While many of the 4x4 pickups on display at the 2004 SEMA Show are trailer
queens that will never see a speck of dirt, there is a 2005 Tacoma in
the Toyota booth that will probably be covered in mud most of its life.
A team of Maya archeologists will use this heavily modified Double Cab
as they travel deep into the jungles of Guatemala looking for Maya ruins
that could date back to 500 BC. The truck was donated by Toyota and modified
through a project of Off-Road Adventures magazine. As a sidekick, Yamaha
donated a Rhino 660 2-person off-road cart that will be trailered behind
"We chose the name Maya Hunter after Hunahphu, a mythical Maya hero,
as the patron spirit of our truck," said Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli,
assistant professor at Vanderbilt's Anthropology Department. "Having
the two vehicles will boost our ability to discover the most remote jungle
sites, and in case of an emergency, may well save our lives."
The truck features a 3-inch lift kit, locking front and rear differentials,
special Teflon-coated wheels to reduce mud accumulation, tubular sidebars,
winch, extra lighting and communications and navigation gear. Toyota roof
racks and bed tie-down system are factory stock.
Hunter will head to Central America in the spring of 2005.