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Rides by the River: Toyota Spotting

If you're in the city of Tampa, Florida and love cars then you've probably heard of Rides by the River. For those not yet caught up to speed, Rides by the River is an elevated version of your typical cars and coffee format with scenic parking spaces offered to those willing to display their vehicles at the trendy Armature Works mixed-use event space. Located near downtown Tampa, Armature Works sits right on the Hillsborough River and offers those who visit a place to hang out, eat, drink, and play; for automotive enthusiasts, it's a chance to check out the local car scene in a family-friendly environment. Of course, this is Teq Digest so what we want to see is some Toyota/Lexus representation, and June's Ride by the River did not disappoint.


It's been a while since a Toyota Curren was spotted, it's a JDM-only variant of the ST206 Toyota Celica. The Curren didn't have the AWD system of the GT-Four or its 3SGTE, but it did come as a manual, FWD coupe with an optional 3SGE that produced around 170 horsepower. This particular example has pristine paint, an upgraded exhaust, and a set of Motegi MR127 CS10 wrapped in Hankook Ventus V2 rubber. Vehicles like this represent a fun time in Japanese automotive history, even with the economic bubble having burst years prior, Toyota still implemented a competitive inventory to different dealership networks with Toyota Vista and Toyota Corolla stores pushing sales of the Curren and Celica respectively.


When you think about Toyota Pickup trucks you might think of a couple of vehicles, the Tundra comes to mind, the Tacoma is always popular, overseas the Hilux name is beloved, but here in the United States, it all started with the Toyota Pickup. This particular Pickup is a third-generation RN30 1978-1981 long-bed model, you can tell this is a Zenki model straight away from the rounded headlights while the shade of yellow used is a bit brighter than the 541 or 558 light yellow options. The third-generation Toyota Pickup might be most known for giving birth to the 4Runner after teaming with Winnebago to create a series of SUVs that proved to be a fruitful endeavor. For a Toyota Pickup you have two common engine choices, for 1978-1980 models power comes from the venerable 20R which generates about 90 HP with 122-lb-ft of torque, in 1981 the slightly larger 22R was introduced with an added 7 horsepower and 7 lb-ft of torque, each was offered with a choice of a 4-speed or 5-speed manual depending on trim level. The owner of this bright yellow Toyota Pickup has kept modifications minimal with the bed liner, black wheels, and mudflaps with the "TEQ" logo embossed as the only visible changes from the bulletproof classic Hilux variant. Today, the classic Toyota Pickup demands a pretty penny when fully restored or converted into a capable rig, but a nearly stock example like this is a glimpse into the past when it was common to see a compact pickup truck on the road that weight just under 2500lbs.


A JZS161 Toyota Aristo is such a versatile platform, it's a large, rear-drive sedan that comes with the legendary 2JZGTE under the bonnet. Although a popular option for a well-off salaryman in the late 90s, the Aristo and its American counterpart; the Lexus GS300, have now become a cult favorite for VIP/Bippu builds, and even drifting as suspension tuning parts are seemingly endless. The white Aristo V300 above has one of my personal favorite wheels, the Work CR Kai in white; the exterior is also finished in its original pearl white color but has a Veilside Executive Sports model hood with grille and a large ARC intercooler for what has to be in support of some added boost under the hood. As much as I love a good Bippu build, seeing a car that probably gets rowdy is equally, if not, more satisfying to see.


**Looking for a photo shoot of your own car? Find me on Instagram @813_Mediia and send me a DM. Covering the Tampa Bay area and surrounding area, thanks for stopping by.**



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