Impressive Survivor: 1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5

This first generation Toyota 4Runner presents a quandary of being the kind of vehicle that can go anywhere, but being too nice to take everywhere. The oldest 4Runners around tend to suffer from abusive off-roaders or weak vintage sheetmetal, which never fares well when used in the type of climates a SUV would be most useful. Somehow, this 1986 model has enjoyed a life of gentle use and obsessive care, making it one of the better ones to appear recently. Find it here on eBay where bidding is at $5,600 and the reserve remains unmet.

As the owner of a recently unearthed 1986 Isuzu Trooper project, I firmly believe old-school SUVs are going to follow the same trajectory of the FJ40 Land Cruisers and the Scout, and begin picking up steam value-wise. Nostalgia is a powerful drug, and now that every SUV is too blinged off to take off-road, or too complex to risk a computer system failure stranding you on a isolated trail, collectors are looking at square body SUVs lovingly, knowing that were hugely capable right out of the box and beautifully simple to fix. This 4Runner comes with an outstanding interior with virtually no sun-fading.

Under the hood, the tough-as-nails 22RE has been maintained at the hands of a former machinery technician in the Coast Guard. The timing chain was done prior to the current owner, who acquired the 4Runner via a dealer that took it in from an estate sale. Under his ownership, the seller has replaced the plugs, air filter, alternator, thermostat, engine temperature sensor, and U-joints. New floor mats were also installed. Cosmetically, it has no major issues, but the seller did divulge that some rust has begun creeping in around the rear driver side and passenger side wheel well and two small spots on bottom of tailgate.

All glass is original, as is the cassette deck. When it comes to old-school SUVs, the 4Runner will always be a favorite. It’s got Japanese reliability and a huge following, so fellow enthusiasts are never hard to find. The roof comes off and factory roll bars make you feel somewhat safe doing so. Manual controls and new General Grabber tires will give you almost too much confidence when leaving the pavement, but that’s where a truck like this shines – and makes you appreciate your investment even more than when it was sitting in your garage.


  1. 8banger Dave Mika Member

    I had the ’85 version of this – the last of the solid front axles.

    Like 4
  2. 68custom

    Bought an 86 4WD pick up new and drove it for twenty years, probably still runs. would love to own this one, nice 4 runner!

    Like 2
  3. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    A buddy had a Winebago made Toyota Trekker, the daddy of the 4Runner, it was a cool truck, and most Toyotas are pretty reliable. I agree they are starting to be collectible, I have added a 1977 Toyota truck and 1983 Supra to my barn found hoarder collection, sold a 2000 MR2 Spyder that I had twice. Hmm can’t post a pic.

    Like 1
  4. nycbjr Member

    Me want! :-)

    Like 1
  5. Kevin

    Absolutely stunning! I wish mine was a good as this one

  6. Rube Goldberg Member

    I had one of these. It was a darn nice truck, but too complicated. I liked my “Iron Pig” ( FJ55) a lot better.

    Like 1
    • Robert J

      I had both. This is not much more complicated than an Fj55 plus the 22re is way better on gas than the 2F is.

      Like 1
  7. Dave McN

    It was my first Toyota traded a 70 Boss 302 for it. It began a life long affection with toyota products. Getting rid of the Boss was an OUCH

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