Beached Econobox: 1987 Toyota Tercel

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For a week or so in the early 2000s, I borrowed my uncle’s 1987 Corolla wagon. It was a bit smaller than this 1987 Toyota Tercel wagon, but still a very decent little hustler and hauler for not much money. In fact, I’m pretty sure he bought it for less than this severely beached Tercel, which is buried in a beach in Samoa, California. While the lame attempt at humor is obvious, less so is how this carcass (which I doubt is actually a Tercel or even a Toyota) came to be a wreck on the shores. Find the listing here on craigslist with a $1,500 asking price.

So, in addition to being a total joke of a listing, I also doubt this is a Tercel. To me, it looks much closer in profile to a third-generation Subaru Legacy or Outback wagon. Of course, I’m open to other suggestions. The gaping hole in the roof is unusual, and strikes me as a crude opening potentially carved by first responders due to a serious car accident. An alternative theory is that the third-generation Outback was available with dual sunroofs – perhaps this is what happens when two panes of glass in car roof are thrashed in the ocean? The third brake light is in the correct spot for a Legacy.

As a former owner of a 2003 Legacy sedan, the wood trim on the window controls is a familiar site from an Outback in the “Limited” trim, and the four-spoke steering wheel was standard fare across the lineup. The light green paint also a popular Outback color, and certainly Subaru’s second home after the Northeast is the Pacific Northwest. I’m open to theories as to how this happens; was it a hulk that went into a cargo ship and fell off in rough weather? Or is it more likely the result of some drunken hijinks that resulted in a battered Outback going over a cliff in dramatic fashion?

Whatever the story, I doubt in the environmentally-friendly culture of California that this wreck will remain beached much longer. Perhaps if there are any VIN numbers still visible on the chassis, local law enforcement can do some digging to make sure it doesn’t belong to a missing driver, and that this listing is just a continuation of a joke that began with a broken Subaru and an inviting ocean.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. NotSure

    Ran when parked?

    Like 28
    • Concinnity

      ‘Has some rust’

      Like 3
  2. 8banger DaveMember

    As far as the Subaru’s home, have you been to Denver yet?

    Like 1
    • Jeremy Helmholdt

      My guess would be fell off a barge of scrap going to China. Looks almost as good as my first car.

      Like 0
  3. exartist

    My old man is a television repairman, he’s got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.

    Like 23
    • Ken

      You can’t fix this car, Spicoli!

      Like 7
      • Michael

        “My brother’s gonna kill us!” “First he’s gonna kill you, then he’s gonna kill me!”

        Like 7
      • leiniedude leiniedudeMember

        Great one Michael!

        Like 2
      • Vudutu

        Beach find?

        Like 1
    • David Duivesteyn

      That light was red Spicully! It was yellow a minute ago I’m sure….( Sammy playing on cassette)…..Gotta love the 80’s

      Like 1
  4. Fred W

    Well, there’s two minutes of my life I will never get back.

    Like 19
    • Luki

      Read faster.

      Like 34
  5. Chris In Australia

    “Ran when moored”

    Like 11
  6. Vegaman Dan

    Does the engine turn over? Get Mustie down there to try.

    Like 3
  7. edh


    Like 5
  8. Rock On

    I can’t wait for April 1st, if are already posting jokes like this now!

    Like 8
    • glen

      I was thinking this should have been posted on April 1st.

      Like 2
  9. azd

    Since Samoa, CA is in Bigfoot country, I think it’s safe to say that a sasquatch once drove this car. That explains the hole in the roof. Now, clearly a sasquatch would want a Subaru wagon. It has that woodsy, outdoors image that bigfeet are known for. Unfortunately, sasquatch driver education is extremely lax, even in California, which explains how it ended up in the ocean. Mystery solved.

    Also, California seriously needs to increase its regulation of sasquatch vehicular operation.

    What, they already have laws on the books? And a tax? Who knew…

    Like 10
    • glen

      It might have had one of those west coast mushrooms I’ve heard about.

      Like 1
  10. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    I saw a nice Mercedes at Bike week years ago being consumed by the ocean. Tides? What tides?

    Like 1
  11. Ron H

    Perhaps it is sunami refusefrom Japan. Any way you look at it, whatever the circumstances, it really isn’t a laughing matter.

    Like 2
    • Ralph

      Steering wheel is on the left though, so its probably not that.

      Like 3
  12. Jose Cantu

    I’m not laughing. Please don’t waste our time on junk like this. :-(

    Like 4
    • Andre

      lol then don’t read it….?

      Like 34
      • Bmac BmacMember

        Exactly lol

        Like 5
  13. Brian Kelly

    Is this a “numbers matching” vehicle?

    Like 4
  14. RedBaran

    Should buff right out…

    Like 7
    • RH Factor

      Tried to start it but it would not light off. I think it was flooded?

      Like 0
  15. 71FXSuperGlide

    Geez. And to think California is worried about plastic straws.

    Like 14
  16. Comet

    What Jose Cantu said.

    Like 3
  17. BP

    Tercel’s were smaller than Corolla’s.

    Like 2
  18. MJF

    Hmmm Stupid…

    Like 1
  19. Fulm

    ” Who’s the U-boat commander “

    Like 6
    • Mark

      If this were a 356 we would be reading about all the endless possibilities…….

      Like 6
  20. Marty

    A real gurgler! Well, one man’s flooded Tercel wagon is another man’s fish tank reef.

    Like 2
  21. RetroRick

    That’ll buff out

    Like 0
  22. Todd Van Winkle

    Jellyfish included?

    Like 0
  23. CraigR

    Better get a parts list going if you need it for the weekend.

    Like 2
  24. David Rhoces

    $20 for scrap …. $250 to get it out of there

    Like 1
  25. TimM

    I’ve seen some weird stuff but this is the best!!
    I just want to say to everyone that wrote something today that my day was made I haven’t laughed that much in quite some time!!! So thanks to all that commented on this sale!! I think I laughed so hard I peed myself!!!

    Like 7
  26. Marko

    Quit pumping the gas, you will flood the engine!

    Like 5
  27. MG

    Can you send a few pics of the underside? I had one just like this once and regret selling it every day. Too bad it’s not a 4-speed or I’d be right on it.

    Like 4
    • CK

      Waste your time???? Sorry Evidently you don’t have as much time as the rest of us.Come on Wheres your sense of humor ?Hey maybe you left it in the back seat of this Car, under your Wet Blanket.

      Like 0
  28. Tony Buford

    It will buff out!

    Like 0
  29. Wolfgang Gullich

    Subarus are the state bird of Alaska

    Like 0
  30. Bmac BmacMember

    Aren’t these cars biodegradable?

    Like 1
  31. john c

    Honey, the Garmin said to turn right… hey Honey, look at the beautiful view… uh,…why is there water coming in at the bottom of the door… … Quick, pass me my Sawzall !!!

    Like 1
  32. scott

    Barnacle find

    Like 8
  33. Roy L

    Now that’s funny.

    Like 0
  34. David Sebben

    Spongebob’s first car

    Like 2
  35. 1st Gear

    If there’s clean paperwork,I’m interested(NOT).Live only a few hours south and I’ll bring what we need for a beach party…Who’s with me?😎

    Like 0
  36. Brad

    Well, I often read complaints that seller’s don’t wash their barn finds so there you go.

    Like 1
  37. Mart

    Barnacle Finds

    Like 0
  38. brock

    This is for sure a 2001 Subaru Outback H6

    Like 0
  39. h5mind

    Stunt double for the Lotus from 007 movie, ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’.

    Like 0
  40. Capriest

    Somebody took the cars rep as a dyke wagon too literal!

    Like 1
  41. kenzo

    Haul it out. Give it a wash and buff. Drop in a crate small block and you’ve got an instant rat rod.

    Like 0
  42. Bryan W Cohn

    Time for a new channel, “Ocean Finds”? :)

    Like 0

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