At $5,500, Is This 1984 Toyota Pickup All The Truck You Need At A Price We Could All Afford?

Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Is This 1984 Toyota Pickup All The Truck You Need At A Price We Could All Afford?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Being called basic is often meant as an insult, but when applied to something like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Toyota, it can be a badge of honor. Let’s see what wearing that badge should realistically cost.

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Well, I for one was shocked—shocked, I tell you!—that the impossibly tidy 1984 Chevy Caprice Classic wagon we considered yesterday ended up in a Crack Pipe loss. The car may have been nigh on impeccable, but its $8,500 price tag seemingly was not—at least in the minds of the 63 percent of you that gave it the thumbs down.

Today we are going to look at another clean machine and in fact yet another mid-‘80s contender. Hopefully, this 1984 Toyota half-ton pickup will fair better, seeing as it comes in at a significantly lower price than yesterday’s capacious Caprice.

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Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Is This 1984 Toyota Pickup All The Truck You Need At A Price We Could All Afford?

It should be cheaper too, considering that this Toyota offers nothing but the basics. I’d say you’d be hard-pressed to find a vehicle outside of the rental car fleet on the Isle of Misfit Toys that offers less gimcrackery, tomfoolery, or unnecessary frippery. This truck has just what it takes to get you and your half-ton load where it needs to go. Well, at least on-road, this isn’t a 4X4 after all.

What it is, is a two-wheel-drive standard bed, half-ton pickup that, if Top Gear is to be believed, should prove to be damn-near indestructible.

Presented in Toyota Red over a tan vinyl interior, this truck has little to go wrong with it, or even to give you delusions of grandeur while driving it. That paint, by the way, is about the only ostentatious thing about this little Toyota.

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The ad claims the truck to have been garage kept for “nearly her whole life,” and to have been well taken care of over that time. The bodywork shows little to no sign of abuse or even of normal working wear and tear. Simple silver-painted steelies are wrapped in what look to be serviceable tires, and neither bumper appears to ever have been bumped.

Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Is This 1984 Toyota Pickup All The Truck You Need At A Price We Could All Afford?
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On the downside, there is a crack low-down on the windscreen, an imperfection that stands out for being the single obvious flaw on the truck.

The interior is also pimple-simple, featuring a textured vinyl bench that could conceivably fit three-across (there are center belts) but would require some dexterity and familiarity to do so. That’s demanded because the stick for the manual gearbox intrudes well into that central seating position.

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There’s lots of body-colored metal in the cabin, something eschewed on most modern cars and trucks in any capacity other than as a retro touch. Here, it simply adds a bit of charm.

Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Is This 1984 Toyota Pickup All The Truck You Need At A Price We Could All Afford?
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That shifter that lets you get in touch with your inner passenger is mated to Toyota’s 2366-cc 22R four. That’s long been considered one of the stoutest and most durable engines Toyota has ever produced. With its 2-barrel carb, it made all of 97 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque so it couldn’t be considered over-stressed either. That’s not a lot of ponies or torque, but then this isn’t going to be something you’d buy to run the coronavirus Cannonball.

There are 101,314 miles on the clock and the truck comes with a clean title and supposedly a drama-free Carfax report.

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Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Is This 1984 Toyota Pickup All The Truck You Need At A Price We Could All Afford?

I have to ask, what more could you want? Maybe A/C. which it’s not obvious the truck has. Also, it would be nice to fix that windscreen since it’s such a noticeable albeit minor flaw.

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Other than that, this is the sort of truck that should be able to see you through good times and bad, our present gilded age, and the inevitable post-apocalypse hellscape that will soon follow. All that while it will most likely also give you good gas mileage, cart pretty much anything you can think of, and make all those angry terrorists you see on the news totes jelly since they love these trucks just as much as we do.

Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Is This 1984 Toyota Pickup All The Truck You Need At A Price We Could All Afford?
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What should all that cost? In this truck’s case, the asking is $5,500. That’s fully three-grand less than yesterday’s behemoth wagon and aside from hauling cartloads of people without them getting blown around or wet, it’ll do even more.

What do you think, is this pickup worth picking up at that $5,500 asking? Or, is that a price that makes you feel that buying this basic truck wouldn’t be that simple?

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You decide!

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Seattle, WA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Daniel Meirs for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

halftrackelcamino
Half-track El Camino

This will probably be controversial, but personally I’d consider anything pre-airbag to be basically worthless except as a collector’s item or a toy to occasionally cruise around in on sunny weekends. I love these Toyotas, but I don’t see them as that kind of vehicle. I would love to have a small, simple, honest pickup but I know I’d be using it regularly to do the job it was made for—and I wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice that much safety.

Also, I have never seen the point of a 2WD truck. Have you ever seen one trying to get out of a parking lot after a snowstorm, or up the inclined, yet-to-be-paved driveway of a house that’s under construction? Hopeless. Being able to deal with shitty road conditions is part of what a truck is all about, in my opinion. So while I think this is a beautiful little truck and an example of something that the world needs more of, I don’t think it’s worth $5,500.