SEMA Show 2008

November, 2008
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by Bill Green

2008 marked Pangaea Expeditions’ second trip to the legendary SEMA show in Las Vegas. The SEMA show is the largest automotive aftermarket industry show in the world. If you have an interest in cars and trucks, regardless of your niche, there’s something at the show to interest you. From vintage roadsters to race cars to exotics and all things in between, there is plenty of eye candy at the Las Vegas Convention Center at the beginning of November each year.

For 4×4 enthusiasts, the Toyota booth stole the show at SEMA for 2008. They had a number of unique vehicles and concept trucks. One which should have customers lined up outside Toyota if they’re ever produced, is the “Retro” Toyota Tacoma.

At first glance, this truck appears to be an off-the-shelf Tacoma with a 1980s/Hi-Lux graphics package applied to the vehicle. However, close inspection reveals that this truck is far from the standard Taco. Most Tacoma 4x4s are equipped with their powerful V6 powerplant. However, the Retro Tacoma has a more reliable and economical 2.7L 4cl engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Behind the transmission, the driveline was replaced with a Land Cruiser transfer case and solid front and rear axles. This set up would surely be in high demand to 4×4 purists who have bemoaned the industry trend of fitting independent axles in trucks.

In addition, the Retro Tacoma featured a number of modifications to help tie it thematically to the older Toyota pickup trucks. American Racing AR-23 wheels with BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires were fitted to the axles. Tubular bumpers and a roll bar were fitted to the truck to give it that cool Back to the Future look. In addition, the roll bar was fitted with a set of KC lights complete with 80’s style smiley face light covers.

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