Where the Europeans had the Paris-Dakar rally, the Americans had the Baja 1000 on the tougher terrains of Mexico. Which is why the cars, or trucks in this case, that participated in the Baja 1000 looked nothing like their factory counterparts. They were lifted, 800 hp, fiberglass shelled tube on frame trophy trucks built to circumvent 1000 miles through the terrain of scenic yet perilous Baja-Californian Peninsula. Enter Ivan "Iron Man" Stewart and the red, orange and yellow liveried Toyota SR5. Soon, TRD became synonymous with Baja 1000. Around late 90's, another Toyota Hilux, albeit shadowed by the hero car, became synonymous with Back To The Future. That black custom 4x4 with yellow fog lamps went on to kick start an entire generation's infatuation with it. Toyota did start cashing in on the hype, but subtly, until recently with the introduction of the TRD pro models, which North America seems to love and already has developed a cult following. To be fair, we petrolheads are all obsessed with trucks to an extent (and no that does not mean we're compensating for something else). Anyone who says otherwise is fighting the closet door. Mine started with a copy of Super Pickups on PS2 from Eastern Plaza.
"Check out that 4x4!" says my boss (all the time) as he looks at pictures of Marty McFly's Hilux. While the Hilux has grown part of its reliability legend from the relation with extremist groups in the Middle East, the real love for many comes from watching BTTF on long cold nights curled up in a blanket. Check out this 4x4 indeed.
The red TRD pro-esque 2005 Hilux came to be an adventitious decision by Fahmid Ishtiaque Ahmed, as he wanted to fish for something unique in a sea of numerous Defender and Patrol builds. With the help of a contact in the embassy auctions, a 2.7L 3RZ Hilux with a fairly low mileage was sourced and Samiur Rahman Tushar, a young veteran in the deshi petrolhead community, drove the noble Hilux straight to his restoration facility, Machinam. A considerable amount of hours wrenching and some TLC and an overnight parts from Japan scene later, the transformation took shape into what you're seeing in the pictures. The cabin was transformed into a 4 seater configuration, made out of Axio seats in the front and front seats from a Mark II in the rear. The dashboard was given the leather treatment, along with a Momo steering wheel. Doors and windows were given automation from a Hilux Surf. The mean demeanor of its front fascia is alleviated by an ARB inspired custom made front bumper, in conjunction to TRD headlamps and a custom grille. The bed houses an ARB design rollbar. The meatier Zestino mud terrain tyres and the 16" 4x4 style wheels were sourced by Platinum Wheels. The cherry on top(literally) yellow fog Lamps and an LED bar mounted on the ARB design bumper and roll bar. "It drives well and is quite quick although the skittish rear due to an empty bed is typical of pickup trucks," Tushar said and added, "Best place to be is in the rear seats, big, bolstered and recline able."
This sweet 4x4 indeed greater than the sum of its parts. It's not black (well, except for the rear doors, a nice touch), but it is very functional indeed. No silly multiple touchscreens and no ridiculous powered tailgate like many new trucks offer. This is functional with style much like our beloved black truck from the movies. I am sure Marty McFly would be proud.