BF AUCTION: 1987 Toyota FX16 GT-S

We are excited to present the first official Barn Finds auction! To kick things off, I’ve decided to list one of my own cars. Yes, it’s a Toyota, but this isn’t just any old Toyota. The FX16 was built during the height of the hot hatch craze and it was a formidable GTI fighter. They were only built for a couple of years and nice ones like this are nearly impossible to find today.

This car is only showing 86k on the odometer and, since it’s a Toyota, that means it’s barely broken-in. The GT-S was the higher level FX16 so it normally came optioned out. Oddly, this particular car does without a sunroof, air conditioning, and even the radio (There’s a NOS blank out plate in the glove box to replace that aftermarket head unit). Could this car have been ordered with autocross aspirations?

Here you can see the GT-S specific body kit. The styling is subtle compared to most hot hatches, but that makes me like it even more. The body is straight and there’s no rust to be found. There are a couple of small dents that could easily be popped out by a paintless dent guy. The bumper stripes could use some touch up too. These will become small details once you get behind that wheel though.

The interior is clean and the only flaw I’ve found is a split seam on the driver’s seat. If you’re into Toyotas, then those seats may look familiar. Most hot hatches were put together using the manufacturer’s existing parts bin and the FX16 was no different. Toyota already had the high bolstered seats, alloy rims, and high-revving engine in their MR2…

Here’s the 16-valve 1.6 liter four-cylinder that was lifted from Toyota’s sports car. It’s docile at low rpms, but transforms into a screamer when revved up near the 7,500 redline! Even without all the special bits, this thing would be fun to just rev and row around town. The shifter feels good and the engine runs great. I don’t know when the timing belt was last done though so plan on doing that before too long.

Did you notice those bars running from the shock towers to the firewall? This is one of those cars that may not seem that special at first, but the more you look at it, the more you start to realize that this isn’t just some dolled-up econocar. The chassis was stiffened up with bracing up top and on the bottom. The suspension was then tightened with new shocks and anti-roll bars. Throw in a light curb weight and you have a recipe for some sweet handling.

There are even disc brakes on all four corners of this pocket rocket! So, it can go quick, turn fast, and stop good all while hauling around a load. Sounds like the perfect formula to me. This was basically a sports car for people who needed more utility than a roadster offered. It’s the perfect transportation for a father who wants to look responsible while still having some fun!

This car is in excellent condition and could be the perfect alternative to a more expensive GTI. Contemporary road tests confirm that this thing was actually quicker than the German! I’m probably going to regret letting it one go. It’s in amazing shape and is a lot of fun to drive, but I really want to get our new auctions off the ground and figure this is the best way to get things rolling.

We are excited to finally be able to offer auctions right on the site. Be sure to register as a bidder and post any questions you have in the comments below. Disregard the 5% buyer premium on this one though since it’s my car. If you have a vehicle that you’d like to auction off, please contact us.

VIN: 1NXAE89G6HZ406661
Boise, Idaho
Mileage: 86,622
Title Status: Clean
View CarFax

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $2,800
Register To Bid
Ended: Jul 16, 2017 9:00am MDT
Winner: Mark
  • Mark
    bid $2,800.00  2017-07-15 09:12:26
  • Gug
    Gug bid $2,222.00  2017-07-14 06:33:23
  • jamiesully29 bid $1,920.00  2017-07-13 09:43:58
  • Rich
    bid $1,805.00  2017-07-12 19:39:35
  • CHRISTOPHER bid $1,675.00  2017-07-12 15:24:08
  • Gug
    Gug bid $1,550.00  2017-07-10 21:18:16
  • ether
    bid $1,450.00  2017-07-10 08:56:46
  • Michael bid $1,320.00  2017-07-10 02:09:41
  • jamiesully29 bid $1,200.00  2017-07-09 19:04:26
  • larry
    bid $1,100.00  2017-07-09 17:59:53
  • Scotty Gilbertson bid $1,000.00  2017-07-09 15:27:34

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Garrett

    Had a white one back in high school I strapped the SC unit from an MR2 on. Man that car was a hoot!

    Like 1
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      Oh man, I’ve wondered if the supercharger would fit! Maybe I shouldn’t sell it after all…

      Like 0
      • Marlon Smith

        Really cool car….Congrats on the auction!!!

        Like 0
  2. Scotty GilbertsonStaff

    Let’s get this show on the road! This car is too nice to linger here without any bids on it!

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      Hmmm, Scotty – is your bid “insider trading??” Haha Haha.

      Like 0
      • Scotty GilbertsonStaff

        Ha! These guys are as honest as the day is long, Brakeservo. Jesse is sacrificing that sweet FX16 GT-S as the shot-heard-’round-the-world in the first Barn Finds auction and I couldn’t stand to see it sit there for so long without any bids on it. It’s nice to see that there are other lovers of vintage Japanese vehicles here!

        Like 0
  3. Scott

    Outstanding …not seen one of these from about the mid 90s.. i live in scotland so as its a wet climate most have rotted away …best of luck with the auction

    Like 0
  4. jw454

    I worked for GM at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California when this car was built. It was on the assembly line along side the Chevrolet Nova. When the first ones came off the line some of the engineers were permitted to take a “TEST” drive around the back lot. I was on a road trip at the time so I missed the chance. DANG! I’m sure it was a fun day at work.

    Very nice looking ride.

    Like 0
    • angliagt

      Did you drive a Nova Twin Cam?
      They were actually faster than the FX16,
      but had four doors.They were all Black w/-
      Red stripes.
      I always wanted one of these.I test-
      drove one when they were almost new,& was
      amazed at how high (& smooth) they would rev.

      Like 0
      • jw454


        Yes, I did drive the Twin Cam many times. I had forgotten about them until you mentioned them. You’re right. They were little rockets with the standard shift.

        Like 0
  5. Conrad Testamark

    I like this car! And look in great condition, but can’t afford it, but if I had to bought it i will keep it and buy a used one like it and use it for rally racing.

    Like 0
  6. Tom S.

    Good luck with your auctions. This is a friendly site and I believe people respect you. Do some quick math and see how the folks over at BAT (also highly respected) must be making a boodle on their auctions.

    Like 0
    • Brakeservo

      To Tom S – when you refer to the guys over at B.A.T. as “highly respected” I can only assume you don’t know the full back story of how they treat people, how they knowingly at least tolerate corrupt auctions and blatant misrepresentation on the part of auction consignors. They have sold out for the sheer amount of money involved.

      Like 1
      • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

        @Brakeservo – I don’t know what happened to you over at BaT, but let’s not make the conversation about that. Thanks.

        Like 0
      • Superdessucke

        BaT blatantly censors posts. If they think it’s even remotely critical they won’t publish it or will wait and bury it, particularly with their own auctions. Money talks, the commentators who made their otherwise lame WordPress site interesting walk.

        Not a good idea to toss car people’s voluntary contributions in the trash. I’ll no longer post there and couldn’t be happier that there is now a competitor which doesn’t do business that way. GLWTS and I’ll definitely be a follower and maybe bidder here!

        Like 0
      • cyclemikey

        Good luck with the auctions, but I think you’ll need it. Everything is rainbows and unicorns now when it’s Jesse’s car, but wait until it’s someone else’s car and the cynical-bordering-on-libelous comments start. The Barn Finds commentariat often seems to have a peculiar penchant for trying to make every seller out to be a con and a fraud. That’s not going to be conducive to attracting potential sellers to this site.

        There’s a fine line between “censoring comments” and tolerating libel. I’m not going to comment on BaT except to say that they’ve been highly successful at both attracting sellers and maintaining one of the most knowledgeable commenter bases on the net, so they must not be doing everything wrong.

        And for exhibit “A”, refer to Brakeservo’s comment above. Let me state for the record that I like Brakeservo, and I think he’s generally knowledgeable. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of response to that comment when and if it gets around, because the way it’s worded, it’s (at the very least) flirting with libel.

        Disclaimer: No dog in this fight. I have no personal involvement of any kind with either Bat or BF other than as a user of the sites.

        Like 0
      • Superdessucke

        @Cycle – I see your point and see the need to censor abusive posters. But I think the turbo filter over there kicks in way before we get even close to liable. Bunched panties are enough to get your comment thrown into the abyss, lol!

        I’m going to stop here because Jesse is offering us a very cool and rare machine so let’s focus on that!

        Like 0
      • Horse Radish


        Re: BaT
        Brilliant assessment and reflects EXACTLY my experience over the better part of a decade.
        Severely censored and (only) money talks.
        I love that Jesse and Co. are offering a very viable alternative.
        I sincerely wish the best of luck here.
        A neighbor had one of these and was zipping around in it forever. That was, however, 20 years ago.
        Not a big fan of Japanese cars but this one caught my attenetion

        Like 0
  7. John K

    I test drove one of these when new. Same color and GT-S trim level (not able to recall if it had a sunroof, radio, A/C, etc.) and it was a fun drive. I couldn’t swing the financing so kept my ’84 CRX. Later I auto-xed against “stock” GT-S FX16 in NER series and local auto-x events. He always manged to nudge past me.


    Like 0
  8. Sam

    Cool car and great writeup!

    However, for auction purposes, you need to add a little fluff…like: “this was rumored to be Hirohito’s WWll staff car” OR “Eiji Toyoda ordered this as his personal drift car”

    Good luck with the sale.

    Like 0
  9. Joe

    Was it always and Idaho car, Jesse? How long have you owned the car and how many miles have you put on it? What parts have you replaced and what work did you put into the car before the sale? Any maintenance (e.g. tires, belts, hoses, etc.) or repairs looming, outside of the timing belt? Have you tested the compression and have readings? Thanks, Jesse and best of luck!

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      @Joe – Thanks for your interest. The car has always been in Idaho. You can view the CarFax above for proof. I’ve owned it since about April and have not had to do any maintenance yet. The last owner was fanatical and had everything up to date even though he never drove it. Admittedly, I haven’t driven it a lot either, but Josh and I did take it up the mountain a while back and were impressed by how well it did. We haven’t checked the compression because we didn’t have any reason to assume it was low. If I were to keep it, I’d adjust the valves and do the timing belt just to know when it was last done. Thanks!

      Like 0
      • ether

        in your opinion can the car be driven to rhode ilsand from where its at ? im bidding on the car

        Like 0
      • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

        Sure it could. Now that would be an adventure!

        Like 0
  10. Lars

    Man if this had A/C I’d own it! But down south, you gotta have a/c for a daily driver!!! But These are fun, I had one back in the day and its pretty peppy once you get it above about 4000 rpm!

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      Yeah the lack of AC is unfortunate, but just think how much more agile you will feel without having to lug around that heavy compressor!

      Like 0
  11. JeffStaff

    I m really impressed with how well kept this car is. Down South, we’d call this car a sleeper. In a stop light showdown with another econobox, they’d never know what hit them. Especially if some curvy roads are involved.

    Good luck with the sale!

    Like 0
  12. angliagt

    I have a ’60 Anglia & ’78 B210 project
    that I’d trade.

    Like 0
  13. newfieldscarnut

    I have a complete a/c unit in the original Toyota box for an 87 Tercel . I am sure at least some parts would fit .

    Like 0
  14. chad

    so…need to get to Idaho to pick up if buying…hummm…
    Gotta look around here.

    Like 0
  15. Neal

    Sounds like a bargain for a cool fun car.
    Too bad I’m all the way in Boston.
    I remember when these were new.

    Like 0
  16. BMWTtundraGuy

    I worked for TMS SE Division when these came out. Fast, hugger, and fun!! And the biggest indestructible!!!! (minus the timing belt – don’t play around with that maintenance item) As for the comment on the valve adjustment, I don’t believe they are adjustable??? Or is it the “shim style” valve adjustment? I would love to have this one but alas, no A/C is a deal killer down in the south!

    Like 0
  17. Anthony

    Just saying to myself the other day that I’m glad Barn Finds doesn’t do auctions like Bring A Trailer, because that got ruined with auctions. I just like plain web finds of old cars.
    If I wanted auctions – I’ll go auction sites. I scroll all the way down on Bring a Trailer to view everyday type of people and cars selling their cars.
    And now it is only a few – the rest is auctions.
    Ruined it for me…Sorry, but my opinion.

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      I know where you are coming from Anthony. We work hard to keep everyone happy though and a few auctions aren’t going to ruin the site. Now there’s just more reasons to come here.

      Like 0
    • Horse Radish

      I see your point.
      But BaT was on decline long before all their auctions took over.
      It seemed to me, that the intent was always to suck in a lot of traffic and then proceed to profit off that.
      I could never shake the feeling that money was always paramount to everything else…..
      therefore any unwanted comments were deleted by the site’s owner
      unlike HERE at Barn Finds, where the love of the cars still prevails !

      Like 0
      • Ralph Robichaud

        And the odd crusty curmudgeon is allowed to vent.

        Like 0
  18. LD

    I raced one of these in the early 90’s, great fun at Lime Rock! Not a pretty car, but cool Japanese style, should be just right for a daily driver, maybe 30+ mpg

    Like 0
    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologistMember

      My Dad had one, in silver and black.. didn’t even know what he had.. it was on the lot and he liked the looks of it… I, of course, used her to her full capabilities..LOL

      Like 0
  19. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologistMember

    Hi Guys!
    I am very interested in the particulars of the auction system and would feel much better acting as a secondary guinea pig here than over on a previously mentioned site… as I just came a cross a very nice, true barn find, sitting since 1973… Won’t say what it is yet.. wouldn’t want to be accused of insider trading…LOL

    Jesse, et al, can you email me with the specifics on how it works, reserves, payments, (kept in escrow? Direct Pay?) cost to seller, etc.? The car has been photographed already but not yet set up, even on my own site. Would love to get her listed here in the new auction format.
    Thank you!!

    Talk soon,

    Like 0
  20. Ralph Robichaud

    That is a fabulous little bomb- Regrettably for me Idaho is a long,long way from the East Coast of Canada and beside I already have way too much iron on hand- 6 cars older than 30yrs and a 26 yr old motorhome…but boy, that thing is getting my “bidding juices” flowing…
    I’m staggered that of this reading, bidding is under $1500– I’ve seen crap on here that folks would consider $8k,$10K, $12K as being fair prices.. what am I missing.
    BTW , love Idaho where rust barely exist.
    Let’s see the bidding get realistic. G’Luck.

    Like 0
  21. LD

    I keep hearing ‘Idaho too far, pass’….I’d fly out there & drive it back for anyone ‘back East’, can’t resist a road trip! LD71😄

    Like 0
  22. Neal

    I’m sure you would, I just don’t think I could afford to have you do that.

    Like 0
  23. Bryan Cohn

    These were pretty goos SCCA SSC race cars in their. The GT-S with no radio, A/C and Radio delete was probably was one built for racing/autorossing that never got built into one.

    Lots of manufacturers built cars like that in the 80’s. Our 1986 Peugeot 505 Turbo was one of six made for the US market with radio delete, manual windows, no sunroof, thin paint and undercoating.

    Cool car, hope it goes to a good home!

    Like 0
  24. Jeff Perego

    Are you offering freight with auction or is buyer responsible for pickup? Very interested in this vehicle. I linked it with my Toyota AE92 club, so that will probably help your bids as well.

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      The buyer will be responsible for any transport costs. Thanks!

      Like 0
  25. Mike S.

    I’ve had 2 fx16 and am watching this one. Maybe an Idaho road trip is coming.

    Like 0
  26. Zack

    I’m glad to see this car is getting the acclaim and $$ that are due it. I too have one of these very cars(Silver) in my collection here in Phoenix. I purchased it probably 10 years ago and haven’t driven it in quite awhile but I remember when I did how much fun it was. Quick little car with excellent handling…. surprising how many cars out on the highway were not ready to have some little car like this blow their doors off after 50 mph…. and I have the automatic…. Downshift that car and let the revs and the sport mode of the tranny do the talking. The automatics on these cars were no slouches either when it came to get-up-and-go…. and yet, if you’re easy on it, it would get some ridiculous gas mileage….like 34 mpg or so with the cruise on…. and that was back in the late 80’s …….we should be getting upwards of 60 mpg today….without electric..
    Best of luck in the auction to both buyer and seller. Both should be very happy.

    Like 0
  27. bog

    Hey, it’s really cute ! I bought a new Corolla for my (now ex) wife in ’86, and you’re right..same interior fabric, and possibly dash and shift boot. Looked remarkably like the Chevy someone posted, but with single headlamps. Mine had NO GUTS though ! Was passed going uphill in the Great Smoky Mts by semis. Embarrassing. Mine had the last of the single barrel carbs. and ran for over 187K with only basic oil changes. Then a “frisky” young woman ran me into a railroad underpass with her bright red Sunfire & the ins. co. totaled it. Sigh. Jesse, you have a nice car and thanks for the “heads up” about the timing belt. Bidders should appreciate your honestly !

    Like 0
  28. CarNut from WinnipegMember

    Can you tell me the closing date and time for the auction?

    Like 0
  29. Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

    It ends Sunday the 16th at 3pm MST. Good luck to everyone bidding!

    Like 0
  30. Mike S.

    Great purchase for $2800. You will have a million dollars of enjoyment. I doubt there is another fx16 with that few miles and so clean.

    Like 1
  31. Scotty GilbertsonStaff

    $2,800?! #$%! Boy, talk about being asleep at the wheel, literally. Ugh. Very, very well bought, to say the least.

    Like 3
    • Ralph Robichaud

      Somebody got a whale of a deal.

      Like 1
  32. Scott Zimmerman

    Lemme know if the buyer back out. Saw this one too late!!!

    Like 0
  33. Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

    I told you these were underappreciated! Mark got a great deal on this one and is sure to have more fun-per-dollar than just about anything else on the road. Thanks guys on making our first auction a success!

    Like 1
  34. Brakeservo

    I look at your daily email, but once this was underway – there was no more mention of it, so I forgot and ignored it. B.A.T. does some things right, and keeping auctions in front of readers via the daily email is one of them. You might try that.

    Like 0
  35. Drew

    The only edge the Toyota had over the US built VW GTI was fit and finish and reliability. The Toyota FX was an awesome car but it felt benign compared to the GTI. It’s a shame that VW didn’t sell the German built GTI’s and Golf’s in the US because they had significantly better construction quality and reliability. I used to own an ’87 GTI that was a German built model and compared to the US built GTI’s mine was much finer finished and had over 300,000 miles on It before I sold it. And I didn’t experience the electrical, mechanical issues that some people did with the US built VW’s.

    Like 0
    • kenny heggem

      My 92 16 valve GTI was made in Mexico. It is a tightly constructed car.

      Like 1
  36. Sofst1

    As the winning bidder , thanks goes to Jesse for a honest and straight forward auction, the car was much better that discribed. These were called a secret weapon back when I worked for Toyota , uncover, fast and reliable . If I remember correctly they manufactured around 350-400 Gts models in 1987 so very few exist today . The FX 16 model had bigger numbers around 1500 for the same year . Parts are very hard to source since they are no longer produced so you’ll have to visit the local pull and pay. I own a first year MR2 so now to complete the set I only need a Corolla GTS .

    Like 3
  37. Ken King

    I wish I had found this sooner. Been looking for one for forever. I hsd one, just like this, only silv e r. Hard all the toys on it but a sunroof. It had 208,000 on it when I traded it. I would have kept it, but I was from NW Pa. and the hatch and rear quarters rotted out. It would have cost more to fix it than it was worth. I drove back and forth from Pittsburgh to Cincinatti weekly when it had 150,000 on it w/o a care or reservation and she never missed a beat. It was an awesome car! Guess the search continues!

    Like 0
  38. Zackman

    I have a silver one. Are you interested in it?

    Like 0
  39. Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

    @Zackman – Please send it in so we can feature it on the site:

    Like 0
  40. Rod Plapp

    I sold Toyota’s from 1976 to 1987.I thought these hatchbacks were ugly brand new but then I had a new 1985 MR2 when they came out sooo that may color my opinion.I loved the Starlet but had to recline the seat just to sit in it and they were geared tall for maximum mileage.

    Like 0

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