Just as we make jokes about unreliable cars, we make jokes about the Toyota pickup's reliability. My brother-in-law's '88 has close to a quarter-million miles and it has yet to suffer any significant mechanical problem.

Today I am going to honor this little truck (which I've been borrowing to haul engines and sheets of plywood since the early '90s; it's always wise to encourage your sister to marry a Toyota truck owner) by posing it at the former Alameda Naval Air Station and giving it the DOTS treatment. This is the truck mentioned in the Orange Mix Tape post.

My brother-in-law (let's call him BIL for short) bought this truck new in Los Angeles in 1987, and ordered it in the most stripped-down, un-optioned form possible. No bumpers. No radio. No A/C. 4-speed transmission. You don't need frills when you've got the Warlord Grade 22R engine under the hood!

Unlike your typical Toyota-driving warlord, however, BIL has maintained his truck with obsessive care. Oh, sure, the body and interior are beat to crap (which is to be expected when a vehicle spends most of its life living in L.A., San Francisco,and Oakland), but every single mechanical maintenance item has been carried out on the dot. You're looking at the single major failed component of this truck's 240,000-mile lifetime in the photo above: the master cylinder went bad about 5 years back. Other than that, only normal wear items such as brake pads, catalytic converter, etc., have been replaced. The original clutch is still working fine. Even by Toyota standards, we're talking absurd reliability here.

Which isn't to say it hasn't needed some electrical work over the years, because it has been stolen once, had its ignition punched four times during attempted thefts, and had the dash torn open by stereo thieves more times than there are AK-47s in an Afghani Hilux. Ah, street parking in the big city.

The current sound system is a Pick Your Part Half Price Sale special setup, with a mid-80s Subaru radio mounted in a crude plywood faceplate that seems to be pretty good at convincing thieves that they should move on the the single-disc CD player in the Mitsubishi Cordia parked down the street.