The timing belt on today’s Nice Price or No Dice Camry has recently been replaced. That was due to age not use, as the car has done less than 1,000 miles per year over its life. The result is a well-presented car, but what could such an odd survivor realistically be worth?
Ay 26,509 feet, the Himalayan peak K5, also known as Gasherbrum I or the Hidden Peak, is the 11th tallest mountain in the world. Its neighbor, K2, is the world’s second highest, after Mount Everest 800 miles to the southeast. Eleventh place isn’t all that notable an achievement outside of mountain heights, but it’s better than the result yesterday’s 1988 Chevy K5 Blazer received. At a $19,500 asking, it was just too dear for the vast majority of you, who dropped the truck in an overwhelming 82 percent No Dice loss.
I want you to think about the last museum you visited. I think for me it was the Petersen here in Los Angeles. Yes, I’m just that predictable. There are quite a number of top-notch automotive museums in and around LA, including the Nethercutt Collection, the Mullin out in Oxnard, and the Marconi family Museum down in Orange County.
I’ve visited all of these and a huge number of private collections over the years, but I don’t recall ever seeing a single 1996 Toyota Camry offered on display at any of them.
That oversight could be rectified if any museum or collector wanted to buy this amazingly low-mileage 1996 Toyota Camry LE. It is touted in its ad as being “Museum Condition,” as well as being the “most arguably Sought after and most reliable car ever made.”
Neither assertion is unreasonable given that this generation of Camry is notable for having been developed as more of a baby Lexus than a large-marge Corolla.
This one comes in Cashmere Gold Metallic which the seller says is its “most popular color.” I will attest to having seen a ton of this generation in this color (as well as silver) back in the day. Thankfully, this one has silver badging rather than the tacky gold that afflicted many of these back then.
The paintwork is not original, but the seller claims the respray to have been matched to the original Toyota paint code. It looks good in the pics with no overspray evident in the wheel wells or the tight trim. All that silver badging is present too, and the nose features headlamps that haven’t yellowed. They frequently do on these.
According to the ad, the car wears new tires and those are mounted to steel wheels topped with alloy-aping plastic wheel covers. There is a sizable scrape on one of those, which detracts from the overall aesthetic a bit.
The interior is upholstered in beige mouse fur and brown plastics. A carpet dash-cap serves as the only aftermarket element and the seller assures us that is been there since the car was new as protection and not to mask some flaw. The cabin features A/C, and power for the mirrors, windows, and locks, but manual adjustment for the front seats. Everything supposedly works as it should.
Underhood lives Toyota’s stalwart 2.2-liter four and four-speed automatic. With just 130 horsepower and that self-shifter to work with, this Camry probably isn’t going to win any races. Instead, it should offer economical and reliable service for years to come. That should be especially so with the new timing belt, water pump, and plugs that the seller says were just installed. It also just passed its smog test, making it ready for its clean title to be transferred. If someone were to buy it, what should they do with it? Drive it? Display it?
Is it worth displaying in a museum? I’ll leave that question for you to ponder. While we’re at it, let’s give some thought to the car’s $12,900 price tag.
What’s your take on this clean and criminally under-used Camry and that $12,900 asking? Does that seem like a deal for a “Museum Condition” car? Or, is that too much to ask no matter how nice it is?
H/T to Don R. for the hookup!
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