Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mountain Goat: 1984 Toyota Tercel 4WD

Photos of cars being used for their intended purpose greatly strengthens the persuasive argument come selling time, even if slightly abusive. Would you rather buy a Chevelle that you knew wasn't too tired to do a burnout via photographic evidence? How about a Tercel throwing snow over its trapezoidal silhouette? Hell yes, please, on both counts. Find this 1984 Toyota Tercel 4WD for sale in Concord, NC for $1,800 via craigslist.

Available with a 6-speed granny gear transmission and hi-low transfer case, the 4WD Tercel seemed to be a Japanese interpretation of the AMC Eagle. The longitudinal Audi-and-Interpid style mounting of the engine and transmission in all Tercels from '78-'86 likely encouraged the otherwise odd decision to offer a 4WD variant. Given the number of Tercels you see way back in the holler, it's amazing that more SBC-swapped drag cars haven't surfaced. New DT Fleet project idea?

Though it's hard to mentally justify dropping two grand on a Tercel, the 4WD is an exception. Unless this car is cleverly hiding rust, there's not a whole lot that goes wrong with the 80's Toyota formula. It would be hard to go awry for this kind of money.

Some Scottish family, somewhere in the Isles has AL25 Toyota Tercel Plaid - Medium Brown as their family tartan. And may they be very proud. The 4WD Tercels also came with an optional off-road gauge package that showed little floating Tercel outlines that would inform you of how close your wagon was to somersaulting down a hill. 

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Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the remaining third on keeping them on the road.


  1. FYI, these cars didn't have a 2 speed transfer case, only a 2wd-4wd lever. the "EL" gear on the transmission only works in 4wd as you might assume. -bikerjosh

  2. I love this car. There's one in town set up with rally lights, crazy roof rack, beefy tires... you get the idea. I think it makes my F-150 feel like it's trying to over compensate.


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