We built it in three months, wheeled it for one week, and now it's ready for the body shop. Yes, we are back in lovely Southern California daily driving our battered Ultimate Tacoma after a short summer of wrenching, welding, wiring, painting, and wheeling.
When we last checked in on the buildup, we had just left the paint and Rhino Lining shops, and got on the road. But leaving with just a built-to-the-hilt 4x4 has never been our Ultimate Adventure style. This year we again packed our truck with some crazy widgets, as well as tools and some creature comfort parts. We know that most of you are not looking for video cameras and DVD players for your off-road rigs, but some of you are, and this isn't your normal off-road rig either, since it also has to work a bit as a show truck at this year's Off Road Expo in Pomona, California; 4x4 Nationals in Phoenix; and the SEMA show in Las Vegas. So follow along to learn all the extra toys we stuffed in our favorite 4x4 Toy.
The cab of the Taco was going to be home for a few staff members for about two weeks during Ultimate Adventure, so we tried to make it as comfortable as possible. Our seat sponsor, Corbeau, hooked us up with a pair of VX2000 seats covered in leather, and the first set they could get us were both driver-side seats with the recline/fold forward lever on the left side. This is actually a bonus, as now the driver can easily fold forward the passenger seat to access items in the extended cab. Also, our initial feelings were that the seats were too hard, but after nearly 24 hours driving in them to the start of UA we were still comfortable and supported. The seat's injection-molded foam and integrated shoulder, kidney, and thigh support worked excellently, and we still feel great about the seats. The side bolsters are low enough to get in relatively easy (for a lifted truck on 37s), and other than some normal trail wear from getting in and out with dirty clothes, the seats seem to be holding up well.
Between the seats we needed a place to stuff a camera, carry a Diet Coke for Editor Pw, and a cup of coffee for Feature Editor Williams, so we called the good folks at Tuffy Security Products. Tuffy is known for its lockable center consoles that have been at home in Jeeps and other open-top rigs for years, with 16-gauge steel construction and optional speaker and toolboxes, they are a great bet for keeping things from disappearing in any of your trail rigs. Due to the tight confines between our Corbeaus, we eventually settled on a console for a Suzuki Samurai, and moved the cup holders to the front for close-at-hand refreshment. Also notice our Corbeau four-point seatbelts.