Dirty Love: The Baja 1000 Toyota 4RunnerS

Toyota built a 2010 4Runner for last month's Baja 1000. The truck finished second in the Stock Mini class, and the Big T brought it to L.A. still covered in Mexican dirt. Amen.

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Be honest: If you could afford it, you'd go desert racing too, right? Tear hell-for-leather across miles and miles of Mexican sand and gravel, hanging it out 'til the vacas come home? I would. Heck, if you wanted to go blast through the desert on SCORE's watch, I'd pay just to be allowed to help. Is that crazy? Tell me it's not crazy. Maybe it's crazy. Maybe I like rallying too much. Is that even possible?


Oh, right, the Toyota. (Sorry, got distracted.) Old Man Emu springs in back, Eibach coil-overs in front, Bilstein dampers at all four corners. Roll cage, transmission and power steering coolers, GPS, grab handles, blah blah blah — everything you'd expect is there. It's a race truck. It looks (and likely acts) like a race truck. This is not news.

To be honest, none of the details are important. The dirt, however, is. It means something. It's emotion; it's proof; it's real. It made me stop in my tracks and stare for ten minutes. I can't remember the last time I did that with a Toyota product. Hell, I can't even remember the last time I did that at an auto show, and I've been going to auto shows for a long, long time.

Thank you, Big T, for the dirt. Keep it up. And if you need some free labor, well, you know who to call.