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Inspection Report Included: 1986 Toyota Supra

A mixed bag is how I would describe this first-year member of Toyota’s third-gen Supra. This 1986 example presents well and includes an inspection report that seems to check out OK – that is until you read the additional seller notes included in the listing. I gravitated towards this car because I owned a very similar 1990 edition and wanted to take a trip down memory lane – I guess. Anyway, this Toyota Tourer is located in New London, Wisconsin and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $2,525 with fourteen bids tendered so far.

This generation of the Supra is notable as it was separated from the Celica on which the original variant was based. Some refer to this model year as 1986.5 due to its mid-year introduction. From a subjective perspective, I think Toyota got the styling absolutely right and that was one of the facets that caught my attention so many years ago (especially when compared to what followed it…). The finish and body on this 130K mile example is still clean and tight, there doesn’t appear to be any sign of poor repairs or crash damage. It’s a matter of preference but I prefer the “spoilerless” look – I actually removed the one that was on my ’90 and felt it was better for it. This Supra is not a Targa body style and I must admit that I enjoyed the removable aspect of mine except for…you had to use a special Allen wrench to loosen the header attachment bolts making removal and reattachment cumbersome and time-consuming.

Powering this topline Toyota is a 200 net HP, 3.0 liter, in-line six-cylinder engine and from this embedded video, it seems to run and drive pretty well. My ’90 was equipped the same way, and it was a wonderful road car but really lacked in the power department, especially when the perpetually troublesome A/C was on. The seller suggests that this five-speed manual transmission equipped Supra will soon need a clutch and adds a list of other items to consider such as, “Power Steering Feed Line Leak, AC Belt Removed, Driveshaft Center Bearing Loose, U Joints Loose, Aftermarket Oil Drain Valve Leaks, Rear Shocks Leak, Clutch Pedal Low, Fuel Door Release Inop, Power Antenna Inop, Seats Torn“.

The leather upholstery seems OK on first blush but as previously stated, there is a tear or two. Back to my ’90, the leather material didn’t hold up well at all and I had some of it reupholstered – it was sadly lacking what I would consider to be typical Toyota quality. The rest of the environment, as in the dash, carpet, and door panels check out. Not surprisingly, the back seat is in fine shape, which is often the case with old cars but I would suggest that in this case, it’s more so because it is not useable for adults. It does work fine for kids and that’s how mine was employed. One nagging problem that I encountered was the HVAC control head which was finicky at best, sometimes the buttons worked when pushed and sometimes they didn’t. Replacing the unit is not difficult but it was a very expensive piece so I never bothered. I don’t know if that’s a common issue or if I just got stuck with a problematic component.

Verdict? Well it definitely needs some work – and that clutch issue will be an undertaking, but what’s wrong overall is not surprising for a 38-year-old car that has experienced 130K miles of use. I don’t want another one of these but if you’re interested in experiencing what a high-line Toyota model was like before all of the very expensive and complicated technology took over, here you go. The bidding is still trending in very reasonable territory, so far, so perhaps one to consider?


  1. Avatar photo Carbuzzard Member

    A handyman’s special: I you can do it yourself, have at it. If you have to pay* someone else, it could become expensive. That said, kudos to the seller for being honest…as far as we know. But isn’t that always the case?

    *Accidentally started this word with the wrong letter, it that’s true too.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Tom Verderamo

      These were great cars well made, I wonder how thd pafts svsilability is todsy?

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Lawrence Smith

    My daughter had an 86 model 5speed, back in 91 fun car to drive she loved it ,she regrets selling it.

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo suprarossa

    I prefer the wingless style also, although my ’92 is spoilered. I’m actually looking for a non-turbo for my wife to drive to events with me, but it has to be automatic, no matter how hard I have tried to teach her. Your 1990 climate control button sticking problem is common with the 89-92 units, but prices for replacements are much lower now than when you were looking.

    Like 2

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