Lifted Wagon: 1984 Toyota Tercel SR5 4WD – Sold?

Dec 2020 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

January 27, 2021 Update – we just noticed the listing “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

December 17th, 2020 Update – We just came across a new listing for this rare Toyota Tercel 4×4 we first featured one month ago. While the pictures and description remain the same, the private seller lowered their asking price by $300 down to $4,200.

When it comes to vehicles that are as inherently cool as they are useful, old-school four-wheel drives are where it’s at. The 1980s saw a proliferation of such vehicles, taking many forms, from classic square-body 4×4 trucks to sports coupes and wagons alike equipped with locking diffs and low-range gearing. This 1984 Toyota Tercel SR5 4WD wagon originally listed in November 2020 on Craigslist in Vermont for $4,500 comes with a mild suspension lift and larger wheels/tires. Comparing this asking price against the NADA Pricing Guide confirms this private seller has this funky wagon priced right on the money according to the “High” retail valuation.

Nowadays, anything worth its salt that’s a true four-wheel-drive vehicle is ungodly expensive, especially if you just want to use it as a beater. The 1980s, already considered by many to be the birthplace of the rad era for the variety of sports cars that emerged from seemingly every manufacturer, was also a great time for four-wheel drive enthusiasts. Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford – and everyone in between – offered a lower to middle-priced model with four-wheel drive, from turbocharged Celica coupes to family-friendly VW Quantum wagons. The Tercel SR5 featured a slick package, with a standard six-speed manual transmission (with the sixth gear the “granny” gear) and a fully synchronized transfer case. The best feature? The optional gauge pod complete with an inclinometer sitting atop the dash.

Here’s a MotorWeek review of a very similar Toyota Tercel from when new posted on YouTube:

Now, the problem with many of these funky Tercel wagons is that if they’ve lived anywhere there’s snow – as most of them did – they’re significantly rotten by now. This is from the era of Toyotas where the drivetrain far outlasts the body, so it’s not surprising to see them junked with a perfectly healthy engine under the hood. For East Coasters, this specimen makes a lot of sense since it came to Vermont by way of Oregon, and the seller notes it’s nearly rust-free. In addition to the modest suspension lift and upsized tires, the Toyota also benefits from a Weber carburetor conversion, new fuel pump, recent valve adjustment, fresh water pump, and tune-up. And if you’re still not sold, just check out that incredible seat upholstery! Good luck with the purchase if you decide to take this rare four-wheel-drive Tercel SR5 home.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1984 Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon with custom suspension lift and larger wheels. Oregon car. Nearly rust free. Weber carb conversion. New fuel pump, recent valve adjustment, water pump, and tune. Great little car. We purchased is somewhat recently, but have decided to go another direction with a first car for teen.

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

1 Comment
  1. Lifted Wagon: 1984 Toyota Tercel SR5 4WD – Sold?

    These are cool i have SR5 4WD with brown plaid headliner and the incline meter. Unfortunately its just sitting with a broken piston rod thankfully not thrown. i loved reading the info about these.


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