2012: the legends return
Tamiya presented the Bruiser re-release at the 2012 Nuremberg Fair, and the Mountaineer at the 2014 Shizuoka Fair:
58519 Toyota 4x4 Pick-Up Bruiser (RN36) (2012)
84386 Toyota 4x4 Pick-Up Mountain Rider (2014)
Photos © Tamiya
These re-released versions are almost identical to the original, as you can see by clicking on the next photos to display a high-res photo gallery:
Some modifications were made, including the addition of lockable differentials in the front and rear axles, the return of the 540 motor instead of the Mabuchi 750, but the DNA of the legendary models was preserved. But not only the DNA: every 3 speed generation starting from 1981 featured one Toyota Hilux, more precisely, it was always the same Toyota Hilux (based on my researches).
The Toyota Hilux bodyshell
Since 1981, every generation of 3Speed chassis received one Toyota Hilux bodyshell in either livery:
58028 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Hilux
58048 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Hilux Bruiser
58111 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Hilux Mountaineer
58397 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Hilux High Lift
58519 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Hilux Bruiser
84386 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Hilux Mountain Rider
Because Tamiya changed several times their part number code for spare parts since the beginning of the 80's, it has now become difficult to track down precisely some parts. Of course, this applies only when the parts were given a reference, which was not yet the case at the time of the very first 1981 Toyota Hilux. Nevertheless, here's what we know:
- the reference for the 1985 Bruiser and 1992 Mountaineer front cab is the same (0335060)
- the reference for the 1985 Bruiser and 1992 Mountaineer rear bed is different
- the references of the front cab and rear bed (9335487 / 9335488) are the same for the 2007 High Lift, 2012 Bruiser and 2014 Mountain Rider
Other than this, there is no absolute certainty (to my knowledge): the rest is based on visual comparisons and some clues left by Tamiya. In particular, the Mountain Rider inner cab shows a "58397 copyright 2007" marking engraved under the bonnet, but there are also signs of a previous reference that was erased. This would mean that Tamiya made some modifications on the mold used for the period Bruiser / Mountaineer, explaining the new reference. The rear bed shows the same "58397 copyright 2007" engraved marking, but no sign of any previous marking can be found. This would mean that Tamiya made a totally new part... or that applying the new marking and erasing the previous one was done with more discretion than on the front cab
Visually, apart from the livery and either the cab extension or the projector ramp depending on the models, there are very few differences between all bodyshell versions after the 1981 Hilux. Anyway, they all depict the 1978 third generation RN36 Toyota Hilux, as you can see on the documents below (click on them to display the gallery).
Photos / Documents © Toyota Oldtimer Corner
Have a look at the Toyota Oldtimer Corner site: it is a gold mine for Toyota cars (not only 4x4's)
These documents list every Toyota Hilux model from 1966 to 1986: the RN36 version is listed, but there is no record of any wide rear wheel arches like on Tamiya's 1981 version. It looks like Toyota never sold it, despite being often called “stepside” by American RC fans because it reminds the Chevrolet Stepside (you know, like the Midnight Pumpkin ). May be Tamiya had to create this “stepside” version for the first 3 Speed Hilux because the rear drivetrain is significantly wider than the front: making a stepside rear was an elegant way to mask the track difference.
Stepside or not, the Toyota Hilux embodies the Tamiya 3 Speed through generations: of course, other models were released, but the Tamiya 3 Speed chassis and the Toyota Hilux are some kind of perfect match for RC fans.