Old's Cool


While I do enjoy reading the all these build threads utilizing the "money cannon" approach, they're a world apart from us ski-bumming, service industry-in, bartendin, raft guidin, dirtbaggin types. We are a species that looks softly upon the 1st and 2nd gen pickup, and the rusty fj60, or the industry standard late 80s Subaru Loyale wagon. Anything that you might be able to curl up in the back of with a labrador and your favorite selection of pee-colored fizzy refreshment. (or for those of us that have been lucky enough to just barely graduate from that point, a fine looking woman who for some reason has agreed to meet your questionable philosophies and abysmal levels of financial stability.)

It just doesn't require 50 grand to go car camping as far as I can tell. Let's see your 3rd world rigs! Let's see your rigs that Hayduke would drive! Let's see some junk! I'll start:

Whitey Lewis is an '89 Xtra cab pickup, handed down progressively through the male side of my family as it eventually becomes sub-standard for it's current owner. Well no longer! This particular Crenshaw has no limits to the lower end of what is considered acceptable!

Some of Whitey's strong points:

Tires, with air in them. They're pretty big and pretty knobby.
4.88's. Stock gearing on these trucks is ruthlessly tall for the ~100 horsepower that most of them are making these days.
BJ spacers, diff drop, blah blah blah
Bastard pack rear springs, xtra leaves stolen from my father's Taco when he got new ones.
Wildernest topper. (The holy grail of dirtbaggery!)
3.4 from '98 Tacoma to replace the ragged out rod knocking 3.0 that finally gave up the ghost.

It's natural habitat:

Whitey does NOT have: (and most likely will not have)

Onboard anything: air, shower, snack dispensers
Winches, shackles, snatches, or anything that sounds like that
Safari, baja, storm trooper, or towel racks
Any sort of lights other than the stock (semi) sealed beam headlights. I don't drive at night very often.
Sliders or po'boys

Let's see yer pre-tacoma rustbuckets.


I'm with ya!

Whitey looks great!

Here's my '85 4runner, "Surfy" that I've had for 17 years since it was a project truck in late high school/early college. It's a "Deluxe" base model but I grabbed some SR5 wheels on Craigslist a few years back. No A/C or power steering, and manual everything.

Most of its mods came early on. It hasn't gotten much recently, aside for some different tires ($40/4), a new radiator (old one was doing tea kettle impressions), the $500 camper a few years ago and a strategically-placed piece of electrical tape to cover the dash indicator that shouldn't be on. The early-on mods include a LockRight in the back, 4:1 low-range gearset, OME front springs, and an All-Pro front bumper with a Chicago Electric winch. The truck and camper are painted with Rustoleum with some vinyl, Ebay graphics.

Future mods: Try to keep the tires from rotting (like the last ones) and try to keep the crankcase filled.
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To the OP: everything about that post is amazing and my jealously is now far out of control. Well done sir, well done.


Tanglefoot, I've always dug your runner. I had a white '87 a couple trucks ago that I would've absolutely driven into the ground had I not been t-boned during a gnarly winter storm and rolled into the ditch. The dog and I crawled out completely unscathed but the truck (especially the fiberglass top), not so much. I think the guys insurance paid me out a dismal 500 bucks for it.

I also had an '85 xtra cab that I used for work for a while that was awesome but the carb'ed 22r was just a little tedious in the cold, high altitude winters in Summit County where I was living at the time.

Then there was the '80 longbed I had, the original trusty rusty! This truck was the catalyst for bailing out on work and life to go on walkabout in the desert for most of a summer in the early 2000s and began a long trend of broke mountain living. 20r, 4 speed, dial radio with one speaker, no power steering. For some reason it was just downright pleasant to top out at a comfortable 55 in the middle of Utah with no particular destination. God I wish I had pics of that thing somewhere, what a beater. I woke up one morning up onion creek laying in the dirt next to the truck and noticed that the leaf spring mounts were rusted almost completely through in the rear, and that was all she wrote. High-tailed it back to civilization and sent trusty rusty to the scrapper.

Next up was an '85 Tercel 4wd Wagon, almost forgot about that episode....


I applaud you Sir!!! I love those old yotas, and if it werent for my own vanity, I'd have bought one of those on Craigslist instead of my 2010 tacoma (bob) from a stealership. Even though I have paid off my tacoma, and love those old yotas, old burbans and k5 blazers, I have been bitten by the cummins bug. I do miss the cummins I sold when I got bob. I dont know what's wrong with me. One of these days I'll get the old truck and be happy instead of getting the new hotness with all the gizmos, spending all my time working to pay for it, and have a 8000lb grossly over priced rig that I'd be crazy to drive off road...


Great thread. I don't have any pictures to contribute but I had a 1991 Toyota single cab 4x4 with a canopy that was the rig that started it all for me. Underpowered 22RE, I was single and had no real responsibilities. Those were the times I did the most exploring/camping traveling mostly alone throughout the west. Those were my formative years, and I so miss that damn truck.


Expedition Leader
I've had the same old white Pickup with the same old WilderNest since (going on a limb to say) probably longer than you've been driving.

Long enough for it to have gone from stock hauling a perpetual student as a positively sprite lightly used truck, bought with 100,000 on the clock from the fella who drove her off the lot in Nov 1990.

To her longest single configuration transporting around a dirtbag and eventually an engineering school grad with a house even! This was how Imelda looked from 1999 to 2005ish.

Always way overloaded...

Then slightly built. Yes, it eventually got crazy stuff like bumpers and a fridge. Never, I mean never underestimate the utility of a truck fridge.

Then a hiccup in 2007.

Then back and more built. The ARB has more than paid for itself in minimizing damage on trails and in traffic...

To maximum built (mostly successful Rubicon navigation) in 2008.

Since 2010 she's been put back more or less to stock, lockers were sold off, all the heavy armor cut off, stock gearing put back in with 30" tires, suspension lowered a little. That was mainly to accommodate the trusty side kick who just needed something lower, slower and more simple to make car rides enjoyable his last couple of years.

She's been in her natural habitat a whole lot over the years.

And, honestly, it's gotten old. I'm upgrading. For all the years I said the same things as you but since about 2012 it's become progressively more wrenching and less driving. It's been reliable and faithful but it's time to let her go. She's getting slowly replaced this winter and spring with the new memory making transport.
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I found an old polaroid of my lost love......

IMG_2628 copy.jpeg

No wildernest but the whole thing was a fridge in the winter, so thats something. I remember camping out in the Oregon high desert one night when it was a balmy -8.


Expedition Leader
Funny, I was just talking to a co worker about people described by the OP. People who are servers or bartenders at night and travelers/adventurers by day. I don't know how you guys do it. I have tried to be this type of person during college and not be so worried about money and my future like I am, but, it doesn't work for me. I feel that at my current age of 25 I should be out more and traveling and exploring but I am at a desk for 9-10 hours a day working my tail off hoping to be rich and retired by the time I am 55.

Anyways, hats off to you guys.

Sweet pics btw


Our truck is an '89 Toyota. Shown here loaded up for camping near Lake San Cristobal and the next day on the summit of Engineer Pass.



Old is good.

Simple is better.

Did add an aluminum camper shell since this trip.


Jeez what is it with the white Toyota pickup? :chef: , they are classic ! I had two 93's . This white one I put some 31's and an auto locker in the rear and it was unstoppable . I bought it for $4,200 , put 75,000 miles on it , and sold it for $3,600 . The 3VZE never gave me any trouble ... great memories from a great truck !