The Universe blessed me with this little Tacoma which is almost as old as my 4runner but with a fraction of the mileage. One of my boxing buddies decided to sell it to me as he and his wife were expecting twins.
I don't believe in coincidence anymore, but it was providence that this little truck came to me when I randomly began searching for an auxiliary utility vehicle. I wanted a truck for utility purposes, but also something that was fuel efficient and reliable. A tough combination to find.
I believe in purchasing my vehicles in cash so it had to fit my limited budget. I couldn't believe how expensive these old trucks still seemed to cost. I narrowed my decision to another Toyota since I was already familiar with doing the required maintenance to keep the vehicle in good order up to 250k miles and beyond (#million-mile-club). In my research I gained a new admiration and respect for the Tacoma which comes in various packages. Some with 4x4, higher suspension, and luxury appointments; however, during my search I discovered that one of my boxing students drove a basic no-frills Tacoma. I fell in love with the simpleness and utility of the truck since I already had a "luxury" SUV. The entry Tacoma is lower to the ground which makes loading things like heavy appliances easier. The transmission is manual which means more reliability and the fun of driving a stick shift again. The interior is plain and basic which is still surprisingly comfortable as I discovered on my 3hr road trips from Austin to Dallas. The front grill was cracked, the body had some scratches, but over all the vehicle was in wonderful condition.
We worked out a deal and when he was ready I picked up my little taco and thus began her revival under my ownership. The first thing I did was to change the oil to synthetic, followed by a tune up with new spark plugs and belts. This really seemed to quiet down the squeals and vibrations. Next, I washed, clay barred, and waxed the exterior, followed by replacing the faded factory headlights to new clear ones. I fabricated a new grill to replace the cracked old one which I think looks more unique. I replaced a cracked rear window hinge. I installed an auxiliary input for my phone to connect to the factory stereo. I bought a used bed liner for $60 to protect it from heavy construction materials. And lastly, I replaced all four tires for peace of mind since the old tires showed signs of dry rot which made me a little nervous on the highway. After driving my Taco for a few months, I am happy to report that this little truck is nothing short of amazing!