Toyota Monster Truck Becomes YotaTech Member’s Obsession

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Toyota Monster Truck

This Toyota monster truck evaded one of our very own for 20 years. But amazingly enough, he finally tracked down his personal holy grail.

As human beings, we all share our own unique differences. But we also share an amazing number of things in common. For one, we’re all obviously Toyota truck fans (duh!). And most likely, this passion came from one truck in particular. Take YotaTech member 86 SR5 4×4, for example. The Texas native grew up attending Chevy-based car shows. Yet he found himself smitten with one unique ride in particular – a 1980 Toyota monster truck.

There was just something about the lifted truck that left a lasting impression on the young lad, as he explains.

“It all started when I went to the 1996 Super Chevy Show in Ennis, Texas. I went with my parents to see the drag race and car show but mostly to reference Corvettes for a restoration we were doing on a ’69 427 Corvette. I remember walking up to the truck and thinking how amazing it was. A giant monster truck with a big V8 engine and chrome everywhere was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Literally the real version of my favorite RC car. It looked like most of my toy cars I had when I was little.”

Toyota Monster Truck

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Most likely, we’ve all had a similar experience that served as a major influence on our lives. But for 86 SR5 4×4, the bug just wouldn’t go away.

“I of course had to have a picture taken with it. The picture was kept in our car album for years and was the only one in it that was not a Corvette or Camaro. It was also the only picture I had of me standing in front of a Toyota pickup or show truck. Over the years I would go into the garage and pull the book out to reminisce on the good old days with Dad. As years went by the truck started to gain more importance to me. About 10 years ago I started to get curious about where the truck may have been or what it looked like in present days time.”

For years, he searched online in a desperate attempt to locate his beloved Toyota monster truck. But with no luck. And yet, the fire that the truck ignited within the Chevy nut led to bigger and better things.

“8 Years ago I started a Toyota shop called “The 4Runner House,” specializing in parts and repair for 4Runner and pickups. Within a few years, the importance of this monster truck became so great to me I started to look for it all the time. I had nothing to go off of besides a picture and that it had an 82-83 front end. It was my personal holy grail of Toyotas and nearly all cars in general. I remember searching every key word possible to try and find even a picture of the truck. I eventually gave up, figuring it had been parted out or turned into a mud truck.”

Toyota Monster Truck

Thankfully, that isn’t where the story ends. A simple, non-targeted search seemed to finally cast a little light on the Toyota monster truck that had evaded him for decades.

“Then one night last November I was doing my normal car search on Craigslist just before bed. I was on the verge of passing out when I came across an ad for a 1980 Toyota Pickup. Clicked on the ad and saw what appeared to be a pretty crazy show truck but at first didn’t think about the monster.

I started looking it over, seeing all the extensive work done to the truck, and then it clicked. Immediately wondered if it could actually be THE truck. I thought for sure it had to be a different truck and there was just no way after all these years I had finally found it. I texted my Dad at midnight and asked him to send the picture of the Toyota monster truck. As soon as I saw the picture it was very clear. The search was over, I had found the truck that day.”

Toyota Monster Truck

Obviously, 86 SR5 4×4 wasn’t about to let the opportunity to own his dream truck evade him after all these years. So he dove in, head first.

“As much as I didn’t want to bother the owner at 12:23 a.m., I just had to text and ask if it was still for sale. I didn’t get a reply until I sent another text in the morning. I told him ‘I have been looking for this truck for 20 years.’ He responded with ‘I’ve had it for 20 years.’ It was a crazy feeling thinking about all years I had been obsessed with this truck and I finally found it. Even more than that, I knew right away I would be making the ultimate dream come true and actually own the truck.”

Toyota Monster Truck

Sadly, however, much of the Toyota monster truck had changed over those 20 years. But that didn’t dissuade a desperate man from taking on the challenge.

“The truck was torn apart 17 years ago and many parts were sold off of it. The bumpers, wheels, tires, tunnel ram, carbs, scoop and too much more were long gone. It was going to be updated years ago but never got finished. Many parts needed re-chromed or painted, the whole wire harness needed to be replaced, and the entire interior was removed.”

After bringing home his holy grail and a slew of parts, 86 SR5 4×4 has begun returning his Toyota monster truck to its former glory. You can follow along as he lovingly recreates this special ride in his build thread. And you can bet will be doing exactly that. In between searching the internet for our own lost love, of course.


Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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