When Toyota released the official images of its Tacoma camper concept for the 2021 SEMA show, something was missing. There were detail shots of the TRD snorkel, the custom teak-wooded micro home interior, the lighting, the off-road suspension, the winch, and the custom striping, but if you look closely, the hood doesn’t have any graphics on it. That wasn’t the case at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show. This off-road-focused vehicle is nicknamed TacoZilla as a play on the Tacoma’s Taco nickname, and it now has a wonderfully unique graphic on its hood of a literal giant lizard holding a taco.

  • Car: Toyota ‘Tacozilla’ Tacoma Camper Overlanding Rig
  • Location: 2022 Chicago Auto Show
  • Photog: Tony Markovich (Instagram + Twitter: @T_Marko)
  • Camera: iPhone 13 Pro

The TacoZilla project is a completely custom job that was the result of an idea Toyota first kicked around years ago. It’s inspired by old Toyota campers of the ’70s and ’80s (particularly the Chinook), and it capitalizes on the tiny home and overlanding movements. The retro graphics that drape across the side of the body catch most of the attention, but once you’re closer to the vehicle, the hood has an image you’ll likely never forget. IT’S TACOZILLA.

The colorful graphic features a silhouette of a skyline at the bottom, overshadowed by a mega taco-holding muscled-up lizard who has clearly had a poster of Godzilla on his bedroom wall since he was a tiny little bearded dragon. The character seems pretty upset, likely because the hard taco shell is cracking before a single bite.

I was way too excited to see a real TacoZilla on the TacoZilla truck, and I’d like to officially nominate the lizard for an entry into the Automotive Decal Hall of Fame that I hereby establish right now. To add to the fun, there’s also a spelled-out TacoZilla graphic on the doors that has a cute little dino tail. More of this, please, Toyota. It’s time to put this thing into production.

Tony Markovich
Tony Markovich