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1983 Toyota Hilux SR5: Southern Survivor


Isn’t it amazing to think that former workhorses can become collector’s items? Old Toyota trucks have broken the mold when it comes to their value increasing in such a short window of time. Trucks like this 1983 Toyota Hilux SR5 here on eBay are desirable not only for their durability but the fact that they survive in rust-free condition – a rarity with Japanese trucks of this vintage.


This one really is loaded up the way Toyota fans like. It’s a 4WD SR5 model with the manual transmission. The classic Toyota graphics kit is still intact, and the body has survived relatively unscathed, save for a few beauty marks. The seller notes it’s a genuine SR5, complete with A/C, the woodgrain dash applique and factory gauge kit. He is truly the second owner and not a flipper; the original owner purchased it new in Atlanta where it has remained ever since.


The interior has held up well, despite being pretty basic. The factory floor mats have got to be damn near impossible to find at this point. This truck is the essence of being OEM correct, right down to the 99% original paint. The seller notes the only reason he’s moving it along is because he is importing a Japanese-market Land Cruiser, which is the proverbial dream-come-true for Toyota truck fans.


The engine is not original, but it was replaced by the seller with a dual-timing chain 22R out of a Celica. The engine swap was performed by a Toyota truck specialist in Atlanta called ACC Garage, which further emphasizes how this truck has led a cherished life in the hands of enthusiast owners. The 22R is one of Toyota’s most revered engines for its “can’t kill it” qualities, and when paired with the solid front axle, there’s likely very few places The Hilux can’t go. It’ll be fun to watch the bidding on such an authentic truck, and will likely be worth every penny when it’s hammered down.


  1. Avatar photo Rich

    I believe I met the seller of this a few weeks ago at a car show. He’s a die hard Toyota enthusiast and owns a very rare and correct Celica he was showing. he was showing me pics of this truck. Super clean.

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  2. Avatar photo Chris

    These are great trucks. My first car was an sr5 5speed.

    It is worth paying a premium to buy cars from people like this.

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  3. Avatar photo sparkster

    I had the same truck in 1982 with the SR-5 option my long bed was the same color and had factory cruise control (rare) A/C , power steering and tilt wheel with cloth seats. I don’t know if I would have replaced the original engine JUST for the double row timing chain. Granted the single row only last 150,000 to 180,000 miles before the nylon guides go out and the chain starts to rub against the timing cover. Great truck , but later I got a 1988 Toyota Long bed xtra cab and found I like having an xtra cab. And at 300,000 miles the single row timing chain was still in good shape

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  4. Avatar photo David Member

    I had an older Stout that I put a 22R and 5 speed transmission in. I did it because the engine and tranny were cheap and it would be an easy swap. It wan’t so easy back then to get a driveshaft made and balanced, but otherwise it was easy. The result was a very quick little truck that didn’t slow down going up the grades even with a Harley chained down in the back. My first new vehicle was a 1984 Toyota diesel pickup but sadly it was junk. You couldn’t keep the front end aligned and it went through tires very quickly. That little forklift engine was great, though!

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  5. Avatar photo JW

    My brother-inlaw had one of these and he was a carpenter, he drove the snot out of it to all kinds of job sites even down to the river bank when he was helping build our towns river boat casinos. I think he had over a 1/2 million miles on it when it rusted away here in the Midwest. Great little trucks, Toyota builds some dependable trucks as our 2002 Tundra had over 250K when the youngest son who bought it from us tried matching up to a tanker truck 18 wheeler, the Tundra didn’t win.

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  6. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    It’s incredible to see a truck like this in this condition. These were ULTRA popular in the Mid-West, but horrific rusters. Mostly the boxes, which I heard were not a Toyota product and inferior metal was used from wherever they came from. The mechanics were typical Asian bullet proof, and I bought an ’83 2wheel drive from my ex-brother in law, that he put 238K miles on it ( bought it new) and I put another 20K on it, never opened up.
    Speaking of Toyota pickups,( and rust) I have a friend with a ’02(?) Tundra, and last time I saw him, he said, he just got his truck back from the dealer. Turns out, they replaced the entire frame as part of a recall. I didn’t believe him and looked, sure enough, brand new frame. Can you imagine what a job that must have been to do that? And to do it over and over as part of a recall. I’m not crying for Toyota, but wow. I guarantee you, one winter in the salt with this truck, and it will begin.

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  7. Avatar photo James

    I have an ’85 SR-5 it’s a great truck. 280,000+ miles. Go anywhere I want.

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