Survivor Longroof: 1987 Toyota Camry Station Wagon – SOLD!

May 2020 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

Update: This one 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

June 3rd Update:  We noticed the private seller of this 1987 Toyota Camry wagon already deleted the post, so we’re sure at $2,000 it did not last long.

Wagon Wednesday is here to remind us that being rad doesn’t stop at two, or even four, doors. No, sir, long roofs have long been the enthusiast’s choice if you needed more utility than your sweet-handling daily driver could offer, and emerging classics like this 1987 Toyota Camry station wagon listed on Craigslist in Wayne, Pennsylvania remind us that the next class of vintage vehicles won’t be limited to two doors and two seats.  The seller is looking for a very reasonable $2,000 for this minty and obscure Camry wagon and notes that both he and the previous owner have gone to great lengths to make this a reliable driver. As you might expect, finding a good baseline for value is tricky at best for a car like this, but the NADA’s guide for classic cars indicates a “High” retail of $2,700, or “Average” price of $2,175, making the seller’s offer a solid deal all around.  

The Camry V20 chassis represents the second generation of the company’s flagship sedan, and really was the era in which you started seeing Camrys and Accords parked in every other driveway in suburbia. It was like the gigantic kid’s trampoline of the early 2000s (remember when those atrocities began popping up?): you didn’t know you needed one, but then your neighbor wouldn’t shut up about how great it was. I’ve often called this era of Honda and Toyota products the golden era for both companies, as they were finally established in the U.S. and gunning for domestic competitors in a big way – and convincing a lot of former American car owners in the process. Of course, weak sheetmetal did more damage than even outright neglect, particularly in the Northeast. This Camry wagon has excellent cosmetics to go along with the laundry list of recent maintenance items.

The seller notes that the sale of the vehicle, unfortunately, is due to the poor timing of the COVID pandemic landing shortly after he purchased the Toyota. Despite this, he remains fairly upbeat about the level of work done by him and the previous owner, which includes new brakes, radiator, water pump, thermostat, control arms, and “…pretty much the entire power steering system.” The seller holds receipts for this work, which was performed by local independent specialists and Toyota dealers (and some chains, like a Firestone facility). It rides on what I believe are some very period-correct Enkei wheels, and the seller holds the clean and clear title for the next owner to sign when they take possession. Will it ever be in a museum? Probably not. But that’s not the point of a vintage Japanese wagon, as it will simply do what you ask of it, whether that’s driving to work or making a Home Depot run. Good luck with the purchase if you decide to take this sweet Camry wagon home.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Thank you for taking the time to check out this truly remarkable Toyota Camry Station Wagon! This car is incredibly well-preserved for its age, and I’ve searched all over the internet trying to find something comparable to it without luck. So if you’re here, I hope you know how incredibly rare it is to find these mid-late 80s Toyota Camry Wagons in the first place, let alone in this condition 🙂


First, let’s get the boring (but critical) stuff out of the way:

1) CLEAN Pennsylvania Title on hand
2) INSPECTED for a full year through April 2021 (just passed inspection on April 30, 2020)
3) EXEMPT from emissions inspections in Pennsylvania
4) ASKING $2,000 OR Best Offer (NO Trades … Insane offers will be ignored)

Second, a few details about how I got the car and why I’m selling it:

I haven’t had the car for very long. I purchased it earlier this Spring with the intention to own as a second car for nostalgic value and to spend some time restoring it more (the previous owner did extensive restoration on it, details below, all receipts available). However, as we all know, life took a turn for the worse when COVID hit and like many other families, mine has been struggling financially. Though I would love to keep it and work more on it, I’ve decided it would be wiser to find a new home for it so I can help my family more. That’s the short and sweet of it.

Before I proceed: Please feel free to contact me directly with questions about the car or to request to see receipts or more photos of the vehicle! I’m not a professional photographer, and I know the photos I listed aren’t the best, so I’m happy to oblige and send you more if you ask 🙂

Third, some details about the car’s history, current condition, and recent repairs:

1) As noted above, the car passed inspection a few weeks ago. The only repair required was a new Front Flex Exhaust Pipe, which cost me $432.88 to repair (parts & labor). That was is it. Mechanically, the car was deemed safe to drive by the State of Pennsylvania. This is largely because the previous owner (a die-hard Toyota enthusiast) poured his heart and soul and spent over $2,000 on new parts & labor repairing it (listed below, receipts available).

2) The only thing that isn’t currently working is the A/C. But even this I had tested with a recharge and a dye a few weeks ago ($201.14). Once recharged, the A/C was very strong. But it faded after about a week. That tells me there’s a leak somewhere. I haven’t had a chance to take it back to the shop to see where the leak is, but since I had them put a dye in it, you can do that at no expense yourself. The good news is that I know it’s not a compressor issue because it blew cold air fine. Leaks are much easier and much cheaper to fix.

3) I have a very large stack of receipts from Firestone, Toyota and other vendors from the previous owner. By my own estimation, there’s close to $2,000 of new parts installed in this car. Some big ticket items include the following:

Tie rods
Water pump & timing kit
Pretty much the entire power-steering system
Control arms

And many other things I don’t understand. About half the work was done by Firestone and the other half was done by him, and he still provided all receipts, which I’m happy to photo-copy and send your way to examine (and you can of course have them when you purchase the car). His repairs were done in September 2019 and onward. That’s his hobby, by the way, he purchases old Toyotas, repairs them, and sells them.

4) As far as I can tell, this car spent most of its life in California. The car’s body is in good condition, not excellent, but also not too bad. The paint is not shiny; there are a few small rust spots (see front passenger corner near head lamp). As you can see, the driver’s door is a different color. BUT I have the OEM door (seen in the last photo). Apparently it’s a hipster thing to do to take off the OEM door and put on a different color door…I have no clue why. But he did give me the OEM door and you can have it. It’s too heavy for me to install. It looks ok, but I don’t know if it functions fine. You’d need to install the current door’s inner lining on it, which I wouldn’t know how to do.

The longest distance I drove with the car was from the Baltimore, MD area to the Philadelphia, PA area (close to 100 miles-ish). At no point did the car overheat or anything. It drove BEAUTIFULLY and very comfortably. Does it drive like a 2020 Camry? No, it doesn’t. And you shouldn’t expect it to. It’s heavy and it has a 4-speed automatic transmission. But it’s surprisingly peppy and it gets a lot of attention and looks in the street.

If you’re passionate about the 80s, if you’re passionate about Toyotas, if you’re passionate about Station Wagons, or if you just want something funky yet extremely solid and reliable, this car is for you! It has a little over 193,000 miles on it. Take a look at the photo under the hood and see how clean it looks. If I were a betting man, I’d say this car could go to 300,000 miles with no problem, maybe more.

Fourth, and final thoughts:

The car is located in the Philadelphia suburbs, in Wayne, PA, near King of Prussia Mall. If you’d like to see it in-person, please let me know and we can arrange it. Anyone interested in seeing the car MUST come wearing a mask and MUST come alone (or with a mechanic, but not more than that). We will respect and maintain our social distancing guidelines — you can test drive the car, provided that you give me your valid license and proof of insurance and a deposit.

Once again, I encourage everyone with questions to please contact me and let me know what’s on your mind!

The buyer MUST come in-person to sign the title and a Bill of Sale.

The car is being sold as-is without any warranties, expressed, written or implied.


The only accepted form of payment is Cash. No checks. No Venmo. No wire transfer. No bitcoins. No magic unicorns. Thanks for taking the time to read the post! Have a great day!

Do you have a Toyota Camry story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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