Clean Chassis: 1983 Toyota Tercel SR5 4×4 Wagon – SOLD!

by | May 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

June 1, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “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 22, 2021 Update – Just a few days after we first featured this rare-to-find Tercel 4×4 SR5 wagon, the private seller reduced their asking price by $500 to $3,150.

The Japanese auto industry as a whole was on an innovative roll throughout the 1980s and one of the more interesting market segments Asian Manufacturers ventured into was the compact four-wheel-drive wagon. Initially owned solely by Subaru, every other Japanese manufacturer tried their hand at compact 4×4 wagons before moving onto CUVs instead.  Unlike the computer-controlled, jelly bean-shaped, soulless look-alikes produced today, these little 4×4’s actually came equipped with true locking differentials and low-range gearing.  While we’re also featuring a 1989 Honda Civic 4×4 Wagon today, we also have this 1983 Toyota Tercel SR5 4×4 originally listed in May 2021 on Craigslist in East Charlotte, North Carolina with an asking price of $3,650. The Collector Car Market Review indicates the current asking price falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $2,150 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $4,150.

The Tercel SR5 4×4 featured an interesting package of offroad goodies normally found on serious offroad machines. First, the standard six-speed manual transmission came equipped with the sixth gear acting as the “granny” crawler gear. The second was a fully synchronized transfer case. The third was the best feature of all:  an optional gauge pod complete with an inclinometer sitting atop the dash.

The seller of this rare Tercel SR5 provides a walk-around video:

There is a lot to like about this Tercel 4×4, including the plaid seats that appear to be in great shape. While the bolt-on front fenders have rust at the top of the wheel arches, unlike most other Northeastern examples of these we come across, the chassis appears to be rust-free. This virtually indestructible RAD Era eligible Toyota wagon makes a compelling alternative to a modern bland CUV.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Up for sale is my 1983 Toyota Tercel wagon, SR5 trim. This is a cool, boxy wagon with 4wd capabilities. Pretty clean undercarriage.

Runs and drives great (see link to YouTube walkaround). Recent tune up completed (new wires, plugs, and distributor). It has a factory-optioned hood ornament, factory side window visors, a reupholstered back hatch and the original steel wheels.

The cons – it’s got some rust (as these early 80’s Toyota models are prone to). The worst is on the two front wheel wells (you can see that in the pictures), the rear bumper, and rockers are bubbling up paint. I have put rust reverser in these places to try to help and keep a car cover on it when I’m out driving it.”

On or Offroad : Where would you drive this Toyota SR5 4×4?  Comment below and let us know!


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