Center Diff: 1988 Toyota Camry ALL-TRAC 5-Speed – SOLD!
Update – We’re busy updating our database to accurately reflect the status of every car we’ve featured since starting GuysWithRides.com. This ride may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.
Originally posted in October 2019 on Craigslist in Mastic Beach, New York (Long Island) is this very rare 1988 Toyota Camry All Trac Five-Speed Slick Top with 161K miles that the private seller is currently asking $4,000 for. The NADA Classic, Collectible, Exotic, and Muscle Car Appraisal Guide currently lists their “Low”, “Average”, and “High” value range for these Camrys at $1,975, $3,025, and $3,500, respectively. We recognize this car from being offered several times throughout the past few months by the same owner. With the pictures featuring unmelted snow and leafless trees in the background from last spring, we would start our bids at $2,500 and see how far we have to move up snag this unique Camry.
Toyota offered its proprietary All-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system for only three years on 1988-1991 four-cylinder, five-speed manual powered Camrys. Equipped with an electronic and vacuum controlled center locking differential, the automotive community considered Toyota’s All-Trac system revolutionary as nearly all other passenger cars equipped with an all-wheel-drive system did not offer this functionality. Controlled simply by a dash-mounted button, when engaged the transfer case locked, resulting in the front and rear differential input shafts being driven at the same speed. The result of this is that if the vehicle is in a situation where traction is uneven or poor (i.e. muddy or snowy), the car can move with traction in either the front or rear wheels.
The current caretaker reports his rare Camry runs but “does need some TLC.” We agree with his assertion based on the pictures provided the blue cloth interior is very presentable. The seller notes there is no underside rust; we recommend repairing the surface rust on the wheel wells before it becomes a bigger problem. While this example has 161K miles, last time we checked it’s a Camry so keep the oil and coolant in check and you’ll be fine.
Mouse-track seat belts aside, we really like this Camry as the locking center differential and five-speed manual provide go-anywhere traction limited only by the tires and ground clearance. This Camry will be quite the conversation piece when you park it next to the bevy of SUVs, Subies, and Quattros at your next RADWood or Cars & Coffee Event. We’d even consider figuring out how to raise the suspension and add big rally style mud flaps to really make this other sedate sedan stand out. Good luck with the purchase!
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this vehicle. Comment below and let us know!