Toyota trucks (and 4Runners) have generally been known to be super-durable and reliable, and well suited to tackle the backcountry. They can take on some pretty tough terrain and often seem unstoppable. Back in the day, the venerable solid front axles were beefy, and for a long time most of us had never seen a Birfield joint because they simply never broke.
But times change, and we started to tackle rougher trails and push the trucks harder. Somewhat ironically, Toyota ditched that beloved solid front axle and gave us a smoother-riding independent front suspension in 1986. Over the years, that IFS got even better on the Tacomas, with more travel and a more supple ride. This truck’s lineage runs the gamut, and nearly all of them make suitable platforms for modifications and improvements.
We recently joined a group from the Toyota Territory Off-Roaders Association (TTORA) for their annual gathering, deemed “AZ Rocks.” Spread over a three-day weekend, Toyota enthusiasts met in the desert east of Phoenix. These days, when you attend a Toyota event, you’re likely to see Toyota truck heritage spanning more than 30 years, and you’ll see stockers to seriously morphed trucks that are constructed from old and new Toyota pieces, along with a healthy dose of domestic iron. We found a good mix of vehicles craftily constructed and ready to wheel.
The weekend ended up offering camaraderie, challenge, and a little bit of carnage. For information about future events such as AZ Rocks or the annual TTORA TakeOver run, point your browser to www.ttora.com to join other Toyota wheelers out on the trails.