Here’s a good winter car (winter beater?) if anyone is still experiencing snow and ice out there. It’s a 1985 Toyota Tercel Wagon 4WD and this one has a 5-speed! This 32-year old winter wagon is on Craigslist with an asking price of $2,375 and it’s located in Elk Grove, California, a few miles south of the capital in Sacramento.
The seller says that this was a “barn find”, so there ya go! Yes, it’s from the 1980s, but it’s highly unusual, it has 4WD, it has a 5-speed, and it’s about as inexpensive as possible while still being usable and not totally junky and rusted out. How’s that for a sales pitch! I’m putting my Dale Carnegie training to good use. It actually may be more of a sales pitch for featuring a vehicle like this, one that a lot of you will not care for one bit, than for the vehicle itself. This one doesn’t need any help, it has a lot going for it, as far as I’m concerned.
Ahhhh.. the 1980s, you know ’em, you love ’em. Or, in some cases, you hate ’em. Those wacky argyle-pattern seats are super cool! Almost any pattern is better than no pattern for me. You have just one time on this earth, why waste it with boring seats. This 4WD Tercel wagon is older than a decent percentage of Barn Finds readers are and it looks like it’s in decent condition. The interior will need a thorough cleaning, and hopefully there isn’t any rodent damage from being in a “barn”, however they define “barn” (barn, garage, storage unit, etc.). The other, smaller, shift lever is for actuating the 4WD system. It’s in front-wheel drive now, the forward position, and a pull back on it puts the car in 4WD.
Here’s where your kids will sit, and don’t forget your 1980s “Baby On Board” sticker in the rear window just to complete the picture. Don’t forget to push up your sleeves, turn your collar up, and give us a Billy Idol sneer. In keeping with the seemingly-unwritten Craigslist rules and regulations, there are no engine photos, but you probably knew that already. This one, and all of them for the North American market, would have a 1.5L inline-four with about 63 hp. Yeah, you’re right, that’s a puny amount of power and the Honda Civic 4WD wagon had it all over the Tercel wagon as far as pep and the fun-to-drive quotient. But, Toyota ruled the roost, they were tough as nails (this one has 282,000 miles) and they simply lasted almost forever, like a cockroach. Maybe that’s a bad analogy. This one has has “new tires, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and new master cylinder.” You simply can’t go wrong with a Tercel 4WD wagon for your daily-driver in the winter. You probably won’t take it cross-country but for keeping your “good car” rust-free and for keeping yourself out of the ditch in the winter, these things rock! Have any of you owned one of these little tanks?