All I want for Christmas is....the December issue of Tacoma Magazine! This issue is full of the best Toyota Tacoma Truck coverage you can ask for, including: our 2" Ironman 4x4 Lift Kit install; a 2WD to 4WD conversion; a look at the Airflow America snorkel and other new products, and an intro to Overland Expo's Project JATAC. We've got full coverage from the 2012 SEMA show in Vegas, and Shane (and family) took a trip to Bozeman for the Expedition Overland Season Finale Premier.
We hope you enjoy this issue, and thank you for supporting Tacoma Magazine! We can’t wait to see you on your trails!
Until next time: Tread Lightly, Stay the Trail, and Have Fun!
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Toyota has made a number of variations of the Tacoma, from the venerable 5 lug standard cab to the unmistakable Double Cab Long Bed 4WD and everything in between. Some have purchased the awesome Prerunner version of the Tacoma, have built it to the exact specifications wanted, then taken it out on the trails and have loved it. But, some have been left wanting more when the trail got tough; you got left behind, even with the addition of the factory rear locker. You just didn’t have the extra benefit of power going to those front wheels.
Looking for a snorkel specifically designed for your second generation Toyota Tacoma? Look no further! Airflow America, the North and South America distributor for Airflow Vector Pty Ltd from Australia is set to release their latest creation, a snorkel molded directly from the second generation Toyota Tacoma. Airflow has leveraged 20+ years of experience in designing and making snorkels to create a snorkel that fits the Tacoma’s contours and engine specifications, supplying the right amount of airflow needed throughout the power band. The snorkel has been put through several computer simulations to improve results and field tested throughout the United States for close to two year before their official release at the end of December 2012.
The Aussie’s are coming! One of the newer names in off-road gear, at least here in the USA, is Ironman 4x4. When you think about off-roading around the world there is one and one place only that is at the front of everyone’s mind. Australia as a whole seems to be on a level of its own when you discuss rugged places to live, much less explore. So when manufacturers like Ironman 4x4 bring their products to market here, it’s definitely something to take note of.
At the FJ Summit this year we caught up with Eli to chat about their products. When he found out that I didn’t drive an FJ but instead, a Tacoma, his eyes lit up. Ironman is just starting to go after the Tacoma market with their suspension and they wanted someone to try it out. Not long after the Summit, a 2” Ironman Kit arrived.
This years SEMA was the best yet, especially for the Tacoma Magazine crew. From the new manufacturers to the same faces with their new products and so much in between. Some of the new companies & products for us this year included: ARE and their Overland Truck Cap, man they make a great truck cap; Firestone and their new Air Ride System might just be one of the most interesting products for me at the show. Bolt and their Vehicle Matching Lock Systems might just take the worrying out of losing the keys to your locks; Pro-lift is a new name (but they have been around for many years under someone else’s name) and makes some amazing lift kits. Looxcie “The little connected camera with a lot to share” might be a lot of fun for us in the future. Finally ComeUp, a winch company with their gorgeous red Tacoma in the booth makes some pretty awesome looking gear with great options to choose from.
“Oh—just a Tacoma.”
That’s what a forum member posted after Roseann and I announced that the replacement for our classic, turbodiesel-powered 1984 Land Cruiser was to be “just” a U.S.-market Toyota pickup. That post inspired the nickname for our new vehicle: the JATAC, for Just A Tacoma And Camper.
To be sure, we had considered other options, chief among them a 79-Series Land Cruiser pickup. Our conservation work in East Africa has afforded us thousands of miles of experience using Toyota’s world-market Land Cruiser workhorse Troopie and pickup, and our admiration for the breed has few limits. The 79 has of course never been officially imported to the U.S., but a contact in California had an opportunity to bring in, through Florida, a used but recent example from the Middle East, with left-hand drive and the brilliant 1HZ diesel engine, for right around what an average new 4X4 would cost. Very tempting.
There are firsts in every industry and genre, and the overland niche of the off-road world is no different. Adventure riders know of Horizons Unlimited and ADV Rider while in the overland world, Turtle Expedition is usually at the top of any list of ‘pioneers’. Scott Brady with Expedition Portal and Overland Journal is also considered a pioneer in this space, and after a couple of cold days in Bozeman, Montana, I believe the term pioneer should be bestowed upon Clay Croft.
At a young 30 years old, Clay has done something many of us dream of: he’s made Overland adventure his way of life. Clay combined his skill as a cinematographer and artist with his love of the outdoors to create what most agree is the most compelling professional series in the overland community. Clay not only lives the overland dream, he’s launched himself and his series to the forefront of this niche of off road enthusiasts. Within 12 months of launching his first episode, Clay has served as cinematographer on the illustrious Expeditions 7 project and has rubbed elbows with the who’s who of Overlanding in general.