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Back to the Future’s Iconic Toyota Pickup Reimagined… as a Ford Maverick?

While the most obvious movie to reference alongside Ford’s Maverick small pickup would be Top Gun, we found a connecting thread to Back to the Future. Yes, we know, those films’ hero truck—the not-DeLorean you probably remember—was a black Toyota pickup. But, thanks to VIP Distributing, we could imagine the Maverick trading places with that ’80s proto-Tacoma were Back to the Future to be remade today. Hey, if a modern-day Marty McFly needed a compact dream truck, this modified Maverick would be a natural fit for rent-free space in his brain. While Toyota fans will scoff at the idea, there are some similarities between the modded Toyota from the original films and the VIP Distributing 2022 Maverick it inspired.

Some might argue that the humble Maverick wouldn’t be Marty’s dream truck, but in 1985, an import—let alone a Toyota—wouldn’t have been, either. Sure, we awarded the 1989 version of the Xtra Cab SR5 our Truck of the Year, but “Made in America” was a strong push back then. Regardless, this Maverick and the BTTF SR5 are promotional tools, used by dealers (real and fictional) to promote their respective franchises. The real-life Lou Fusz Ford dealership is using this modified Ford Maverick to entice customers to stop by and buy a vehicle, having approached VIP Distributing with this and another Maverick to build. Of course, this one caught our eyes because of its BTTF overtones.

Are You Telling Me You Built a Tribute… Out of a Maverick?

“Everyone involved on this build had a pretty big affinity towards the BTTF pickup from back in the day and really enjoyed the movie,” a VIP Distributing spokesperson said. In order to make this 2022 Maverick match the 1985 SR5 Pickup’s iconic blacked-out look, VIP took a closer look at the Toyota and realized the parts were all bolt-on accessories, something anyone could replicate with time, tools, and some basic automotive knowledge. “When we approach customizing vehicles,” their spokesperson continued, “we often try to think of what the majority of a certain customer wants. We stayed away from any mechanical upgrades on this Maverick that couldn’t be undone if they wanted a new look later on.”

The only thing going against them was the fact that the Maverick is still a somewhat new platform for the aftermarket. Fortunately, Ford intended for it to become a popular mini truck by way of customizing it and many companies have embraced the Maverick for that reason.

I Guess You Guys Aren’t Ready For That Yet…

In order to get the Maverick higher off the ground, VIP turned to a Rough Country 2.0-inch lift kit. It’s a simple spring spacer setup, but the lift is generous enough to allow for a set of Toyo Tires Open Country AT III tires in 245/70R17 to fit with zero rubbing issues. This was followed up by a set of Alpha Foxtrot Wheels in gold with a black rim. While it would have been awesome to see the Maverick on similar black and polished wheels with a set of Goodyear Wrangler Radials (with raised white lettering), VIP were limited to what it could find. “We tried to take into consideration how easily they could be replaced later on,” the spokesperson said, “Instead of using the polished outer and black center wheels, we chose the bronze Foxtrots because the gold and black color scheme is quite popular nowadays and that was what was readily available in the correct lug pattern and offset.”

Another huge part of the tribute? The need for a sport bar in the bed. There aren’t a lot of options available for the Maverick for this old-school part, but Keko came to the rescue with a direct fit model. The bar unlocked yet another prominent feature of Marty’s SR5: those KC HiLites roof lamps. Instead of the ultra-retro round halogen lights used on the original movie truck, VIP used KC’s latest light pods, the ERA-4 LEDs. When not used, these ERA-4 LEDs are backlit by amber LED, but provide 7,900 lumens of white light in a spotlight pattern. This should make them good for nearly 2,000 feet of illumination ahead of the Maverick, when they are used. The only bad part is that KC hasn’t created a yellow cover for the ERA-4 yet. The Maverick also has additional LED lighting inside the bed to help illuminate it or just to give it a party atmosphere thanks to its RGB output. Of course, this was done after the spray-in bed liner was applied.

Why Not Do It With Some Style?

For some extra style, the emblems, trim, and inlays were all painted black to help give the Maverick some extra character, which is also matched by its 3M FX Premium Window Tinting. With a 35 percent tint, you’ll get some additional privacy, UV protection, and a great look when viewing it from the side or even at an angle. A little more height was added to the hood by using an Air Design hood scoop. Though not functional, it does amps up the nose without being too distracting and is removable, having been applied using emblem tape. That piece is joined by an F-150 Raptor-like  grille with “Ford” lettering and amber marker lamps.

But Your Kids Are Gonna Love It

Of all the Maverick builds we’ve seen, we have to say we do enjoy this one. It seems odd to make it into a Back to the Future tribute—especially since the original truck Marty wants is a Toyota, and still exists as the modern-day Tacoma—but the execution is a great way to show people what can be done to this mini truck. All with customizations that don’t require a welder, paint booth, or any other special equipment or knowledge. “This custom Maverick was a really great project for us that allowed our team to have some fun creating something that not a lot of people have seen yet,” VIP’s spokesperson said, “We hope it inspires more people to start making small changes to their vehicles so that they can create something personal and unique.” Now, we wonder what the next vehicle will be for the Time Machine tribute that isn’t a DeLorean. If only we had a Flux Capacitor and a Mr. Fusion.

Images provided by Kathleen Gatliff for VIP Distributing

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