Garage Queen: 1982 Toyota Hilux

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As the owner of a recently-acquired oddball Toyota project, I’ve begun paying closer attention to vintage Toyota trucks. Reason being is there’s some parts-sharing that will help me find replacement components for my rig and because I generally want to learn more about anything I own. Unlike my project, this 1982 Toyota Hilux here on eBay has been kept in excellent condition and is surprisingly free of rust.

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The market for older Toyotas is a tough one to figure out, and partially why I took my chances on the Hiace van. Some models seem to all the rage among collectors of vintage Japanese models, while others still see them as simple-but-good utilitarian transport. For the former group, examples like this Hilux usually command a fair price because they know how hard it is to find them in condition as good as this.

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The Toyota is said to be a long-time California vehicle that was bought new there and remained in the possession of one family owner. The ‘Yota did move east at some point to Virginia but the owners kept it in a heated garage and it saw no winters. The bed topper clearly kept the truck’s main storage area in great shape, with no signs of rust and shiny paint still visible on the fender arches. The truck is now located in the Tri-State area, according the new owner, though the listing says Florida.

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As the seller enthusiastically reminds us, the interior remains in as-new condition and the bodywork is said to be bondo-free. The asking price is $12,500 or best offer, which isn’t out of line with what we’ve seen other clean examples go for, but this is an unpredictable market. Unlike the early days of the P-Car bubble, there have never been lines out the door for older Toyotas. But when someone wants one, they usually pay a fair price to get it. We’ll wait to see what happens here.

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Comments

  1. bdub

    Either you listed the price wrong or it’s been raised another $2,000 since you published your write-up.

  2. George

    The BIN price reads 14,500 which in my opinion anyway is pretty steep. Nice little truck but I just can’t wrap my head around these asking prices.

  3. Dovi65

    $12,500 seems a little on the strong side, tho it’s a place to start negotiating, thinking the final hammer price should be just south of $10k

  4. Bobsmyuncle

    It’ll sell. These command strong money. They are slow, but last forever and are built like tanks.

    My experience tells me that these trucks are being used not collected, so at some point the ceiling will be reached.

    The cost of buy in and their propensity to rust at some point will dull the allure I’d think.

    I had the next generation (also highly covetted) and loved it, but I doubt I’d run another in our rustbelt winters.

  5. DAN

    highly covetted years are 79-85
    solid front axle
    86 ifs started=junk front end off road, smaller ring gear, weak axle joints
    but people swap in ifs axles in all years to present.
    so if I wanted another I would choose whatever year I liked and bust best rust free sample and do a SAS

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Don’t forget the V6 though! A world away from even the contemporary 4 cylinder let alone the earlier.

  6. Howard A Member

    So unusual to see one like this. I had friends with these, and this is what they turned into. http://c8.alamy.com/comp/BEN087/old-rusty-junky-toyota-pickup-truck-BEN087.jpg

    • Bobsmyuncle

      LOL yep Howard that’s about right!

  7. CowboyChris

    Haha I had one of these about 25 years ago it was a rust bucket but we still jump that think 3 or 4 feet off the ground and never broke down once funny thing is it was the same color lots of fun

  8. JW

    Brother inlaw had one he drove the body off it as he was a carpenter, then pulled the motor and trans to put in a custom boat he was building. Guy was always building odd toys.

  9. Glenn hallett

    12,500??? Really there is a 1986 Toyota reg cab 2×4 with a 2.4 diesel so what is that worth?? Seller claims rust free

  10. Jaygryph

    It’s VERY hard to find nice interiors for these trucks. I’ve owned a few and recently bought a whole truck just to get a decent set of door panels. Finding a nice dash pad is near impossible as only an ABS cap exists to pretty them up.

    They do share a number of parts like door handles and mechanicals and such with earlier and later trucks. I’m putting together a 79 that was a magazine show truck and let me tell you, finding nice stock interior is really difficult.

    This price is not going to seem too bad in the not so distant future. These trucks are great rigs and most have been beat to death off road. You can bet money that the prices on Japanese classics like this will rise. They already are. I deal with a lot of the earlier 2wd trucks and those are going up steadily.

  11. jaygryph

    Diesel is uncommon for toyota pickups in the US, so that typically drives the price up. 86 is a crap year for 4×4’s since they have the much less desirable IFS instead of the solid axel. Really, any of these things are just worth what you can get out of them.

    The ‘first gen’ toyota 4×4’s are really going up in price. I’m pleased the 72-78 2wd trucks are seeing some popularity (and some actual aftermarket reproduction on rubbers and soft plastic parts) after years of being ignored. They really are fun little trucks to drive. A short box single cab 2wd is a great scoot around town truck. One of those going slow but feels like you’re driving fast kind of things. They’re fun in the same way a gokart is fun, and surprisingly nimble. I’ve gotten even the 2wd versions of those trucks into places they really shouldn’t have been.

    To each their own I spose. I’m not really of the mindset that horsepower numbers and straight line acceleration are the only metrics by which a vehicle should be measured. Hilux trucks sure don’t have much in the way of those, but they’re a hell of a lot of fun, and just stupidly sturdy.

    Nice examples for cheap might be worth picking up if you have the space to park em for a bit. Nobody is going to actually do that for the most part, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do with your money.

    You can find nice cheap ones, but they’re not often this nice. The nice ones are bringing bucks now. I imagine some are even going back to Japan, where they haven’t had these trucks in a very very long time due to rust and environmental control restrictions.

  12. Moose Feather

    I’ve been looking and found lots at reasonable prices except rarely with a box that is salvageable. Where does a guy find a box?

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Moose Feather, I believe, the box on these was pretty universal. All the Asian trucks from this period used them.( with slight variations) Should be easy down south somewhere, as anywhere else, as my link above shows, the box was usually the 1st thing to go.

  13. Doug Towsley

    The 1970s and early 1980s versions were VERY popular and the drivetrains were excellent. My wifes family had “Old Yeller” a 1978 Wagon and that thing was a legend.
    Modern Toyotas are junk in comparison. We one a 2004 Coralla bought new and still going but is a crappy car in comparison to the quality of the earlier ones.
    These (1970s-early 80s) are highly desirable in my area and put one on CL and you will get bombed with emails and calls. People want a decent one and it seems high priced to me but the demand is high, hard to say what the current prices are as I dont follow them that close. But given the choice I prefer a comparable Datsun. The ONE THING you need to know on these is parts interchange is poor. Datsun=Chevy Toyota=Ford. On these you have to know what month they were made and they always changed stuff with parts that wont interchange. On a Datsun you can use parts from all kinds of years and some other models. 200SX,240Sx and 300ZX parts or even Z car parts will fit my 510 or even 620 truck. Any major work on one of these Toyotas often means 5-6 trips to parts store and one off parts.

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