Top Gear declared the Toyota Pickup indestructible, and Marty McFly changed his past to win one in the present. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice 4x2 may not embody quite so much fame, but will its price make it worth your time?
The term Anemoia was invented to describe a person’s sense of nostalgia for a time not actually experienced. (The word is not yet found in major dictionaries.) We see that longing in the opinions of people who seemingly want to go back to a simpler time, say the 1950s, despite never having lived through that era — and so haven’t experienced its shittier aspects.
An accusation of such emotion was leveled at those who spoke positively about last Friday’s 1984 Buick Skyhawk T-Type and its $3,500 asking price. The consensus was that had you actually experienced one of the cars back in the day, you wouldn’t be looking at it now with any sort of fondness. That view won out in the end, and the car dropped in a 71 percent No Dice loss.
Here’s a fun exercise: Look at last Friday’s Buick and then at today’s 1985 Toyota pickup. Now consider that the Toyota is just one model year newer. Which of these vehicles would you, without pause, consider employing as a daily driver? Heck, which of them would you proudly enlist as the primary vehicle in your life?
I think the answer is pretty easy, and it’s a testament to the reputation that the ’80s-era Toyota pickup and its earlier Hilux brethren have earned. That reputation has also engendered a solid bit of demand for these trucks over the years. And, as anyone who didn’t desk-drool their way through Econ 101 knows, an increase in demand coupled with a fixed supply means prices rise.
This truck doesn’t seem too pricey. I mean, at least it’s not extravagantly so like this crazy-expensive unit. The thing is though, there are a number of aspects that may make this truck a bit less desirable.
The first of these is the reality that, despite its appearance, this is only a two-wheel-drive truck. Yes, the raised suspension and bed-mounted Baja bar do give the impression that this is off-roadable. The lack of a driven front axle, however, makes that an iffy proposition.
A few of you may not care about that, and in fact, some may actually prefer the lighter weight and less fussy torsion bar independent front suspension of the RWD truck over the prospect of spinning all your wheels.
Another thing to consider is that this is a standard cab truck. That limits interior space and requires the bench seat backrest to be more vertical than some people prefer. An opening rear window would be nice too, however, that’s another feature lacking on this truck.
OK, so it’s got some strikes against it. We get that. What, however, about its good points? It does have what appears to be a solid body, and that’s backed up by the ad’s description stating it to be “ready to go no accidents no rust straight body.” The paint appears to be serviceable and the bumpers aren’t all bumped to hell.
Another plus is the drivetrain. Power here is provided by Toyota’s legendary 22R four-cylinder. That 2366cc SOHC engine put out 109 horsepower in ’86, and when backed up with a five-speed stick and lighter 4x2 chassis, that’s enough to… well, do whatever you need it to do, if at a fairly leisurely pace.
The ad notes a new battery and recent engine service as additional pluses, along with a modest 125,000 miles on the clock. Befitting the reputation of most ’80s Toyota products, both engine bay and interior look reasonably well preserved and in livable condition.
The interior does suffer from a cracked and choppy dashboard cap, but that’s somewhat mitigated by a fantastically shiny hard plastic steering wheel. You won’t find anything like that on any modern truck. The upholstery on the bench is likewise dead dino vinyl, but also seems to have stood the test of time.
The tires have plenty of tread and are wrapped around wheels that look as if they may have come from a first-generation Ford Explorer. Those are missing the center caps, but don’t present too horribly without them.
The title is clean, and the truck appears mostly original aside from those wheels and the bed bar. Considering how crazy prices can be for these older Toyota trucks, what might you reasonably pay for such a truck as it’s presented in the ad?
The asking price is $7,500 and the seller seems to understand the market in which the truck has been offered. Could it command that much as it sits? Or, to ask that much, would it also need to be much more truck — 4x4 and/or Xtra Cab?
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