At $6,200, Is This 1989 Toyota Camry All-Trac A Diamond That Likes The Rough?

Nice Price or No Dice: 1989 Toyota Camry All-Trac
Photo: Craigslist

Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Camry is a kind of car that Toyota doesn’t build anymore. In fact, they didn’t build all that many of them back when it was new. Could that rarity along with the Camry’s solid rep make it worth its asking?

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We frequently have a disparity here between the comments and the voting results. That’s because sometimes you like the car but not its price. This seemed to be the case with yesterday’s custom 1997 Chevy Camaro pickup. Many of you lauded both the concept and the execution but felt that its $5,500 asking was just too much for the effort. That ended up with a 57 percent No Dice loss for the custom El Camaro.

If factory specs are, in fact, your jam, then those factory specs should be of some interesting nature. Being stock, the vehicle in question should also be built to stand the test of time. Interestingly, that pretty much describes this 1989 Toyota Camry DE All-Trac to a T.

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Photo: Craigslist

Now, I hear you asking “a stock Toyota Camry is interesting, how? What, did you suffer a serious head injury or something last night?” Look, I totally get your skepticism and, to be honest, last night is a bit of a blur. Still, hear me out.

As far as Camry’s go, this one has got the goods. Not only does it have Toyota’s All-Trac All-Wheel Drive setup, but that’s paired with a 115 horsepower 2-liter four and a five-speed manual transmission. For its time, this was all some pretty slick tech to find in your daily-driver family sedan.

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Photo: Craigslist
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The All-Trac drivetrain is especially interesting. It features a transverse transmission with an integral front differential which has a secondary power take-off facing rearward. To that is bolted a center diff and on the other side of that is a prop shaft that reaches back to a third diff. The center diff is lockable via a dash-mounted button and that allows an even torque split between the front and rear axles for extra traction in slippery situations.

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Photo: Craigslist
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You can get a four-pot Camry with AWD from the factory today, but you can’t get a new Camry of any ilk with a stick shift.

This old Camry presents well for its age and having lived in Colorado all its life. The refrigerator white paint doesn’t do the car any favors, but at least it, and the bodywork beneath, looks to be in solid shape. The same can’t be said for the black rubber bumpers which have dulled with age and look a bit wrinkly. All four of the wheel covers are intact and beautify a set of steel wheels wrapped in Michelin tires. Based on the green valve stem caps in the pics, those tires are probably filled with nitrogen. Sadly, that’s not a noble gas.

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Photo: Craigslist

If you consider the exterior impressive for its age, then you’ll find the interior even more so. It’s all color-coordinated blue in here, with handsome cloth upholstery and a fresh-from-the-dealer appearance overall. The only possible downsides to this car might be the Federally-mandated mouse belts (this is a pre-airbag car) and the partial window tint encircling the greenhouse.

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Photo: Craigslist

The seller credits the car’s condition to it having but 53,500 miles under its belt and being garage-kept in between its rare outings to reach that number. It’s described as being clean with no rust or leaks and comes with a clear Colorado-issued title.

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The asking price for the All-Trac Camry is $6,200. That would get you any number of more modern Camrys. Those, however, would probably duller in both kit and capabilities. This is also a late ’80s Toyota. As we all know, that was when the company was touting the unimpeachable reliability of its cars by welding hoods shut in the advertisements.

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Photo: Craigslist
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I don’t recommend doing that, but I do want to see if you’d recommend to your friends and neighbors buying this cool Camry. What do you say, is this Camry All-Trac worth that $62,00 asking? Or, does that price mean this Toyota will get no traction?

You decide!

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Fort Collins, Florida, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to JoleneWorchester for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. 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.

DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

I like to think back to 1989, when this car was being purchased new. It was a sensible car for Colorado then, and it still is today. It’s all wheel drive, manual, and reliable.

The problem I have is that for $6,200, it’s low-mileage, but not particularly collectible. If you need something with all wheel drive to get you around a Colorado winter, you can find a used WRX (or just base Impreza) for less money, and you’ll get modern safety standards, and better parts availability.

It’s just nearly impossible to justify the price here. It doesn’t make any sense.