Video: Here’s What Happened To All The Money We Got Selling Our Baby Yota – Tacoma

After selling our sweet Baby Yota project pickup, we completely donated the proceeds.

Initially, we bought our 2002 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 for $7,700 – and our intention was to build it up into an adventure-ready truck and auction it for charity. Over many video episodes, on TFLoffroad, TFLtruck, TFLnow, and TFLclassic, our little Toyota was featured while towing a trailer or going off-road. During our six-month build, we took it to several off-road locations, camped in it, and did some long-distance highway driving. Overall, like most Toyota Tacomas, it was stout and reliable – but it wasn’t perfect.

We invested several thousands of dollars into its repairs, improvements, and modifications. One of the biggest expenses was fixing the 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine. One cylinder was losing compression, which could lead to bigger problems. Spending an additional $3,000 – we had the engine rebuilt. It now runs perfectly.

Thanks to our friends at ToyTec, we completely upgraded the suspension system, making it handle much better on the streets and (especially) off-road. We added much more aggressive tires and went to town on the body. The most notable additions are the bumpers, lights, and our wrap. This full-body wrap was done as an homage to Ivan “Iron Man” Stewart. One of the most successful Baja racers – who brought Toyota trucks into the spotlight.

Our friend David built a custom sleeping/storage platform that made the overland utility of our project much better. He also helped us add a spray-in bed-liner. Thanks to lots of volunteers like David, our little project pickup became something special.

We built this truck to benefit Mountain States Children’s Home, so we want it in top condition.

Part of MSCH’s mission statement is to provide: “services to wounded children in an effort to meet their physical needs, heal their emotional hurts, challenge their minds, and teach them moral principles, in order to reach the goals of reuniting them with their families or preparing them for independence. This is accomplished by utilizing a family model of care, strengthened by professional counselors and teachers.

MSCH main campus

We sold our little Toyota on for $18,050 – and every penny went to Mountain States Children’s Home. For some of us, it was the end of a fantastic journey, with a heartwarming payoff. For others, it was a bit sad seeing this sweet little truck go. All in all, the TFL Studios’ crew was very proud of the whole project.

Check out the video!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.