Toyota X-Runner up-date

“Körglädje”

This Swedish word translates roughly to “fun-to-drive” sort of.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner front qtr sm

This car…ahem…truck is probably the most fun-to-drive car…truck I have even owned.

It is not the most powerful vehicle but it has wonderful low end feel-in-your-spine torque and that is perfect around town. It pulls well below two thousand RPM and the fun really starts around three grand. The six speed transmission have been the subject of mixed reviews so I was not sure what to expect. At first I was rather irritated with the rev-hang but that is of course not the transmissions fault. It took me a good month to really get along with this trans and now I can drive it as smooth or aggressive as I feel like. I would like to shorten the throws a bit and there are several kits that can offer a fix.

Once I got along with the transmission I could concentrate on slinging the truck through corners and oh boy what fun. However, one small issue remained:

“Spåriga däck”

These Swedish words translates roughly to “Tracky tires”

The problem was those stock Bridgestone Potenza tires. More like im-Potenza! They were old and developed a flat spot from just sitting overnight and the truck had a lot of road noise. The im-Potenzas were also extremely sensitive to every little groove in the road.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner bed Goodyear
I opted for the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrical 255/45/18 rubber donuts. They are definitely quieter and they have good road feel. Also, the “tracky tire” problem is also gone. Now I can have one steady hand on the directional devise and the other on the RPM selector!

 

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner clen wheel

Here you can see how incredibly clean this truck is. The previous adult owner put 12K miles on it in ten years! It had never seen rain.

 

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner bed cover

I added a bed cover. It is soft vinyl but it is stretched well with internal springs making it look like a hard cover but it rolls up nicely behind the cab when you find that 1947 knucklehead at a garage sale!

Next would be to add a stereo with Bluetooth and aux for that streaming experience, a cold induction and a short shift kit.

All is quiet on the Western front

So…not a lot of action on ClassicRoad.com web site lately. Why?

1961-Volvo-Jensen-P1800-ready-to-go

Well, your humble Editor have been sidetracked by a Euro car so I have been posting on VintageSwedishCars.com

I am restoring a 1961 Volvo P1800. It is a very early car with vin number 423.

I keep ClassicRoad up as I have the Model A build on here and other articles. As I get back in to more American iron there will be postings on ClassicRoad again.

 

Finville, USA

Welcome to: Finville, USA

“A place where steel sharks are still lurking, flanked by rocket outlets and chrome”

  1960 Plymouth1960 Plymouth

Photo (and owner)  Jon Radue from Wisconsin, USA

stude tailight

Fins doesn’t have to be stock to be enjoyed.

Steve Gould Colorado Springs, CO sent us this picture of this custom truck.

1960 Tbird

1960 T-bird

Photo: Casey Tarp

Fleetwood in The Rain

1960 Fleetwood in the rain

Photo: Wayne Liles from Asheville N.C.

1961 Cadillac fin aiming for the sky...

1961 Cadillac fin aiming for the sky…

Photo: Heine Hansen

60impala

Jim from Canada sent us this shot of his 1960 Impala:

wing caddy

1960 Cadillac

Lloyd , Cindy and Damiën  from the Netherlands sent us this photo.

57chev

1957 Chevrolet

64ch300
1964 Chrysler 300 Convetible

Photo: Michael Clay Andersen

Dodge

Photo: Gary Baker

58limriv

1958 Buick Limited Riviera
Photo: Kris Trexler

58mark

1958 Continental Mark III coupe
Photo: Kris Trexler

plaza

Plymouth Plaza

imperial

1960 Chrysler Imperial

1960ford

1960 Ford

1960 buick

The fins on the 1960 Buick became somewhat more sedate than the ’59 Delta wings, but they are very classy. This photo came from the owner of this 1960 Buick LeSabre Convertible, Denis Lachapelle from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

58ford

This 58 Ford Fairlane 500 is looking awesome at this angle.

Photo: Charlie Barone

1959 Dodge

Very few fin-cars can compete with the rocket outlets and chrome of the ’59 Dodge. Is this the ultimate set of fins??

1959 chevrolet

The gull-wing fins of the 1959 Chevrolet has always been a favorite.

1964 cad

The Cadillac fins got smaller for every year. This 1964 Cadillac shows what’s left. Check out the reflection in the paint, a 1963 Corvette split-window!

desoto

This 1959 DeSoto Sportsman are sporting some aggressive fins.

58century

58 Buick offered some very massive fins, as on this Century.

57olds

This 1957 Olds remind you how much the designers were inspired by space design.

1959 Lincoln

Ok, these are rather modest fins for the late 1950’s…However, this 1959 Lincoln convertible is sporting a very massive rear treatment, with acres of chrome.

59cad

The 59 Cadillac is probably the most recognized fins in the world. And yes, they are still cool!

59electra

The 1959 Buick fins were called “Delta Wings”, as shown on this Electra, in a rare rose color.

60cadThe 1960 Cadillac is sporting smaller and more restrained fins. Many folks thinks the ’60 Cadillac is a better looking car than the ’59. That discussion will go on until the world ends or internet stops.

Taco Time!

Found: 2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner with 12K miles.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner front qtr sm

Why is there a Japanese vehicle on this mostly American Hot Rod site?

  1. World War II is over.
  2. Because fast or fun cars are made worldwide.
  3. I am the Editor so I do whatever I want.

As an old car guy (yes, that means old guy that like old cars) I have no interest in owning a new car. For work and commuting I have been driving a 2003 Ford Ranger that I bought used and it has served me very well.

2003 Ford Ranger EDGE

With the odometer approaching 140K miles on the Ranger it was time to look around for a suitable replacement truck. I think the current Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet trucks today are just so boring…and common. Non of them offers a sport truck unless you want to shell out 40K for a Dodge 1500 R/T Hemi. I pegged the Toyota Tacoma to be the best choice as it offers the right size and as we all know, they are quality rigs.

Small caveat appeared in the midst of looking for trucks!

However…big however…A quick glance at the calendar made me realize that it is time for a mid life crisis car!! You know, something flashy red with a roaring engine, stick shift and posi-traction. Yeah, I know Posi Traction is a registered trademark of Generous Motors but it sounds so much better than “limited slip”!! Slip what?? Slip on a banana peel??

There are plenty mid-life-crises vehicles to choose from these days but after some reseach a few cars rose to the surface. The Nissan 370Z and it’s sister car, Infiniti Q35/Q37 would be excellent mid life crises vehicles. They offer a powerful and great sounding V6 engines, they can be had with manual transmission and that damn limited slip that I apparently have to have.

I was flipping thru the virtual pages on the great big interweb and I found both nice Tacoma trucks and suitable coupes. By the way, one benefit with virtual pages is that you do not have to spit on your finger in order to move to the next page.

Among some of the Tacoma trucks the X-Runner made it self present. The X-Runner model was a limited production factory hot rod released in 2005 replacing the s-runner. It has a powerful V6, six speed manual transmission AND limited slip!!

There is however an inherent risk in buying a used X-Runner: the kid factor. Most of these were bought by testosterone laden young men that always wanted to explore the extreme limits of everything including the syncros, rev limiter and of course…the limited slip. A bit of a generalization perhaps but those boys also tend to modify factory these rigs and many times not for the better.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner qtr rear sm

Eventually this 2006 X-Runner popped up on the interweb and I contacted the seller immediately. That was a good thing!

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner wheels miles

One local adult owner since new, non smoker and under 13K miles. It has never seen rain. The black undercarriage and wheel wells are still…black. Not a scratch…anywhere!
It is truly NEW.

This owner changed oil change every year. Yup, that is about every 1000 miles. Yeah, I was thinking the same: give me your old oil!

It killed me to pull it out in the rain but like someone said: it’s just water. So true.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner interior sm

The original owner even had a floor mat to protect the floor mat!

 

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner wheels sm

The Bridgestone Potenza 255/45/18 tyres are partially responsible for the 0.90 G rating on the skid pad. When WOT is enjoyed these rubber donuts are screaming for traction but at least the effort is evenly distributed with the help from the limited slip.

The truck also came with much sought after and very collectible TRD hat, TRD watch, car cover…well, truck cover, all paperwork including window sticker, invoice and service record.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner exhaust sm

Initially I thought to upgrade the exhaust with something with more of a rumble but it turns out that the stock exhaust offers plenty of rumble so I will leave it alone and rumble on. The size of the exhaust pipe is directly related to manliness. This pipe is BIG!

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner emblem elec outlet

The bed is equipped with a 110 volt power outlet and I can’t wait to go camping and hook up a toaster oven and make myself a grilled cheese sandwich!

 

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner engine sm

The 4.0 liter engine with the purdy plastic engine cover is rated 240 hp and 270 foot pounds of torque. To keep that power to the ground the frame is braced with an X-frame, stiffer and shorter TRD springs, Bilstein shocks and anti roll bars in both ends..

Toyota claims that this 4000 lbs truck can haul from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds. I will be sure to test this.

So there it is: A perfect mid life crises vehicle…with a bed! Haul stuff and haul ass!

2006-Toyota-Tacoma-X-Runner avatar

The “Rolf Coupe” still going strong

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod in Germany

I sold this coupe back in 2010 locally but a year or two later it found itself in Germany where it lives an active life in the hands of Marco and Silvia Wenzel. They are in to American cars of all shapes. I get regular up-dates from Marco and I felt it was time to share.

 

1931 Ford Model A Crusing

It is used the best way possible: By driving it!…a lot.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Germany

The hot rod is a frequent guest at many events in Germany with likeminded guys and gals.

Ford Model A Hot Rod

Staging in at the drags.

1931 Ford Model A Drag RacingHere is Marco ready to abuse it in a drag race. Yes, of course he won!
1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

The car was sporting black walls when it left the States but now it is back to wide white walls and I think it looks much better.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland truck

The hot rod was invited to a Finish Hot Rod show and Marco was quick to oblige, It was tucked in a trailer and off to Finland it went.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland

Marco’s hot rod was listed in the show programme the Guest from Germany. That is what “Saksan vieras” means. “PAKKO NÄHDÄ” means don’t miss! So don’t miss the Guest from Germany!

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland show

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland visitor

One of the show visitors was Mika Kari. Mika lived in Washington state for a year and I met him several times. He did a feature of the car for the Finish magazine Primer at the time. Mika stopped by and visited with Marco. Mika on the left and Marco on the…you get it.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us, Marco.

Photo: Marco Wenzel

Pacific Northwest Historics Vintage Car Race Day

The best part of this annual historic race event is all the great classic cars that shows up. They had a car corral for several brands and clubs to display their beautiful cars.

Here is a sampling of some that caught your Editor’s eye.

IMG_1310 IMG_1311 IMG_1312 IMG_1313 IMG_1314

Jaguar XK-120, 3.4 litre

IMG_1315

1953 Jaguar XKC-041, 3.4 litre, 4 speed

IMG_1319 IMG_1320 IMG_1321 IMG_1322 IMG_1323 IMG_1327

So you think Panhard only made bars? Here is a car.

IMG_1328 IMG_1330 IMG_1331

1964 Datsun pickup

IMG_1332 IMG_1333 IMG_1334 IMG_1335 IMG_1336 IMG_1338 IMG_1340 IMG_1341 IMG_1342 IMG_1344 IMG_1347 IMG_1349 IMG_1351

Sleeper of the day. MGB with small block Ford.

IMG_1352 IMG_1353

We like the fact that the owner resisted conventional dual exhaust. Classy!

IMG_1356

SNORTHY is a 1956 MGA

IMG_1358 IMG_1362 IMG_1363 IMG_1364 IMG_1365 IMG_1367 IMG_1370 IMG_1371 IMG_1372 IMG_1373 IMG_1376

Volvo 444

IMG_1377 IMG_1378

Volvo 122S

IMG_1380 IMG_1382

Some folks know how to pit: Huge Kenworth with monster trailer, Cadillac Biarritz convertible for pit car, matching scooter and six white table cloth tables for your crew and friends to dine at. It’s a rough life.

IMG_1385 IMG_1386

1957 Chevy truck project, part 4

Somewhere along the lines of this project I decided to do some body work and then I shot the truck it hot rod matte black. I am not a fan of the “rat rod” look but I prefer it was uniform than spot painted. I left the interior in the Cadillac Poly green metallic as I think it is a nice color and it may get that shade added later.

1957 Chevrolet truck hot rod project

Since this is going to be a driver,  I added spray on protective bed liner.

 

20150808_155710

Once I got it rolling again I brought it out for the whole picture look. Those polished Americans Racing wheels with rubber band tires ain’t makin’ it!!

As much as I like shiny stuff it has to be the right shiny stuff. A friend told me that there was a time when hot rodders thought that adding polished Americans will beautify anything. I bet that is true but it sure does not work right here in my driveway.

Traditional style have been popular for some time now and it is over used as well but is also timeless so let’s go with that.

Just like Clint Eastwood can draw his trusty 45 faster that any of the bad guys I can draw my Visa card. Swoosh! …and there it was next to the lap top.

1957 Chevy truck chrome wheels

A week later the brown truck stopped by and gave birth to these!

 

20150826_180822

15X6 for the front and 15X7 for the rear, chrome OE steel wheels. OE stands for Original Equipment as in stock style wheels. Much better!

Well, let’s pop them on and have a look see shall we?

1957 chevrolet truck

1957 Chevrolet truck hot rod

2015-11-13 14.10.21

Much better. After alignment and charge of the A/C system I got myself a great parts chaser.

1957 Chevy Truck project, part 3

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck seat base

I found a pair of aftermarket bucket seats on Craigslist and I built these seat bases for them.  I lost the glove box because of the A/C so I installed this lockable drawer under the frame. I is actually a Bulldog gun vault so it is plenty strong. A perfect place for valuables and paperwork.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck carpet in

Carpet in place. The rear wall was covered with sound deadener and then carpeting.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck kick panel

We need tunes and for that we need speakers. The speakers speak the tunes, that’s why they call them speakers. They are permanently mounted in this kick panel made from textured automobile panel. If they were not permanently installed you would call them guest speakers.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck kickpanel installed

Kick panel in place and kickin’ it.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck console between

Cell phone fits perfectly behind the rear cup holder and the charging/AUX connectors. Now I need a tripple latte’

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck seats in

A throne for a king.

1957-Chevy-Truck-radio-install

The previous owner had a smoothie attack. The dash was filled…for what? Where am I going to put my tunes?? How about right here!!

1957-Chevy-Truck-tach

The radio is vintage looking but with modern guts. The radio offers AM-FM and it is connected to the AUX jack in the center console. Tachometer is a vintage unit from Dixco.

More later…

1957 Chevy Truck project, part 2

Since I am going with bucket seats for now I need a mid console.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck armrest

This is the armrest from an old Volvo center console. I had it recovered in leather. Leather = good!

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck center console

Frame for console.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck cup holder

Cup holders….cup holders, man…gotta have cup holders! Found these stainless units on the great interweb. They have a lot of stuff there.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck cup fastener

The cup holders did not have a way to be held in place so I added a stud and made a c-clamp.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck phone charger usb

Phone charger with USB and AUX jack.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck cup holders

This is Landau foam.Yup,the same stuff that is under your grandpa’s Cadillac vinyl top.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck center console vinyle'

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck center console finshed

I re-used the 1957 cigarette lighter as a power outlet as well. Console done and ready to offer a supporting roll in this truck’s future endeavors.

 

1957 Chevy Truck project, part 1

One lousy garage sale!

I like “garage sailing” but my life is so busy that I really don’t have time for it. Also, most garage sales offer things that I don’t need, like telefones (remember those?), worn out toys and casette players.

On my way home on a Saturday morning I saw this “Moving Sale” sign and it was close to my house so…what the hay…I swung in.

It took me all of thirty seconds to confirm that I did not need anything layed out on those rickety camping tables. I turned around to leave when I spotted a dirty 1957 Chevrolet truck sitting under a car port with the bed full of junk.

1957-chevy-truck-dirty

Of course I had to open my mouth and ask: Is this thing for sale??

1957-Chevrolet-truck-side

After a good scrubadub it look pretty decent.

1957 Chevrolet truck, 383 stroker and automatic transmission. A Lincoln Versailles nine inch rear axle put the power to the ground and offers disc brakes in all corners.

Front end is the tried and true Mustang II setup with rack & pinion power steering. The rear axle is held in place by four link rear suspension with coil-over shocks. Fuel is stored in a 17 gallon aluminum tank under the bed.

Rolling stock are polished American Racing 17 inch rear wheels and 16 inch in the front with silly looking rubber band tyres.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-rear-side

The Polish-Americans…ahem, polished Americans need to be…well… polished and the paint is starting to haze a bit. It is obviously missing the grille.

1957-Chevrolet-truck

Total street rod treatment. Filled bed rails and smooth tailgate. Not really my cup of tea but it’s OK. Amateur paint job makes it a driver.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-interior1

The previous owner did not redo the stock bench seat and that’s OK with me, I got some ideas.

What I don’t care for are all those mandatory “street rod” components added for no functional reason. The ugliest thing is probably the “steering column cover” Why would you be embarrassed over a column anyway?? It has a FUNCTION!

1957-Chevrolet-truck-383

Engine compartment looks like all the rest of them. Red engine with some chrome added. Booooring !!

The all new 383 stroker runs strong but needs some attention. It has a rough idle or some sort of low rpm balance issue. We all have some issues, right?

tach

This “tach pod” is the tachiest thing I ever seen! Get it??!! Looks like a ball sack!…with one ball;-) BTW, this tachometer is completely made of plastic. It was almost a surreal feeling when I took it out, like earth lost half of its gravity!

So the initial though was just clean it up a bit for the summer and just drive it…but…. Maybe I should just remove some of the obvious street rod stuff and then drive it…right?

Yeah, right…here goes nothing:

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck-carpet2

Looking at it, I need to do more…That horrible steering wheel, billets shifter, billet knobs and the under dash thingie has to go. The “everything beige” theme looks so 2004! Actually, it reminds me of a 1978 Cutlass I owned in 1985!

I ordered a new black carpet that is designed for the 1957 truck without the tank behind the seat so the carpet will go all the way back for a nice finished look.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck-woofers1

I also need more leg room and as much as I like a good stereo system these woofers has to go. I need to move the seat further back for comfort. I will install 6X9 speakers on each side. More on this later.

The 383 engine had a strange shaking going on around 1500 rpm. It ran strong but I don’t really have time to investigate. It is an internally balance stroker kit and it has the correct ring gear and harmonic dampener. Go figure…

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck-350-engine

Ah, screw it! I took the easy way out for now: THE VISA card!!! For 1200 clams ! I got this new, not rebuilt, Chevrolet 350 crate engine. 1200 clams delivered…in a crate.

 

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck-700R4-trans

The truck was equipped with a 700R4. I thought I was burning rubber at WOT but it was actually the transmission slipping! I replaced it with a pro-rebuilt 30 spline 700R4 with a 2000 rpm stall converter. I also got a lesson in how to set up the cable that communicates with the transmission.

Blackie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Blackie”

Instead of installing tons of chrome (or any at all) I decided to go all black instead. Even the aluminum Air Gap intake got covered in the dark stuff. I am tired of chromed-out small blocks so the least I can do is to avoid that cliché. For contrast all bolts will be polished stainless. The funky bracket on the left side is for the A/C compressor. It is using one of the water pump bolts so I mocked up the compressor when installed the water pump and then I installed the bracket. I don’t like to loosen up the water pump bolts after the fact.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-Hot-Rod-power-steering-rack

The Mustang rack on the truck showed signs of leaking and it had some slack. Rack & Pinions should NOT have any slack so out with the old and in with a new…rack that is!

1957-Chevrolet-truck-Hot-Rod-tilt-column

The steering olumn in the truck was sloppy so this new unit will take its place. As much as I don’t care for the look of a tilt column I find them adding to comfort in a small cab as this truck. This is going to be a driver so comfort is the key! It will have a leather steering wheel.

Air-cond-controls

The truck had no heater at all and since this is going to be a driver I want A/C as well. Vintage Air supplied a complete behind dash unit and I opted for the Deluxe controls. They have the OE look and are now fly-by-wire, no more cables. Me dig!

So much for a quicky, eh?

1957-Chevrolet-truck-Hot-Rod-engine-bay-side

The engine compartment was cleaned up and the frame paint was freshened up.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-firewall

While the engine was out I drilled all the holes needed for the Vintage Air hoses.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-Hot-Rod-engine-ready

Open wide!

1957-Chevrolet-truck-engine-in

…and there she is. I should not be too far away from making some noise!

1957-Chevrolet-truck-front-suspension

I am not totally impressed with this TCI front end.  Even if you tighten the bejesus out of the A arms bolts there is a risk they can slip under load. I welded on these sturdy half inch plates with “set bolts”. Once the alignment is done I will run those bolts out firmly against the A-arm rod making sure everything stays where it should.

 

1957-Chevrolet-truck-engine

Plumbing and wiring is pretty much done. Now it’s time for the A/C / Heat combo under the dash.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-aircond

With all the tubes attached the evaporator is ready to go in. The round thingies on top are servos for the doors that directs the air flow. No cables are need with this fly by wire set up.

 

1957-Chevrolet-truck-steering-column

I replaced the tilt column but I can’t live with these faux “billet” knobs. They are not even billet, they are just cast cheap looking things. I will replace them with black OE looking knobs or something like that.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-shocks

The front shocks were very soft so I opted for the best in the business. Bilsteins.

1957-Chevrolet-truck-frame

One benefit with buying an old street rod is that everything is all cleaned up and painted with fresh components. Another…ahem benefit is that you will enjoy the previous owner’s fine work…or not. This “worm nest” worth of wires is a not anything I can live with.

He bought a new wiring kit but it seems like he was not big on cutting the wires when they were too long. Gotta fix that!

1957-Chevy-truck-clean-wiring

After cleaning up the wiring I can put a bed back in this thing.

1957-Chevy-truck-tail-light

The new rear bumper looks nice but I am not liking the tail lights flopping in the wind. I want something more integrated.

1957-Chevy-truck-LED-light

These are trailer lights designed for enclosed car trailers. They are usually mounted vertically. It turns out that they fit perfectly on the panel below the tailgate.

1957-Chevy-truck-tail-lights

They are very bright, both in running light mode…

1957-Chevy-truck-LEd-bright

…and brake mode. I am straying fom my traditional rules here but since this is going to be a driver in soggy ass Seattle winter weather I want to be seen when I step on the binders.