Rough but Ready: 1980 Toyota SR5 Pickup

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In the event of a nuclear war, it’s guaranteed that two things will survive. The first will be cockroaches, while the Toyota Pickup will run a pretty close second. This 1980 SR5 Pickup is pretty rough and ready, but it looks like it is a solid vehicle that has plenty of hard work left in it. It is being offered for sale with a BIN price of $6,495, although there is the option to make an offer. The Toyota is located in Saint Louis, Missouri, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

Okay, so it’s not the prettiest of vehicles, but the Toyota does appear to be relatively solid. The owner provides some photos of the floor and frame, and they look good. Similarly, the bed looks like it is okay, and there’s little rust visible in the sides of the tray. There is rust visible under the rear window, but this was a pretty common occurrence on the Toyota Pickup, and it is easy to repair. The rest of the body looks solid, although the paint is tired, and could use a refresh.

The interior of the Toyota is also rough, but it isn’t beyond help. A really good clean and some new door trims would do it the world of good. The upholstery on the seats isn’t original, and I think that I would probably throw some aftermarket seat covers on if I was going to use this in dirty environments, as I think that the material could stain quite easily. I’m not sure what has happened to the door trims, but recovering them wouldn’t be a big job, or the new owner could always source some vinyl trims to match the dash.

Under the hood is the 18R 4-cylinder engine, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. This SR5 is also fitted with dual-range 4-wheel-drive. The owner says that the engine starts and runs really well, which is really no real surprise. The 18R engine is like the rest of the vehicle, being virtually indestructible. It’s a shame that it’s not a diesel, as those engines are incredibly tractable when the going gets tough. Still, there really isn’t anything wrong with what’s under the hood anyway. A good clean would really make the world of difference under the hood, and that’s something that is probably worth the effort. The Toyota is also fitted with air conditioning, but the owner is unsure whether this blows cold.

With a 2-liter engine under the hood, this SR5 is never going to be a great tow car, but if you want a vehicle that you can just throw some camping gear into and get out into the wilds, then this would be perfect. It may not be the prettiest or flashiest car on the planet, but not only will it get you virtually anywhere you would want to go, but its legendary reliability should ensure that it also gets you back home. It’s also a vehicle that won’t cause you stress is it gets the occasional scratch or ding because these will just keep adding to the vehicle’s character.

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  1. brettucks

    Ive seen far nicer ones for 1/2 the price recently in AZ. These are easy to work on and this could be fixed up- but no point at that price.

    Like 9
  2. PDXBryan

    I am totally down with old Toyota trucks and believe they should be valued appropriate to their inherent goodness. However…..over $6K is way too much for one that needs this much help. If this is worth 6K then my ’82 Diesel must be worth $10K! I don’t think so.

    Like 10
  3. JimmyJ

    Should be a 20r motor
    Needs a 5 speed as it’ll scream on the hwy
    Cool truck….way overpriced

    Like 6
  4. ccrvtt

    I’m definitely not a truck guy but this Toy truck and the Canadian GMC featured here could change my mind. This one has a perfect stance – in your face and purposeful.

    Way overpriced, but nice.

    Like 2
    • James Somonds

      Yes, it must be a 20 R engine. It states that it is a 2 liter. If in fact that it is a 2 liter, than, it is definately a 20R. I owned one of these many years ago.

      Like 1
    • FOG

      Yes, a good iconic mini truck. But, have to agree that the asking price should be more at $3500, due to its condition at this point. No offense, just makes sense.

      Like 1
  5. James Somonds

    No offence intended, but this truck, is way way over priced. I personally, would not even consider paying half the asking price. I owned one of these, many years ago. Unfortunately, it was stolen. These had an R20 engine. It was a nice engine, BUT, I prefer the R22E. Good luck to whoever purchases it. I do hope the owner will be more reasonable on the price.

    Like 1
  6. MGSteve

    Agree. I had an ’83, pretty much like this. Had 331,000 when I sold it, for $1100.00, about 2 years ago. Mine was in better shape than this one, so yaw, I think this is overpriced by about a factor of 4. The thing still ran like a top, but the radio display didn’t work, no biggie, the dome light didn’t work . . . all the silly arse stuff. But hey, it was the best work truck ever. When I ran into ’04 Toyota (and no dang sport or crew cab . . . yay) that had a 5spd, PS, PB and AC, and the radio display and dome light worked, and was in nice shape, I pounced. That truck, with only 94K on it, was $4500. So, yup, this guy is dreaming. But . . . . good luck!

    Like 0
  7. Karl D.

    In 1980 my contractor neighbors bought three of these–a 4×4 like this one, a 3/4 ton with a pickup bed, and a 1-ton that they put a flatbed body on to carry a diesel fuel tank for their machines. These were tough little devils. My neighbors were VERY hard on vehicles, and the 3/4-ton and 1-ton were only finished off by major accidents. The ultimate test, which the 1-ton passed, was to drag a Mack R600 tandem dump truck home to the yard after it broke down miles away. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

    Like 1
  8. MGSteve

    When it comes to these trucks, I would believe anything. I bought our 83 in a rush. Needed a work truck “NOW”, and had not been able to hook up with anything, after about a dozen failed attempts. Finally, actually met up with the guy. He wanted $1800, and I was willing to pay that, but literally without negotiating he said “I’ll take $1500.” “What if it doesn’t pass smog?” “OK, make it 1400, and if it passes, send me the difference.” I had to tweak a few things to get it to pass, so did not send back any $$$. I popped the major dent out of cab roof with my hands, found a better LH door and hood in a wrecking yard, same color paint. Switched those out, gave the interior a good cleaning (and found over $50 worth of coins under the seat), and drove it for 23 years, adding another 160K miles, replacing one head gasket during that time (OK, changed oil, tune ups, etc.) As I said in previous message, and then sold it for $1100. Never pulled out a Mack truck, but did a lot of other grunt jobs w/it . . . and only 2WD.

    Like 1

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