The notorious Toyota tax. It is the price you’ll pay in excess of anything comparable for any Toyota product. I am very familiar. I have a 4Runner and a Sienna. The owner of this Tacoma understands they can command a large price. But is he pushing the tax rate too high to overburden any potential buyers? Maybe we should throw all the Satoshi grills into the harbor while dressed like Samurai?! Start putting on your armor and taking down the sword off the mantle, we’ve got a revolution to start.

Bumpers, winches, and wheels, OH MY!
Image: Craigslist (Craigslist)

The Tacoma is known world over for its indestructibility. If you could own one vehicle, many would regard the Tacoma or its international brother, the Hilux, as the ultimate vehicle to ride into the sunset. It is not uncommon to see these trucks, beat up, smashed, rusted, and decaying - yet some how still on the roads providing an important utility. They have become an icon of many industries and outdoor sports. Go anywhere and you’ll see a Toyota pickup doing it all.

Aftermarket switches for all the goodies and a sticker to remind you there are there.
Image: Craigslist (Craigslist)

This particular truck is a 1998 Toyota Tacoma 4wd with 127,xxx miles on the 2.7L four cylinder with a manual transmission. What makes this truck mostly special is that it has been ARB’d. Front and rear air lockers. These are not cheap. A professional installation can cost well over several thousand dollars.

You want to go off road and not get stuck? The air locker is your best friend. Especially if you get really stuck. The front locker is the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy, rarely use, and when you do - you’ll thank your lucky stars you have it. It is usually one of the last things done to any 4wd project. Everything else almost always comes first if you’re on a budget. To find a used truck with one is a pleasant surprise.

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The owner writes that this truck has been re-geared while they were at it to a lower 4.88 to accommodate the larger 285/75/16 (~33") tires. An Old Man Emu 883 suspension is used to give the ‘Taco the height and travel for off road excursions.  I applaud this set up. Not too big, just how I like ‘em. Perfect for Overland trips and a little more, hopefully to keep you from getting too stuck in the wilderness.

Hopefully the ammo can is included and full of 6.5 grendel.
Image: Craigslist (Craigslist)

The interior is well sorted with a clean installation of aftermarket ARB switches on the dash. Looking at this photograph something immediately caught my eye - R Racing floor mats. Oh man. My teenage days slumming at Autozone are back! I forgot about how tacky these have become. The ubiquitous poser Type-R-ish floor mat in blue, yellow, and red. I mean, a better choice in floor mats would have been better as new Toyota mats can be had relatively cheap (they ain’t no Audi floor mats... now those are pricey).

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Don’t look like most Toyota; worked to death.
Image: Craigslist (Craigslist)

In back there is a Jerry Can mount, spare tire, and tool box. This is about as good as it gets if you’re still trying to salvage some bed space. Everything here looks excellent, almost never used looking. The rear bumper is ‘CBI Trail Rider’ and I think it is a great compliment to the ARB front bumper.

Slide on over and empty your pockets for this one.
Image: Craigslist (Craigslist)

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There is no doubt some coin was spent on this truck. Lockers, bumpers, sliders, and lots of other ‘ERS have been added to this ‘Taco. If you want to buy this truck you’ll be paying some serious tax.

Price with the Toyota Tax: $23,000

I’d have jumped on this truck if it was the 3.4L and closer to 10-grand cheaper. A quality truck no doubt. But the rent tax is too high!

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Will the ridiculous vehicle prices ever end? I think not. There is plenty of material out there, and I don’t plan on going anywhere.

More ridiculousness to come! Until next time!

PS: Special thanks to Highlander-Mazda now with rust for some inspiration.