With its two-doors and removable cap today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 4Runner brings the old school SUV style. You’ll still need to decide if this low mileage four by four’s price will send it to the head of the class.

If you want class you’ll find it in Tijuana. Hell, if there’s anything you happen to be looking for - from a tattoo for your taint to trouble with a capital T, the Baja border town is your place to go. It’s like Disneyland with tequila and a constant chance of being beheaded. And, it’s also where might be found yesterday’s 1991 VW Corrado.

Despite all the questionable aspects of the car - the veracity of its being a VR6 is seriously called into question - its less than two grand asking price managed to bring the red Vee-dub a respectable 62% Nice Price win. For that little, even if the car was total crap you could still have a good time in town and not feel like the trip was a bust. I mean geez, it’s Tijuana.

That Mexican metropolis is located at the northern end of the Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California, a slender spit of a peninsula that is comprised of Mexico’s 29th and 31st states. The peninsula has also been the location of a legendary off-road racing series, the SCORE Baja 1000.


Should you wish to enter that annual November event, you might want to do so in something whose reputation for durability might engender confidence in withstanding a grueling off-road race. Perhaps something like today’s 1987 Toyota 4Runner.

Back at the beginning of the SUV craze most manufacturers made them the old fashioned way- with two doors and a removable bed cap. A first generation edition, that’s just how this 4Runner rolls.


The ad notes that not only does the rear lid come off, but that this one is a pop-top virgin, having never done the deed itself. It’s also described as low mileage, and at 106,000 that’s remarkably so considering the provenance. You see, this is an ‘80s Toyota truck and the only thing that you could have that might last longer than one of these is herpes, or maybe that taint tat.

This initial generation of the 4Runner is also the lightest and most rudimentary of the breed. By '87 they were independently sprung in front, and for power delivery there’s the tried and true 22RE and a sturdy 5-speed stick. That means 84-bhp and 143 lb-ft of torque if you’re counting. Here that stout EFI four looks as dirty as an ol' bastard, so points shaved for cleanliness.


On the plus side, this one happens to be the fancy pants SR5 edition, which upgrades the interior accouterments and adds some zing to the exterior in the form of fender decals. That will of course ensure prime valet positioning at all fine dining establishments.

The rest of the body looks good, although there’s a ding just below the driver’s side tail light that’ll need attention before the rust settles in. These trucks are rarely offered in this kind of shape these days, usually evidencing some sort of road rot on the fenders or underbelly, but still going strong nonetheless.


On the inside there appears to be a pair of sheep that have taken up residence. It’s hard to say what the seats look like under those yellowing shearlings, but if they’re anything like the rest of the truck, they should be okay.

The ad claims that the truck runs and drive’s excellent, including the 4x4 gear. These are not your grandkids’ 4Runners, with their heated seats and double door weatherstripping for quietness. These are instead rough-hewn trucks that are but a single onion skin away from the Toyota pickup that the neighborhood gardener has counted on for the past couple of decades.


Because of its reputation for durability, and its present condition, the seller of this 4Runner is asking an appreciably high $7,400. There are a lot of these on the market right now for lots less, but few that are as low mileage or in as apparent good shape. That’s why this one begs the question of its value.

What do you think about this 4Runner and its $7,400 price? Is that a deal that would have you 4Running for your checkbook? Or, is this an SUV whose price s-u-x?

You decide!


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