Toyota Pickup

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  • Toyota started making pickups with the G1 model in 1935. A one-and-a-half ton truck with a stake bed, it featured an engine built for the carmaker’s new automobile and was sold for commercial use. Toyota started making a compact line in 1947, called the Toyopet Model SB, which came with a 27-horespower engine. Japanese farmers were the primary users of the vehicles.

  • In 1964 Toyota introduced the Stout, its first truck sold in the United States. The truck did not do much in the way of sales in the States, but it did allow the carmaker to get a toehold in the U.S. market, and the truck gained a reliable reputation. The truck’s engine was a 1.9 liter, OHV model that generated just 85 horsepower.

  • The Hi-Lux used the same engine as the Stout, but used a smaller body style and chassis and gave Toyota a sales hold in the U.S. market. From 1969 to 1978 the Hi-Lux went through three different generations, adding horsepower to the engine and adding length to the truck bed. The major breakthrough was the 20R, a 2.2-liter engine created in 1975 that became the model for the long-lasting Toyota truck engines for the next 30 years.

  • In 1979, Toyota appeared to finally get it right with the SR-5, combined its new R-series engine and a more pleasing, sporty body style. The truck had better suspension as well. The other truck model that came out that year was Toyota’s first 4×4 model that was also well-received, giving Toyota a truck model that could also perform in off-road conditions. These two models would become the basis for Toyota’s truck success into the mid-’90s.

  • The Tacoma was Toyota’s seventh-generation pickup truck and is still the standard-bearer for Toyota’s truck line. The Tacoma used new sheet metal, new suspensions and three different engine types. The truck came with two different cabs and resulted in the development of a new engine, a 2.4-liter DOHC, 16-valve engine that generated 142 horsepower, thus retiring the R-series engine that first helped Toyota gain a place in the American truck industry.

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