Welcome to Soulmobiles

Toyota's Pickup Trucks Have Hauled My Heart For Years

I’m farther away from 16 than ever, but my recent test of the 2011 Toyota Tacoma during my birthday has me reliving the glory days, and was a perfect vehicle with which to launch my new website.

I did love the Tacoma, I’m not going to lie. I appreciated the Tacoma for bringing a bunch of nostalgia with it, and therefore gave it some leeway. It probably would have gotten full marks had there been a Def Leppard cassette in the tape deck, but seeing as it didn’t have a tape deck, I let it slide.

In the name of automotive storytelling (vehicle as a narrative vehicle, if you will), I will share with you a short but by no means all-encompassing list of embarrassing offenses committed in my 1985 Toyota Pickup:

1)  Getting in a wreck the first night I had it. My foot slipped off the clutch as I was going in reverse and I backed into my boyfriend’s Subaru. The boyfriend dumped me a bit later, though not because of that particular incident.

2)  Having to go home that night to tell my parents I wrecked my new truck.

3)  Putting a tailgate net on it that a different, later boyfriend gave me. Not the first time someone tried to change me.

4)  Driving at unacceptable speeds with my best friend, forcing her to listen to the Cult in between Devo and Janet Jackson. Freedom of choice-it’s what you got. Freedom from choice-it’s what you want!

5)  Wearing fluorescent yellow and purple iridium Oakley Frogskins while driving my truck. Actually, the list of fashion offenses committed goes probably a lot longer than this website will ever have time or room for.

6)  Four-wheeling for the first time at 16 and not knowing how to put the truck into 4-low. Figured it out, embarrassing nonetheless.

Me and my pickup circa 1990

The high point of the 2011 Toyota Tacoma was the whole Circle-Of-Life feeling I had as I shared my stories of the 1985 Toyota Pickup with my kids. They loved hearing about my shenanigans, and this reminded me that while many drivers out there may not be all that into cars, they have tons of history wound up in them. I rarely have a test car that doesn’t have some sort of story, even if it happens only in the week that I have it.

That’s the point of Soulmobiles; to share history and stories, to find the soul of a vehicle.







  1. Sara – this is just awesome, complete with the vintage photo. Thanks for giving us a glimpse at your trip down memory lane and sharing how it connects to the contemporary version of the Tacoma. Soulmobiles indeed!

  2. Love the new site!

    Jay and I had that same pickup – in black (same awesome stripe detail though). We got it in college it was an automatic 2WD (that was just before I finally learned to drive a stick and we got it in Texas, which explain the lack of 4wd. We drove it until just before Emmy was born then gave it to my little brother who used it to start a window cleaning business. Man that thing was unstoppable. I don’t actually know what finally happened to it. Maybe Jay remembers. My family’s car history gets a little incestuous.

  3. Thanks so much Carrie! I love that we had the same truck.

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