At $17,900, Is This Frankenstein 2009 Toyota Tacoma A Monster-Good Deal?

Illustration for article titled At $17,900, Is This Frankenstein 2009 Toyota Tacoma A Monster-Good Deal?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

They say that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Tacoma built himself a modern-looking standard cab since Toyota doesn’t play that game anymore. Let’s see what he thinks his work is worth.

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I don’t know about you, but I consider “weighted shift knobs” to be the Axe Body Spray of the automotive world. If you’re not too sure about that correlation, believe me, it’s not good.

Last Friday we looked at a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX and while the seller couldn’t be bothered to go into detail regarding the car’s mileage or why, after just nine years of service the transmission had to be replaced, he did dedicate space in the ad for the two weighted shift knobs that come with the car. That choice, along with some other sketchy details and a $15,500 price, earned the Subie a massive 90 percent Crack Pipe loss.

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There is a thought among literary historians that Mary Shelley based the idea of resurrecting the dead as the main plot-line in her story Frankenstein after the tragic loss of her six-week-old daughter, Clara, of whom she dreamt for weeks after her passing of returning from the land of the dead.

Frankenstein, of course, is a story about tragic loss and the attempt to reclaim what the grim reaper hath taken. It’s also a story about a hubristic scientist with mad sewing skills piecing together a grandma’s quilt of a man-monster from the various kibbles and bits of recently disinterred corpses. That element—playing god and giving life to what was never intended to be—resonates today, 200 years after Shelley’s work was first published. It also, no doubt, was the inspiration for today’s 2009 Toyota Tacoma TRD standard cab.

Illustration for article titled At $17,900, Is This Frankenstein 2009 Toyota Tacoma A Monster-Good Deal?

Now, you are no doubt thinking what’s the big deal about a ’09 Tacoma. You’ll get an idea how big a deal this one is when you notice that its bodywork and kit appears to not be from a decade past, but from a far more current model.

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That lends the truck a Frankenstein-esque quality since Toyota has not deemed us worthy of a standard cab small truck for at least the past half-decade. This truck’s builder wouldn’t let that oversight stand, and so, supposedly using OEM parts and a shit-ton of sweat equity and custom work, they created a one of a kind beast. Let’s just hope it doesn’t push any little girls down any wells.

Illustration for article titled At $17,900, Is This Frankenstein 2009 Toyota Tacoma A Monster-Good Deal?
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The truck is said to run the front clip and bed off of a 2018, with custom fabricated door skins to tie those both together. The whole thing rides on a 4X2 chassis with an unmodified 2.7-litre/five-speed drivetrain. That’s all been jacked up on a four-inch lift and rolls on 17-inch TRD alloys wrapped in Nitto knobbies.

The paint is claimed to be a 2020 color called Army Green and that contrasts nicely with the deep gold of the wheels. Less successful is the black Transformer decal on the hood. Everything else here looks to be well-conceived and in primo condition.

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Illustration for article titled At $17,900, Is This Frankenstein 2009 Toyota Tacoma A Monster-Good Deal?

The interior is all ’09 save for the more modern head unit which incorporates a back-up camera screen wired to the peeper in the tailgate handle. A bench seat offers three sets of belts but the center passenger will need to manspread or share the right-side footwell, a discomfort owed to the tall tunnel and shifter. Everything inside looks well maintained and without any mickey mouse add-ons.

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There’s 145,000 miles on the truck and it’s claimed to run without issue and be free of leaks or CELs despite the mad mix of decades.

The big downside here is that the truck comes with a salvage title. That might actually be expected considering the presentation. It’s claimed that the write-off/repurchase did not involve any frame damage or airbag deployment. Still, it was bad enough for somebody to want to put the truck into the witness protection program with a whole new identity.

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Illustration for article titled At $17,900, Is This Frankenstein 2009 Toyota Tacoma A Monster-Good Deal?

That new identity is something you won’t find anywhere else since Toyota only sells extended- and crew-cab Tacomas these days. Do you know why they stopped selling standard cabs? It wasn’t due to some Illuminati conspiracy, it was because too few people were buying them. Honestly, when was the last time you saw crowds picketing your local Toyota dealer with signs emblazoned with “Give Me Standard Cabs or Give Me Death?” Probably only like once, right?

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Still, there are people who dig the little trucks. Obviously the builder of this custom one can be counted among those. This is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication, which now, of course, means that it must be sold to another small truck lover.

Will such a buyer be found? More importantly, will a buyer be found who would be willing to pay the seller’s $17,900 asking for a salvage title truck? What do you think, could you see that happening? Or, is this Frankenstein’s monster of a truck priced to give you nightmares?

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You decide!

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San Diego, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Dale Wilsey for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

rorothegreat
RoRoTheGreat

I love the look of this truck. Perfect combination of color and wheels. This looks to be very well done.

This is asking 2-3 times what the going rate for this exact spec’ed vehicle: similar mileage, 4x2, 5 speed with an inline 4 sell for b/t 6k-9k

Well done! I applaud your work and ingenuity.

Regretfully, I must vote CP.