Factory Roll Bar: 1987 Toyota 4Runner SR5

To me, one of the coolest features of any vehicle is the presence of a standard roll bar. True, rollover protection is easy enough to install via aftermarket suppliers, but the fact that Toyota felt like buyers of the first generation 4Runner would choose open-air motoring by ditching the removable top and also hit the off-road trail seriously enough that a roll bar might be needed – well, they don’t make ’em like they used to. Find this gorgeous survivor-grade 1987 Toyota 4Runner here on eBay with the reserve unmet. 

I can recall my uncle telling me of a neighbor of his lending a 4Runner of this era to his son and then the son promptly flipping it down a hill with the hard-top removed. Thankfully, everyone was OK, but the roll bar likely played a “roll” in his survival (that and a seat belt). These early 4Runners look super tough with the roof removed, so hopefully this one has more open-air motoring days in its future. The seller claims the removable roof has only been taken off once, which is good for the next owner as it means the interior likely stayed dry.

As if a standard roll bar wasn’t enough, this generation of 4Runners came with their own altimeters! And truth be told, they had the off-road chops to make this feature a worthwhile tool for off-roaders and jungle explorers alike. Despite mileage well into the six digits, this 4Runner has survived mostly unscathed and seemingly free from the cosmetic damages associated with an off-road lifestyle. It’s stock, with the exception of an aftermarket rear bumper and some newer, knobbier tires. For a truck prone to modifications, that alone sets it apart.

Sharp graphics, unmarked wheels and a body said to have only one ding on its original paint further back up the seller’s claims about condition. This four-cylinder-equipped 4Runner benefits from a recent headgasket job along with a rebuilt head and fresh clutch in its maintenance history file. The 22R-E may not be as powerful as the optional V6, but it was much more reliable than the larger mill, and in this application, should give many more years of service.

Fast Finds


  1. Mike

    It’s so nice to see one of these that hasn’t rusted through or been hacked up. If only I had the spare money.

  2. Steve R

    This is the same seller that owns the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler that was on this site a week or so ago. From their other listings it looks like they have a good eye for older “classics” or near do well “classics”. They have incorporated that niche into their business model, that’s smart of them.

    Steve R


    nice truck

  4. Mark-A

    That Chrome plated rear bumper spoils the whole look of the vehicle in my eyes, if I bought it first thing I’d want to do is Powder coat it black to tie it in with the rest of the vehicle! Just looks sooooo wrong having such a shiny bumper at the rear when Front, Side Bars & Roll Bar are ALL matt black, also it’d probably be a lot cheaper to powder coat the rear as Chroming all the parts to a shine! As a Non-US citizen I don’t understand why Chrome & Shiny car parts seem to be fitted to almost ALL vehicles on sale in the U.S.

  5. sparkster

    Mark-A go watch the movie American Graffiti it’ll explain how the american car culture fell in love with chrome. As for the rear bumper I would try to find an Toyota oem style rear bumper.

  6. dan

    I tried for years to pry one of these from a co-worker but she wouldn’t let go. Same color, everything. Nice to see one in this shape. Nice truck

  7. JW

    Cool off road vehicle I would love to own.

  8. Howard A Member

    2 door 4Runners are EXTREMELY rare. There were probably a billion 4 doors, but the 2 door was pretty scarce. I had a 2 door 4Runner like this, ’84, I think. Had a V6, automatic, and a ton of miles, but still ran pretty good. The automatic, which I heard cost a bundle to fix, began faltering and I got rid of it. It was a pretty nice truck, but really didn’t do anything well. It rode rough, got so-so mileage, LOUSY heater, crummy Asian seats but went on to become an all time hit with suburbanites. To see one like this is truly amazing. What was neat about these, is you could take the top off for open air cruising. That altimeter, more importantly, was a “roll indicator”. These were very prone to rollovers, and this kind of helped. I believe, Mitsubishi ( or Isuzu) had the same thing. http://pressroom.toyota.com/images/toyota/photo//1998001_1989_4Runner_ragtop-prv.jpg

    • Jrobb

      All 4runners of this body style (first generation, from 1984-1989) are 2 door.

      If it was a second generation 4runner (1990-1995) two door, then yes it would be more scarce. I would classify it as rare but harder to find yes.

  9. Nova Scotian


  10. Gunner

    These are tough trucks. I ought to know, I own one (an 87 pictured below). The 22RE was the only engine offered until 88 when the V6 was introduced. 86 & 87 22RE’s were offered with a turbo to boost power, and are very sought after by collectors today even thought the system could be prone to problems. Introduced in 84, they had solid axles thru 85. The one to own is an 85. You could have gotten FI (the first year for it) and solid axle. 86 was independent suspension in the front for better handling. I have done a great deal of research on the 4Runner and am fond of them today. The second generation introduced in 1990 saw Unibody construction. There were some 2-Door models produced thru 1992, and are very rare and desirable today. Import fees for these special SUV’s were an additional 4K, and that is the reason for the low number production. The example featured here is outstanding condition. 87 was also the last year for the Wing Windows. It will command good money.

    • Kevin Flowers

      The Second Gen 4runners aren’t uni-body, they’re body on frame. I removed my body to rhino line the chassis

  11. Gunner

    Picture did not take before. Round two.

  12. BMW4RunninTundra

    Being the owner of a second generation but first generation luster, I will say that these are hardy vehicles. Yeah, if you are looking for a “cushy ride” this is not it!! At least not the early generations. “Back then” people who purchased these, didn’t usually get them to cruise through town. They were purchased to be used! Usually very hard useage at that! I would love to have this one!! Even though the 22RE engine is underpowered, that what the manual transmission is for. This drivetrain is bullet proof!! Of course only if you take proper care of it maintenance wise. I have a friend who had this one, only in blue, the things we did to it are unmentionable today. I showed it to my Wife last night and scared the wits out of her that I was going to buy it!!! I wish! No more room, at all! I’m even paying to store my boat trailer due to a lack of space!!!
    I tried to attach a pic of my 2nd gen Runner but it won’t come through?! Too bad, she’s a beaut!

  13. AutoArcheologist

    I have one still.. 346,000 miles on the 22RE. However, she is no longer stock.. Loooong time ago she was converted into a rock crawler, exo cage, 37″ Swampers, dual transfer cases, ultra low crawl ratio, dual lockers, big ole Warn 8274 winch, etc… Still runs great!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.