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Best of Both Words: Custom ‘Yota Dually

BF Yota

While even the most diehard domestic pickup lover can admit Toyota builds some pretty robust trucks, no one would ever say the company’s earliest forays into truck building yielded anything better than a good, in-town runabout. With limited cargo capacity and a powerplant that was stout but small, the original Toyota pick-ups were long on dependability but short on usability. This custom 1979 dually example here on craigslist sets out to change all of this, giving it a wider rear track and bed, and it looks like the fabrication work even yielded a pair of rear doors and an extended cab! I’m not sure what the biggest advantage is to devising such a setup, but the dependable Toyota engine that powers it will long outlast any deterioration caused by the Frankenstein’d caboose out back. Thanks to Barn Finds reader George B for this find.


  1. Arthur

    Toyota pickups did offer a conversion kit for fiberglass extended cabs in the early 80’s that were sold through the dealer. I remember seeing a number of them on the lot at Evan’s Toyota in Ft. Wayne, IN in 1983 when my parents purchased a car. I remember thinking they were cool because they were so odd looking.

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  2. Leon

    Toyota dealer near my house in 1987 had several 1ton trucks for sale. They were all plain Jane white models

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  3. Mark E

    Don’t know what the idea was behind a dual tire axle. Without an engine upgrade there’s not enough power to tow that much weight…

    I remember when I first visited the Philippines in the mid-90s there were virtually NO four-door pickups in America. None. (Except for full-sized crew cabs) And in the Phills they were all over! 4-door Toyotas, Nissans and Mitsubishi even had a cool looking four door sports truck that was a kind of predecessor to the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. It was a common sight to see the entire family riding around in, what was considered in America to be, a compact truck.

    At the time I thought DANG, here’s a great marketing idea that has been ignored in America! Little did I know that ten years later they’d be ALL OVER! ^_^

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  4. Walter Joy

    I’m going to guess a conversion company did these. Like the full size Ford and Chevy vans from the 70s that had the full cab and pick up bed. I saw a few on Google

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  5. David Frank David Member

    U-Haul had a bunch of one ton duallys with floating axels and and a lot were used for camper conversions. Some were diesels. Every other town had someone doing these conversions it seemed using this chassis. They are rather common, especially as flatbeds. This is an interesting vehicle, not uncommon or rare, but what makes this a barn find?

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  6. skloon

    I had an axle from one at my farm- wheels were factory Toyotas weird 14″ dually rims

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