I love a good pickup truck. The modern pickup is a vehicle you can use for work during the week, then drive to a gala on the weekend. But you know what a truck still can’t do? Load itself. Way back in 1987 Toyota had an idea for that.
Meet the Toyota Mobile Base. This concept made its debut at the 1987 Tokyo Motor Show and offered a novel way to load cargo into a pickup bed. The Mobile Base took a Hilux Surf — known as the 4Runner in the United States — and removed everything aft of the front seats, then replaced it all with a rig called the Action Deck that would load whatever fit on the platform. Toyota imagined using the Action Deck to load sports equipment and vehicles. The promotional materials depict the Action Deck being used to load a jetski.
The Action Deck worked entirely automatically. The tailgate dropped down electrically, and the top shell cracked open with the help of hydraulic cylinders. Then the rig picked up the platform and pulled it into the truck. It all looks and sounds hopelessly complicated — imagine the repair bills — but it looks so cool. There was also not much in the way of headroom so item height was limited.
I think the better use of the Action Deck would be to load motorcycles, like a period-correct Yamaha FZR1000.
Honestly, I’m kind of surprised another automaker hasn’t attempted anything like this today. Truck bedsides have become really tall, and some trucks even have steps just to reach the bed. I could see a modern interpretation of this rig in something like the Ford F-150. Imagine lifting heavy objects into a truck bed without grunting and sweating. Let a movable platform do all the work with a push of a button!
That said, I’m not sure I’d want to know what the repair costs of such a rig would be.
(H/T – Daily Drives a Dragon)