rarer, so I had to settle for a Volkswagen Taro. Before Toyota had a foothold in Europe, they made an agreement with VW to build the pickup for them, hence the rebadging.  But a 1996 Volkswagen Taro is the exact same truck as the 89-95 Toyota Pickup (Toyota Hilux), with 2 minor exceptions:

  • There is a VW badge on the front grill.
  • There is a VW badge on the steering wheel.

Other than that, it’s all Toyota.

<!--wsa:context_name-->