At $7,000, Is This TLC-Needing 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser A Totally Good Deal?

Nice Price or No Dice: 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser
Photo: Craigslist

Few Toyota nameplates are as legendary as is Land Cruiser. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice J80 edition wears that venerated name, as well as a few battle scars gained over the years. Could its price make it another sort of legend?

Advertisement

It’s not unexpected for some people to classify something as classic while others credit it as common. Take yesterday’s 2013 VW Passat for instance. I think the car’s simple unfussy lines hold up well even today. Many of you disagreed with that assertion, however, calling the car’s design, in no uncertain terms, dull as dishwater.

The rest of the car was pretty interesting though. It featured VW’s vilified but fuel-efficient TDI engine and a six-speed stick for a drivetrain, plus a few aftermarket mods to let that flex even more. That wasn’t enough to get a quorum willing to cough up the seller’s $8,500 asking, though, and by the end of the day, we saw the car fall in a 56 percent No Dice loss.

undefined
Photo: Craigslist

You may have given a pass to that Passat, but who could say no to a Land Cruiser? This 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser looks a bit janky and as such is described in its ad as needing TLC. That appears to be mostly in the aesthetics as the ad also claims that it “runs and drives great.”

That’s a pretty common occurrence with Land Cruisers. The soft bits may go south over time, but the rest of the components seem to go forever. This one has gone pretty far already. The odometer reads 254,000 miles and most of those show on the body and the interior. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Based on the pics in the ad, the truck is painted black. That could be very dark green, however, it’s a little hard to tell. The paint is accented by a twin pinstripe down each flank and factory alloys that appear to have been stored in a peat bog for an indeterminate length of time.

Advertisement
undefined
Photo: Craigslist

Rust seems to be minimal, although being a New York-located truck it does suffer from Northeast-itis where pretty much every unpainted or compromised piece of metal is covered in surface rust. Still, the body looks straight, and aside from an apparently AWOL spare tire, there’s no obvious evidence of monkey business underneath.

Advertisement
undefined
Photo: Craigslist

You might note that the ad claims this J80 to have a V8. That’s an obvious mistake as Toyota never fitted such an engine in these and the pics plainly show the standard 4.5-liter 24-valve straight-six under the hood. That offers up 212 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque for your trouble. Mated to that is a four-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel-drive system. According to the ad, everything save for the A/C works as it should.

Advertisement
undefined
Photo: Craigslist

This being a Toyota of a certain age, you’re likely to spend less time under the hood and more time in the cabin driving the thing. That’s where this Land Cruiser starts to lose some of its appeal. The leather cabin has seen better days, with splitting evident on the two front buckets and all the surfaces looking like an elephant’s saggy ass. On the plus side, there are three rows here and some aftermarket wood trim that will likely be satisfying to peel off the first weekend of new ownership.

Advertisement
undefined
Photo: Craigslist

The ad claims a clear title, and a private seller. The pics paint a slightly different picture as they show the truck in what looks to be a holding yard and with auction tagging on the windscreen. It would be very interesting to know this Toyota’s history.

Advertisement

Getting that schooling will take $7,000, or something close to that at least. The seller says they are willing to negotiate with a serious buyer. Seeing as the ad has been up for more than three weeks now, I’m guessing that there’s a clown convention in town or something.

undefined
Photo: Craigslist
Advertisement

We’re pretty serious, right? Let’s see if we can help this seller out. What’s your take on this somewhat worn Land Cruiser and that $7,000 price? Does that seem like a deal for a truck that will likely never die? Or, does the seller’s TLC look more to you like DOA?

You decide!

Advertisement

Westchester, New York, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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

David_Tracy
David Tracy

Anyone have any thoughts on what mine might be worth?