Rare 2WD Spec: 1989 Toyota Pickup V6 5-Speed

Toyota has long been known for creating oddball versions of its mass production vehicles, from four-wheel drive Camrys with six-cylinders and a stick to turbocharged hot hatches with all-wheel drive and true rally car heritage. This 1989 Toyota Xtracab Pickup is another such anomaly, featuring the extended cab, long bed, two-wheel drive, and a V6 paired to a manual gearbox. It seems likely this was a special order vehicle when new, or at least one of a very few sitting on dealer lots across the country with this equipment. Find the Toyota here on eBay with bidding approaching $4,000 and no reserve.

The Toyota is a stock example that the seller claims was well maintained all of its life in Maryland, as it was recently acquired from the long-time original owner. Aside from some cosmetic issues that come with the passage of time (sun fading, clearcoat peel, and some rust on the exhaust), the Toyota is said to be in good shape with no major corrosion issues aside from a small spot in the floor of the bed. Fortunately, the bed cap has helped keep the long bed protected from the elements, and just repainting the cap would likely do wonders for the truck’s appearance. Chrome bumpers are said to be in sound condition with no major damage from parking lot encounters.

The interior is a period-correct color scheme for an early 90s truck, with varying shades of red across the seats, dashboard, carpet, and door panels. The cloth buckets do suffer from some sun fade, so combined with the clear coat peel on the exterior, it seems likely the Toyota spent some time outdoors. Fortunately, rural Maryland (I’m making the guess that this was a farm truck of sorts) is fairly kind weather-wise, as the mid-Atlantic doesn’t live in a salt-encrusted basin like the Northeast tends to. The five-speed manual likely makes the V6 feel peppier than it is, and while it may seem like a bargain-basement spec with two-wheel drive, there’s also very little that can go wrong with a truck like this.

The V6 was rated at 145 b.h.p. and 180 lb-ft of torque when new. While no details are offered on the truck’s mechanical history, one would hope that a longtime owner would be diligent about timing belt changes (this is an interference motor), water pumps, and the like. Toyota did perform head gasket recalls on this engine when it was new, and you can still see if the VIN pops up in a dealer database as having been done. If it were mine, I’d remove the bed cap and add a black tonneau cover, and then possibly find a larger diameter steel wheel to replace the stock rollers. Other than that, I’d simply detail the truck and enjoy it for the oddball specimen that it is.

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Comments

  1. Travis Saffery

    This is a common truck that if your lucky will sell for 4000. They literally sold thousands of these with these specific options. The 3.0 V6 is one of the worst motors toyota built. Low power and prone to head gasket failures that had a factory recall for it. Not sure who said this was rare but they should look up facts before submitting bad info.

    Like 7
  2. alphasud Member

    I don’t think this is a oddball combination. Back in 89 the majority of pickup trucks were still 2wd and extra cab was starting to take hold over the single cab configuration. Yes, the rust belt saw its majority of trucks being optioned with 4X4. The south and the west didn’t need 4X4. The V6 wasn’t as well accepted as the 4cylinder and it was initially plagued with head gasket issues that Toyota had to service under a campaign. Plus it really was a gutless wonder. Still a nice truck which will run for many years to come.

    Like 9
    • Todd Zuercher

      I agree. These trucks were everywhere 15-20 years ago. I had several co-workers with rigs of this configuration. We still have some around here in AZ, but not a lot.

      Like 3
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    Better check – it says that the high bid is $2225 right now.

  4. Bobby

    What’s rare about this?

    Like 6
    • Doug from MD.

      What’s rare is its not rusted to pieces like most MD. vehicles of this year. MD salts the roads hours before a winter storm and also sprays a salt based solution down on the roads. Very hard on any vehicle driven in winter. Trust me I’ve been in MD 62yrs.

      Like 3
  5. David

    I bought an ‘86 new with a 5-speed and the 4cyl. I still miss that sweet thing. I drove it 4 years before it needed any repair and that was only a rear seal leak. Hint: don’t drive them 80-90mph every day. They tend to not like that.

    Like 3
  6. Erik

    These fetch higher prices because NONE of the manufacturers, including Toyota, make small trucks like this anymore and so for those who still want or need a small “occasional use” pickup for weekend projects or for those who need a small truck for daily business (ie. landscapers), they snatch up these older trucks…at least what is left of them.

    Yes there used to be a ton of these on the road at one time. I had a 1980 Toyota pickup that was 2wd and longbed and when I sold it it had 332k miles on it and still had lots of life left in it. Years ago I was chatting with a guy who grew up in sub-Saharan Africa but came to U.S. to attend college and while in college started scouring salvage yards for wrecked or rusted out Toyota trucks and would pull the engines and transmissions and pay the salvage yard then pile the engines and transmissions into shipping containers to be shipped back to his “home” in sub-Saharan Africa where they would be put into Toyotas that were still solid as a rock but had after 300-500k miles the engines and transmissions had grown “tired”. This turned into a profitable “side hustle” that paid his way through college and then later funded other business ventures while I still continued to “export” used Toyota engines and transmissions.

    Like 2
    • Little_Cars

      A neighbor of mind was doing the same side hustle roughly around 1996-1999. However the trucks sat far too long before they would go away so I tattled on him to the authorities. Turns out the side hustle also involved shipping entire trucks with their door cavities, spare tire well and behind the dash area filled with illegal drugs. The DEA were pleased with these findings.

      Like 1
  7. Steve RM

    I had an 89 extra cab 2wd V6. That truck had plenty of power. Lots of low end torque and pretty fast besides. I still have a 91 4cyl 2wd regular cab with 220,000 miles on it. Also has lots of power but not as much torque. I live on the coast and it’s starting to get a little rusty. I’d like to upgrade but as mentioned earlier there are no small trucks sold in this country. I doubt any new truck sold here gets as good a gas mileage as my 91. That’s pretty sad.

    Like 2
  8. JCA Member

    I’d rather have the 4cyl, 5 spd and standard cab and bed. They were light and felt quicker than they probably were. Great trucks

    Like 2
    • David

      JCA, that’s what I had, 4cylinder 5-speed, with AC, an 8 foot bed and it was a 1-ton! Stiff suspension and could carry a load AND pull a trailer with ease. Lord, I miss that truck!

  9. 4 Speed

    TOYOTA
    1.5L (1A-C, 3A-C & 3E) Interference
    1.5L (3E-E & 5E-FE) Non-Interference
    1.6L DOHC (4A-F & 4A-FE) Interference
    1.6L DOHC (4A-GE & 4A-GZE) Non-Interference
    1.6L SOHC Non-Interference
    1.8L Diesel Interference
    1.8L DOHC Gasoline Interference
    2.0L Non-Interference
    2.2L Diesel Interference
    2.2L Gasoline Non-Interference
    2.4L Diesel Interference
    2.5L Non-Interference
    2.8L Non-Interference
    3.0L Inline 6 (Except 1998 2JZ-GE) Non-Interference
    3.0L Inline 6 VVT-i (1998 2JZ-GE) Interference
    3.0L V6 Non-Interference
    3.3L V6 Conflicting information, treat as though interference
    3.4L Non-Interference
    4.7L Interference
    List Of Interference Engines
    https://autotech912.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/list-of-interference-engines/

    Like 1
  10. Tom

    Owned a 1984 Toyota 4×4 extra cab non-turbo diesel, 5 speed, best truck I ever owned up in Canada, but, frame was letting go, had it patched with angle iron, and distant job became local job, ended up selling to someone who required worst than me. Paid $1500 CND to replace clutch, that was the only major issue I had.

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