1978 Toyota Pickup 20R from North America


Cheap reliable pick-up best suited for warm climates


Leaving warm sunny California for the frigid winters of Nebraska has taken a toll on my little pick-em-up truck. The salt used on the icy roads has quickly rusted my truck. The floorboards are rusting through and the fenders are disintegrating. Later models of these trucks were built to reduce rust problems, but these early models do not fare well.

Mechanically, little has gone wrong other than normal wear and tear.

General Comments:

With the 4.11 rear end and the torque multiplication of the automatic transmission I have pulled trailers with 3-1/2 ton loads. Luckily, the trailers were two-axle types that placed only a couple hundred pounds on the hitch point. I was limited to around 45 mph top speed, but that speed was quickly reached.

This is a man's truck. The non-power steering requires muscle power to turn the truck at low speeds.

With the automatic transmission the best gas mileage I can expect is 19 miles per gallon. Blame the 4.11 rear end and the power drain of the auto transmission.

A very basic truck. Not much leg room and noisy due to little insulation.

Easy access to the engine for maintenance and repair.

Carbureted engine can be hard to start on those cold winter days. This truck does much better in warmer climates.

Hard to drive on ice and snow, even with weight in the bed and snow tires all around. A manual transmission allows safer slippery road driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2004

15th Feb 2005, 10:39


I have the same truck and it is just as you described. It is hard to start in the mornings with the carburetor. I have a five speed though, a little better mph. It is also a long bed. It is also noisy because there isn't any insulation, but I like it. It is very dependable. Good luck, and have fun with it.