History Of The Toyota 4x4 - Toy Evolution
Following The Trail Of Innovation
Before 1979, If You Wanted a 4WD Toyota truck you had to build it yourself. Then Toyota sent 4WD trucks to these shores in 1979 and 4Runners followed in 1984. These rugged vehicles have made daily drivers, weekend warriors, and hard-core trail rigs for numerous wheelers. Patterned after the sturdy construction of the venerable Land Cruiser line, the early trucks were built on a fully boxed ladder frame.
In the '80s, trail rigs were largely composed of domestic fair. When you did find a Toyota truck out on the trail it was often smothered amongst a variety of Jeeps, Broncos, and Scouts.
But in time, all things change and those trucks and 4Runners came into their own and developed a modern prowess that continues today on trails everywhere. The factory suspension and body configurations have changed over the last 30 years, but with the help of a lot of innovative wheelers and some dedicated manufacturers, great changes have been made to suspensions, drivetrains, body mod styles, and off-road protection.
These days you'll find all manner of Toyota trucks, 4Runners, and pieces thereof out playing. Builders have diced and spliced their rigs to suit their trail needs, be it weekend crawling or an expedition-style camping vehicle. There are early-model stockers to full custom buggies sporting the skins or the guts from some Toy lineage. We've come a long way since we first saw Toyota 4WD trucks nearly 30 years ago. Plenty of those early trucks are still around and kicking, supplemented with the newer breed. We're betting the innovation continues.