I’ve owned this little 1994 Toyota 4WD pick up for about twelve years now. I bought it for rugged access to various Pacific Northwest climbing destinations–many of which require super high ground clearance. And of course it’s been ideal for mountain access during snow storms. I once drove out of a blizzard at Crater Lake in December, passing hundreds of stuck vehicles.
It’s old enough to have passed the threshold from embarrassment to hip, from “why do you drive a beat up old pick up?” to “where’d you find that vintage Toyo? Do you want to sell it?”
We’ve been on many an adventure, this little truck and me. I realize I’ve become very emotionally attached. It’s old, but I’m getting older too. It’s no frills. Hand crank windows. Manual door locks that passengers can’t get the hang of. 5-Speed manual transmission that fewer and fewer people know how to operate. The ride is rough. Last summer the A/C compressor clutch fried, and it’s an R-12 system, so it’s no longer air conditioned. I’ve invested as much in repairs at this point as I originally paid for it (around $4K). But it has the legendary R22 four cylinder engine, which is famous for being the most reliable and long-running passenger vehicle motor ever designed. It’s got a lot of life yet. You don’t just throw things away because they get old.
We’re on another adventure this week–exploring Washington’s Olympic Peninsula down winding forest roads. We love this sort of thing–both of us.