Restored 1985 Pickup is Proof that Toyota Trucks Don’t Die

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After being off the road for 10 years, Xtra Cab Pickup has a new lease on life.

There are certain products that were made to be disposable: cameras for wedding reception guests, fast food wrappers, contact lenses, etc. Toyota trucks were not. Just look at this 1985 Pickup. Even though it sat dormant for 10 years, it never died. Thanks to Greg’s Restorations, it’s more alive than ever.

The Campbell family has owned the truck since it was brand new. They bought it at a special time in Toyota history. According to Greg Ward (the Greg in Greg’s Restorations), the 1985 is a “one-year-only truck” because it has both a solid front axle and a 22RE 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with fuel injection. Over the next two-plus decades, the Campbells racked up 286,000 miles on the odometer.

yotatech.com 1985 Toyota Pickup Restoration

The Campbells eventually stopped driving it and left it sitting for 10 years. It was neglected, but not forgotten. As Ward puts it, the Campbells “couldn’t get rid of it just because … it’s part of their family.” The Campbell kids eventually convinced their father Gerald to do something with the old family truckster and he decided to trailer it all the way from his home in Louisiana to Greg’s Restorations in Massachusetts.

yotatech.com 1985 Toyota Pickup Restoration

Over the course of a year, Greg and his team completely ripped apart, refreshed, and frame-off restored the truck. They handled the frame, bodywork, suspension, axles and five-speed manual gearbox, but had other experts restore the blue cloth interior and 22RE engine.

yotatech.com 1985 Toyota Pickup Restoration

Some parts of the restoration required looking into long forgotten records. Jeremy Pontbriand of Greg’s Restorations says, “I even had to look into old trouble service bulletins from the early ’90s to address things that this truck never saw at the dealership.”

yotatech.com 1985 Toyota Pickup Restoration

Greg’s crew added fresh decals as well as a few modern touches, including a mild lift, new wheels, BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, and a Smittybilt rear bumper. They may not be factory correct, but they look great and help prepare the Pickup for more decades of Campbell family adventures.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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