Somebody Nabbed This 13,000-Mile 1990 Toyota 4Runner 'Barn Find' For $4,000

All images: Roman Maser

After reading about my $700 “Holy Grail” Jeep purchase, a reader shared with me the incredible deal he scored on a perfect second-generation Toyota 4Runner with under 13,000 miles on its odometer. Just look at this minty off-roader.

“I am now the second owner of a 1990 4runner 4x4 in red with 12,700 miles (thats right, twelve thousand seven hundred) original miles on it!,” Roman Maser, a car salesman from El Paso, Texas begins in his email after complimenting my Jeep purchase.

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He goes on to tell me that he bought the 4Runner from a “nice lady” whose sons are roughly 65 years old, so it seems we’ve got a case of the proverbial “little old lady drove it to church once a week” purchase that every barn-find hunter dreams of.

“She purchased the vehicle new in 1989 for $24,900 (with dealer mark up) and amazingly it just ended up parked...in her garage. Everything works on it and looks as close to ‘out of the wrapper’ as possible,” Maser says, and his pictures confirm this. The 4Runner looks truly immaculate:

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The vehicle spent all of its life in the dry city of El Paso, Texas, so there’s no rust. And since the 4x4 was garage kept, the paint isn’t in bad shape, either. “Paint is all original, undercarriage Is 100% rust free Motor is strong, and interior looks almost unsat in!” Maser writes with a clear tone of excitement. “I also have the original windows stickers and bill of sale to boot!”

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The 4Runner is a pretty well optioned-out early second-generation model, and I do mean early. “Here is the kick,” Maser writes, “the previous owner told me she was one of the first people to get the new 1990 4runner in the state which I thought, yah sure everyone says similar things, but then I looked at the vin. The last 8 of the vin is L0000050.”

“It’s the 50th 2nd gen 4runner ever made based off of the vin, it is fully equipped, has 4x4 and only 12k miles!”

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The second-generation 4Runner is hardly the most desirable of 4Runners, and the “3.slow” V6 is known for its head gasket issues, lack of power, and for being difficult to service. Still, from what I’ve read online, if they’re reasonably maintained, those mills can last hundreds of thousands of miles, and that makes this find a hell of a deal.

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Oh yeah, speaking of the deal, Maser paid $4,000 for this minty machine. And while that doesn’t fall into the category of “dirt cheap,” it seems well below what this vehicle is really worth. Hell, I’d have been tempted to sell half my fleet to buy this thing.

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About the author

David Tracy

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).