Chop Top: 1980 Toyota Stepside Pickup

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It’s hard to tell that this 1980 Toyota stepside pickup has a secret or two by looking at this opening photo but it has an interesting story. This stormy stepside can be found here on eBay in Charlotte, North Carolina. There are two bids bringing the total up to just over $100 so far, but the reserve isn’t met.

I got excited when I saw that this was a convertible stepside pickup, that checks a few boxes for me. It does look like it’s in reasonably nice condition for being crammed in a building with stuff stacked on top of it. They say that the stripes are painted on and that it doesn’t have any rust other than normal surface rust so that’s a good thing. One not good thing: there is no title so the next owner will have to wrestle with the DMV to get this titled.

I was wondering if it was a factory custom, not made by the Toyota factory but by a company like American Sunroof Corporation or a similar conversion company. The seller mentions that this was a regular hardtop until Hurricane Hugo blew through the area in 1989 and falling debris damaged the roof and it was cut off. You can see the top and cab connection in this photo and it would be a fun truck to try to detail up a bit and clean up those cut edges, maybe add seats with headrests, etc. I have seen convertible pickups similar to this even with similar graphics, I’m just going by what the seller says in their listing.

A stepside Toyota pickup isn’t something that we see every day and, oddly enough, this one was used as a parts truck for a Honda dealer in Winston-Salem! The seller made the top for it but they never finished it so the next owner will have to do that if having a top for their pickup is important to them. From what I know, the stepside beds for the third-generation Toyota pickups were made by a company called California Stepside and the fenders were fiberglass. Maybe that’s why there appears to be surface rust in the bed but the fender here looks like new.

They say that this truck has been parked out of the elements since they got it and it is started a couple of times a year. The engine is Toyota’s 2.2L 20R inline-four which would have had around 90 hp by 1980. It’ll need the usual – belts, hoses, fluids, tune-up – but that shouldn’t be a huge problem for the next owner. Any thoughts on this chop-top Toyota stepside pickup?

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  1. slickb

    That thing is actually pretty dang neat!!!

    Like 5
  2. Ian C

    I’d roll it! I tend to do V8 swaps on my mini’s though…. and this would be no different.

    Like 2
  3. LARRY

    That 20r can be built to make some good horsepower too…buuuttt nah v8 swap

    Like 1
  4. Roy L

    Good luck getting parts……

    Like 0
  5. chrlsful

    like the 20R & step side BUT
    no 4WD, top, etc…

    Like 0
  6. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Auction update: this one ended at $685 and no sale.

    Like 0
  7. Roy L

    Next up, scrap yard.

    Like 0
  8. Parks1229

    Haha, I love the comments, I just purchased this truck (I live in GA and no title needed for pre 1985). I was really surprised it is alot cleaner and well kept than I expected- solid vehicle! I will tune it up and drive it on the weekends, and park it next to my frankenstien Jeep Willy’s convertible truck

    Like 0

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