The highlight of the annual Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach was an annual Pro/Celebrity race in Toyota street cars that was first run in 1977. The race has always had lots of carnage and is typically more fun to watch than the Indy/IRL/ChampCar parade of high-powered wing-equipped spec-chassis ‘race-cars’ held later in the day. […]
We’ve featured some interesting Shorty conversions over the years — the winged Shorty Type 2, a super cheap 56 BelAir, and a particularly eye-bending Dodge Omni with rear doors that Kate Moss couldn’t squeeze through, but this next custom is special. Not short bus special, but with that wheelbase, it’ll be twitchier than Jeffery Epstein at a Disney princess convention. Find this 1980 Toyota Corolla Shorty offered for $3800 in Perth Amboy, NJ via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car isn’t for the faint of heart. It features a garish paint job that will get you more attention than you might want. It does, however, have a 4-speed manual gearbox, and at least 3 of the gears function. Not bad for less than $2500. Find this 1993 Toyota Corolla Station Wagon offered for $2400 in Oakland, CA via craigslist. Tip from Matt V.
This next car comes as a tip from Jeff S who writes: What are prices today? I haven’t kept up with it recently. Old Tundra with low-ish miles, looks like it could have rust underneath. Suggested mainly to read the lovely comments. 🙂 Find this 2007 Toyota Tundra offered for $8,500 in Myersville, MD via craigslist.
In 2002 Toyota introduced a medium-sized SUV to their North American product line — but they sold in through their Lexus dealers and called it the GX470. Internationally you would call the big ladder-frame 2-speed transfer box equipped 4X4 a Land Cruiser Prado, but here it was called the GX470. So upper class housewives from wealthy neighborhoods purchased them in bland colors and drove the kids to soccer camp. What they didn’t expect was to get 14 mpg driving around the city or that they’d need to plan for stopping/turning maneuvers. I seriously doubt that many of the original owners of these things ever took them off road, but now that they are approached the value of a cheap used car…it’s time to go mudding with your GX. Find this 2005 Lexus GX470 offered for $15,900 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.
It has been 15 years since Toyota sold anything with the Celica name on the back, which probably means it is time for a retro styled reboot. But I don’t want a retro styled electric self-driving Celica anymore than I want fake meat that tastes/looks/chews/grills like meat. If I want a Toyota with 4 square headlights, then I’ll get a this one. Find this 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback offered for $6,500 in Albuquerque, NM via craigslist.
I’ve been a fan of the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ since it hit the streets for the 2012 model year and they have maintained a shocking amount of residual value as the years and miles have added up. However, today I think we’ve finally gotten the answer to “what do you need to do to a Scion FR-S (Toyota sold the 86 as the Scion FR-S from 2012-2016) to get it down to $5k?” The answer is some pretty wicked cosmetic damage and an airbag covered in duct tape — don’t believe the carfax if it doesn’t show an accident. Find this 2013 Scion FR-S offered for $5000 in SF Bay Area, CA via craigslis
The easiest way to describe an engine to a novice is that it is an air pump. The more air you pump, the more horsepower you make. If your original engine had a silly little plastic airbox, then you replace it with individual throttle bodies. If you original engine had a exhaust manifold with a Lincoln Log logo on the side, then replace it with headers. Just keep increasing the amount of air you engine can flow and eventually it will be as wicked as this next thing. Find this 1982 Toyota Corolla SR5 Liftback offered for $7,500 in San Mateo, CA via craigslist.
I thought that the Toyota 4Runner is one of those cars that has seen a slow but steady price increase over the past decade, but this next car appears to be offered for a reasonable amount of money. The seller says that it is 2-wheel-drive, which surprised me for a car that is called a 4Runner, but I guess Toyota had a 2WD version for people who needed ground clearance and off road capability, but didn’t need to go off-road. Anyway, the seller also claims it has a V4, which isn’t true unless someone swapped in a Saab Sonett drivetrain, but it is probably the 2.7 liter 3RZ-FE 4-pot. Find this 1997 Toyota 4Runner offered for $8300 in Mountain View, CA via craigslist.
This next car is strange looking piece of metal — and it took me a few minutes to figure out what I was looking at, especially on the inside. It was obviously a modern car, but not the typical PT-Cruiser or random 90s Pontiac that gets the “woodie” treatment on a weekly basis. But the center mounted gauge cluster with a HYBRID badge from a Ford product on the back confirmed what I suspected…this is a rebodied Prius. Find this 2002 Toyota Prius offered for $18,000 in Hayward, CA via craigslist.