362K Mile Survivor: 1982 Toyota Tercel SR5 – Sold?

May 2021 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

June 6, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “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.

May 11, 2021 Update – When you start with an asking price under five grand, you really don’t have much wiggle room to go lower.  The current caretaker of this Toyota Tercel finds themself in this situation as they just lowered their asking price by one hundred dollars to $3,111.

While old Toyota trucks have been hot for a while, let’s not forget there’s an equally rabid crowd that pursues the company’s entry-level models when found in survivor-grade condition. This is because Toyota’s best years were seemingly before it hit the big time, as survivors like this 1982 Toyota Tercel SR5 here on Craigslist in Atlanta for $3,210 go to show us.  Now, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – the indicated mileage really is a jaw-dropping 362,637. Comparing the seller’s asking price against the NADA Price Guide doesn’t really tell us the full story, as NADA ranks an “Excellent” model at $1,875, but doesn’t account for the rarity of an example like this.  If you are serious about buying this SR5-equipped Tercel, you can start the conversation by either calling or texting the seller at (404) 886-4127. When you do, please remember to mention you saw his vintage Toyota featured here on GuysWithRides.com.

Now, this is not a sports car. It’s not even “sporting,” by the more forgiving definition. When Toyota and Honda started building economy cars at a scale that effectively turned the entry-level car market over to the Japanese makes, it didn’t matter that the engines were small and power outputs were humble. They turned out incredible gas mileage and were over-built, meaning they didn’t fail at nearly the same rate as their domestic counterparts. The Tercel in this form was a shot across the bow from Toyota, introducing front-wheel drive into an already novel platform for its longitudinal engine arrangement. Sure, the bodies would rust out if you looked at it the wrong way, but these entry-level drivers weren’t worth anything once the fenders were eaten away by rust – just throw it away and buy a new one, which is why finding one in original condition like this is so rare.

We found this vintage thirty-second TV spot for the 1982 Toyota Tercel posted on YouTube:

The seller attributes the reason for the sale is due to a pending relocation wherein the loyal Tercel cannot come with them. The Tercel certainly presents far better than its high mileage would suggest, especially since the calling card of the SR5 package – those decals you see going down the lower edge of the door – are still present and accounted for, which never happens. Even the rear window louvers are still attached, and I can almost guarantee you there’s an owner of a Tercel of this vintage who’s been dying to find a set of period-correct louvers for the back glass. Regardless, this one has clearly been loved throughout its life, not only due to the well-preserved body and graphics, but also because its huge mileage suggests a history of proactive maintenance to ensure the Tercel made it this far. The seller simply notes it’s a good running car and all original, and that it’s been fitted with new tires – but maybe that’s all it’s ever needed. Would you take a chance on this long-lived Tercel?

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For sale nice vintage and rare 1982 Toyota Tercel with 5speed manual. Good running car and all original. New tires. We are moving and don’t have space to keep it. No emails or scammers, please.

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


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