Car Spotlight>>rkm Toyota Stout Gasser

Here's something that should be a nice break from all the drift and tuner Toyotas you have been seeing here lately.

There were some amazing cars at the Yokohama Custom Car and Hot Rod Show last December, but one stood out to me more than any other. Actually, it wasn't even a car, but a gasser style Toyota Stout pickup truck built by a shop in Kyushu called RKM. If you are looking for a good example of the Japanese take on traditional hot rodding, it doesn't get any better than this.

Since vintage drag racing is probably one of the lesser known motorsports among Speedhunters readers, I suppose a quick explanation of what a "gasser" is should be in order. Hell, even I had trouble determining exactly what makes a car a "gasser". In simple terms, they are are 1940s-'60s drag cars or pickups defined by their with raised suspension and front straight axle conversions. The heyday of the gasser was in the '60s, but in the past few years they have been getting more and more popular and can be seen in large numbers at traditonal hot rodding events like the HAMB drags.

For the base vehicle, RKM started with a Showa 42 (1967) Toyota Lite Stout pickup, which is a pretty rare vehicle in itself. You've probably realized now that pickups aren't too common in Japan . Outside of enthusiast owners, you hardly ever see them on the streets, and classic pickups like this are even more hard to find.The project was a long one involving a full frame-off build with lots of one-off

The hoodless engine bay of the Stout is dominated by a classic 350 cubic inch small block Chevy V8 outfitted with a vintage style high rise intake manifold with a pair of four barrel Edelbrock carbs. Purists may scoff at the Chevy mill, but the look and feel that are what's most important on a machine like this. A modern DOHC V8 just wouldn't be appropriate. If you glance at the cab, you can also see that RKM did a left-hand-drive conversion to this JDM model truck.

Here's a better view of the front undercarriage. The factory Stout front suspension was redone with a traditional straight axle, and the body sits significantly higher than stock. It has that perfect "nose in the air" look that most gassers have. In fitting with the nostalgic theme, the wheels are Cragar SS mags – skinny in the front and wide in the back with a set of whitewall racing slicks. There are also "Baby Stout" graphics and retro style race class lettering on the bed. The white-coated headers are also a period style feature as opposed to the more popular chrome or polished stuff. In proper hot rod fashion, there is nothing attached to headers.

And finally, as a finishing touch to complete the retro drag look, a classic "Moon Tank" has been attached to the front.

 Apparently I wasn't the only one who liked it, as the Stout was given the award for Best Domestic at the show the Dynotones (the rock band who came from SoCal to play the show) also chose it as their favorite vehicle at the show.

You might be familiar with the hot rod caricatures done by famous
artists like Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. If you are, than just picture a real
life version of one of those and you'll know how cool this truck is.

-Mike Garrett



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This is probably the most modified Stout I've ever seen. I saw a Stout on Craigslist not too long ago, might be a cool project for when u get back to Cali, Mike...


Cool. I did not even know that a model named "Stout" existed til I read this.


Nice. I remeber seeing the first pic of this on here in December. Good to see some more about it!


Haha! Wild child! That's the craziest Stout I've ever seen! Not my style, but it sure is an attention grabber and a good way to suck in more Toyota-heads! LOL


Vintage drag racing, gasser.. hmm.. these are really new to me. But what's with the raised front suspension? pure style of the period.. or are there some explanation to it?


I've never understood this style, to me it just looks weird.

Can someone explain why the front is in the air like that?


The raised front suspension is to transfer the weight to the rear wheels. Old-school drag tires were not very sticky (bias-belted) and would not just transfer the weight due to traction.


Before wrinkle wall drag slicks were invented in the mid 60s it was customary to try and have a high CG to aide weight transfer to the rear wheels. It was also a speed secret to mount the engine as high in the car as possible.... again to raise up the CG.


whats in the moon tank??


Inside the moon tank is MOONshine!



Antonio Alvendia said:

This is probably the most modified Stout I've ever seen. I saw a Stout on Craigslist not too long ago, might be a cool project for when u get back to Cali, Mike...


To each his own I guess...

Now that's a sick Stout!



Coolest truck ever! I love gassers! Never heard of a Stout before, but now I have to look for one. Love the scoops on the hood, remind me of a 1970 Superbee. I remember seeing this last year, thanks for posting full coverage, Mike!


that is awesome!!!!!!! i've got a same shape stout myself, going along a bit of a different route with mods but still made my day to see one modified to that degree. and stouts have a straight front axle stock, along with 4 wheel drums and leafs. old school as it comes!!!!!!