Rad Rarity: 1998 Toyota RAV4 Convertible – Sold?
September 13, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this RAV4 “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 us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
We receive a fair amount of requests to help find rides. You’ll likely be very surprised to learn that by far the most common request we receive is to locate a vintage late-1990s two-door Toyota RAV4 convertible like this 1998 example originally listed in August 2021 on Craigslist in La Canada, California (Los Angeles) with 211K original miles and freshly detailed for $5,975. Since our normal pricing sources do not consider these classics just yet, comparing that price against the NADA Guides Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their RAV4 priced well above this guide’s “High” retail average of $4,050. Want to know something? Not only will they get it, but we predict this RAV4 will be sold before our next Truckin’ Tuesday feature. The only caveat to that is the fact this is a front-wheel-drive version and not the more desirable four-wheel-drive model.
Why the demand? Human nature tends to have consumers gravitate towards things they can’t have. We’re starting to see this emerge as a trend among vintage two-door SUVs. The trouble is, it’s rare to find a first-generation model come up for sale and when they do, they typically have been well used with extremely high mileage. While four-door RAV4 versions are a dime-a-dozen on any given day, we completed a national search of two-door convertible models and could only come with three currently for sale. If you find one for sale, buy it. Prices may be low now, but we predict they will soon be on the rise.
Toyota launched its compact crossover RAV4 SUV in Japan and Europe in 1994 and then followed suit in North America in 1996 to cater to consumers wanting a vehicle that had most of the benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and the option of full-time four-wheel drive, along with the maneuverability and fuel economy of a smaller car. The early success of the RAV4 paved the way for other compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute, and the Subaru Forester. Its name stands for “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive,” even though not all RAV4s came equipped with a four-wheel-drive powertrain.
While this 1998 Toyota RAV4 30 second spot found on the CommericalMaster1 YouTube channel features the four-door version, it’s a nice reminder of just how different seeing a compact SUV was in the late 1990s:
While the high mileage may put off some, the fresh tires and detail on what appears to be a California-solid body with a great interior make this RAV4 a prime candidate to scoop up before someone beats you to it.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Rare car. Clean Title. All Original.
Automatic. Also has removable hardtop in the front section. Perfect interior!
Has BFG KM2 Mud terrain tires.
Just passed smog. No issues.
Just spent $500 on a full detail.
Car shines real sharp.
No dents. Straight body.
This car will only go up in value in the years to come.
Email for appointment.“
Show or go: what would you do with this restored Triumph? Comment below and let us know!