This next Previa looks so familiar at first glance, but falls apart under scrutiny. What’s up with those headlights? Is that wing stock? Why is it so narrow and skinny? Why are the bumpers so trim and tight to the body? Why does it have a postal truck backup mirror and a bumper mounted parking pole? The engine starts with the glack-glack sound of a turbo diesel 4-cylinder? White curtains and seat cover doilies? But the steering wheel on the right side is what gives it away — this is a sweet Japanese Domestic Market version of the Previa, known as the Estima Lucida and it comes with Lexus rims, a 3C 2.2 liter turbo-diesel, 4-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox. Looks like fun. Find this 1993 Toyota Estima Lucida offered for $13,890 in Canton, GA via eBay.
The last time I posted a Tercel, I made the mistake of calling it a Corolla…which CFlo caught and pointed it out. So this time I’m calling it a Turdcel, because even though this next car might have some wicked SR5 stripes on the side and louvers to die for…it’s got a seriously scuzzy headliner and a case of paint psoriasis that’ll take more than the potentially deadly ointment they are always trying to sell me in commercials (you know the one where the lady is running around in shorts and playing tennis and the calm doctorish voice warns you about fungal infections and travel from certain third world countries — are they reading my browser history, how do they target these ads on the TV so well??) Anyway…I wish this car was more of a survivor and less of an active patient. Find this 1982 Toyota Tercel SR5 offered for $2999 in Suwanee, GA.
The ST185 generation Toyota Celica All-Trac was known as the “Super Round shape” version of the high performance version of Toyota’s liftback Celica (1989-1993). It combined a turbocharged 4-cylinder 3S-GTE engine with all-wheel-drive and a 5-speed manual gearbox. With 200 horsepower in the USA version, it won’t be the fastest car you’ve ever driven, but it is a part of Toyota’s rally history and will be a desirable classic someday…if it isn’t already. Find this 1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac offered for $7000 in Katy, TX via craigslist. Tip from Graham.
I responded to the sight of this car with a visceral utterance that was something between an “uggg” and a “whoa”. What happened to the boxy lines of the 80s Corolla? Was it really necessary to turn it into a giant 4-wheeled suppository? Oh. This is a Tercel, which Toyota occasionally badged as the Corolla II and Windy. Find this 1992 Toyota Corolla Windy II offered for $4750 in Seattle, WA via craigslist. Tip from JB1025.
This next car follows along with the theme of the MG Midget with Toyota power that we featured the other day…except that this one has the exhaust routing figured out. Classic British motoring style with reliable Japanese power…sounds like an MX-5 Miata without the reliable electrics. Find this 1972 Triumph TR6 with Toyota 20R power offered for $8500 in Santa Cruz, CA via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from ME who writes; perhaps you can use this one on a slow day. Full stop. If this is what DT shows on a slow day…then I can’t imagine what we’d share on a fast day. This has everything you’d need in an analog world — manual brakes, manual steering, manual transmission, manual windows, manual headlights, manual ignition timing advance (okay, I made that last one up). All this thing needs is a set of stock wheels and a wingectomy to be perfect for your daily drive or your kid’s first car. Find this 1993 Toyota Tercel DX offered for $2900 in Staten Island, NY via craigslist.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser (2010-2018) was a retro-style mid-sized SUV that should not be confused with the original Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 (1960-1984). The FJ Cruiser did however take off where the FJ40 left by being built on a proper body-on-frame chassis with suspension borrowed from the LandCruiser Prado/4Runner/Tacoma. Today’s example is not only equipped with the rare 6-speed manual, but also sports a TRD supercharger for extra punch. Find this 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser bidding for $8100 with 4 days to go in Naples, FL via carsandbids.com. Seller submission from Serge.
I have strong memories of an 81/82 vintage Toyota Corolla and let me tell ya…they ain’t good memories. The car was owned/driven by a friend of mine and it was slow, an ugly shade of jaundice, handled like crap, and saddled with a recalcitrant slushbox. Did I mention it was slow? But here’s the thing…with the all other cars from that era, I remember having to find a payphone to call someone for a ride, or needing a quick fix on the side of the road, but that stupid Corolla just kept running and running. It is no surprise that Toyota sold 44 million Corollas from 1966 through 2016 because they figured out how to make a car that, although soulless, was reliable. Perhaps an injection of horsepower could make this thing fun, but then would you need to remove the custom clutch pedal extender? Find this 1982 Toyota Corolla offered for $6,350 in Philadelphia, PA via craigslist. Tips from ME and Cory.
Yawn…I almost fell asleep looking at this next car…what is it? Accord…no…wait it is a Toyota Camry, a car that can be best described as a reliable and cheap 2000s version of a 1990s Buick. But today we’ve found one that is equipped with a huge 6-speed manual shifter mounted between the seats. Find this 2010 Toyota Camry offered for $3900 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
Most cars have haters. The fast and sporty (Mustang, the Corvette, the 911) have people who love ’em and people who hate them and the same goes for slow workhorses (Beetle, Dodge Ram, etc). But there are a few make/models in the world that might not be universally loved, but they go about the business of being a car in such an admirable way that you can’t hate them…and the 90s Toyota 4Runner is a wonderful example of that paradigm. Find this 1998 Toyota 4Runner offered for $6,000 in Napa, CA via craigslist.