1981 Toyota Trekker was the forerunner of the 4runner

Several years before the 4runner was introduced to the world an odd collaboration between Toyota and Winnebago produced a little known compact SUV conversion called the Trekker.

Production numbers vary depending on who you ask, but its generally agreed upon that somewhere between 1000 and 1500 Trekkers were produced between 1981 and 1983. 30 years later Trekkers are even rarer than when they were new which is why we were so intrigued to find a pristine example listed for sale on Ebay.

Trekkers were originally sold and marketed as Winnebagos. The motor home company received partially built Toyota trucks and sub-contracted out construction of the fiberglass body before completing final assembly. After final assembly they were available for order to Toyota dealers.

Exact Trekker history is sketchy at best and there are several different versions of the exact story of these trucks. Some point to Toyota dealers talking Winnebago into producing the trucks, while others suggest the company won the right to build the trucks directly from Toyota's Japanese HQ.

Regardless of how it came about it's clear from examining this very original 1981 example that conceptually the Trekker was an early version of what would become the wildly popular first generation 4runner. Because they were specialty vehicles when new Trekkers came equipped with pretty much any option you can imagine on a 1981 Toyota truck, but underneath the hood of the notoriously bullet proof 4 cylinder 22R engine remained.

It's nearly impossible to find any Trekker considering how few were made when new, especially an example as original as this one. It's understandable then that the price of obscure old Toyota SUV ownership isn't exactly cheap. This well kept example has a listed buy it now price of $16,500.

[Ebay]

1981 Toyota Trekker was the forerunner of the 4runner

1981 Toyota Trekker was the forerunner of the 4runner

1981 Toyota Trekker was the forerunner of the 4runner

1981 Toyota Trekker was the forerunner of the 4runner