Preserved SR5: 1983 Toyota Pickup

I visited my 1981 Toyota HiAce project recently, and found myself slipping further into a deep fascination with vintage Toyota vehicles. I’m practically rethinking my years of scoffing at older ‘Yotas as the transportation of people who simply wanted to get there and not develop a connection with their vehicle. Old Toyotas like this 1983 pickup here on eBay may not be oozing with character, but I definitely think they have soul. 

This appears to be a long-bed version of Toyota’s venerable pickup truck, complete with mostly original paint and the SR5 package graphics. The top of the truck – I’m assuming that means the roof – and the bed have been painted with the rest left alone. The OEM mudflaps still appear like new and the polished wheels look good here. Tires appear fresh and with plenty of tread, and though a rear bumper would likely have been required in the U.S., the truck looks good without it.

The long-lived 22R is said to have a mere 125,000 miles, though there is some discrepancy due to a gauge cluster swap from MPH to KPH. The seller is in Canada, so this was most likely a U.S. market vehicle that was imported at some point, leading to the odometer swap which isn’t quite accurate. Still, anything under 200,000 miles means this motor has plenty of life left in it, though the seller doesn’t elaborate on any sort of a maintenance history.

The interior is cleaner than you’d expect for the mileage, and a manual transmission is a must-have in old Toyotas. Though there appears to be three different shades of tan / brown interior surfaces, all paneling looks free of cracks despite being a bit uncoordinated. Bidding is quite active but the reserve remains unmet; our guess is it is somewhere north of $12K. The price on trucks like these will likely continue to accelerate, so now’s the time to buy if you’re hankering for a clean Toyota truck.

Fast Finds


  1. spodeeodee

    Finding one that is not rotted out is key, which means avoiding most Midwest and Eastcost vehicles. The rust worm eats these trucks with a voracious appetite.

  2. Kevin

    This is not a SR-5 as advertised….if it was it would have the letter S in the vin….this is a deluxe, has the D in the vin…..the vin doesn’t lie….

  3. Rob

    I remember seeing plenty of these without the back bumper. Wish I had the cash and the time right now.

  4. JW

    These were durable little trucks and cheap on gas even for a 4×4, but as stated in the Midwest the body rusted away before the drivetrain gave out. I would love to have this in my garage.

  5. Alfie

    You could order a pickup without a rear bumper (it was an option!) up till the ’90s.

  6. Fred W.

    Biff, got my truck waxed yet? What did you do with the roll bar and fog lights?

  7. David Kirk

    I’ve got an 1986 version, still carbureted, 4×4, and a total blast to drive. Very old school with roll-up windows that always work and it all just feels right. The tailgate makes the perfect workbench!

    Like 1
  8. Warren

    In Canada, swapping odometer legally, must be inspected or even done by certified person. Then, another sticker/plate gets slapped on the door pillar(or where ever) near the VIN plate, which states original odometer mileage as well as new odometer mileage. This is the only way to know for sure the actual mileage.

  9. LAB3

    I’m pretty sure rear bumpers where an option or at least considered an option in those days. Bought a new 1991 GMC Sonoma and went at it with the dealer over having to pay extra for a piece of mandated safety equipment. Their argument was people wanted a choice of bumper, mine was it was a piece of mandated safety equipment and it should automatically include a base level bumper and if they didn’t put one on I’d go somewhere else for the bumper. They said they couldn’t let it leave the lot without one so I got up and said “Sorry we couldn’t make a deal” and headed toward the door. As if by magic they “found” one and included it in the price.

  10. T Mel

    As I recall rear bumpers were not required on pickup trucks in the early 80’s.

  11. ccrvtt

    Marty got his truck back. The Cubs actually won the World Series. But Biff pawned the roll bar and lights to finance his run for the presidency. Look where that got us…

  12. sparkster

    Looks like an SR-5 , bumpers or not, Base trucks didn’t come with tach’s or fake wood trim. My 1983 SR-5 interior looked the same

  13. Gig Harbor Car Nut

    I remember this generation Toyota trucks. It’s a shame that they’re not as popular today as they were 30 yrs ago. I love small trucks. They can do anything the big boys can do, but in a smaller package.

    • Steve


  14. BMW4RunninTundra

    Man this is beautiful!!! I had an 84 2WD. Everything, I mean everything was manual!!!!! Did not even have a 5 speed, only 4!!!!!!!!!!!! I bought it with the front end ripped off and about 200K on it. Fixed it all up and drove that thing for another 250K+!!! Then an idiot in a box van pulled out in front of me while was running about 60MPH. Needless to say there was nothing left of the truck. Me, I walked away without a scratch. I literally cried afterwards because I knew it was totaled and there was no way to fix it with what was left!!!! I am still all Toyota minus my “Garage Queen” BMW. Wish I had the space. I’d buy it in a heartbeat!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Brakeservo

    Do these have soul?? How could you even ask?? Obviously the guy who asks just doesn’t know . . . .

    Half a million miles – mine just keeps on tickin’ on and on and on . . .

    Yes, the sharp eyed will notice above Mercedes wheel covers and the Bentley badge on the hood . . . as well as the Northwest Classic “Monte Shelton” Rally sign on the door. And it will still break 100 whenever I put my foot down. Not bad for 2.4 liters of four banger that’s gone to the moon and back so far!

  16. Leon

    well into the 90s a rear bumper was not required unless maybe some states I bought a base model Mighty Max 91 in 95 from original owner I later added a bumper the Toyota dealer near me in New Orleans through the early 90s sold many base model trucks with no back bumpers

  17. Rex Rice

    I had a 1983 Mohave Toyota pickup. Only made in’83 & ’84, they were gold colored, had special interiors, cruise tilt and A/C with a special alloy back bumper. The alloy wheels were also special. and these many years later, I have them on my ’90 Toyota pickup.
    They were so rare that when one came down the road, we stopped and chatted. One of the best trucks I have ever known, it died after 238,00 miles, way too soon.

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