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Tough Trac: 1989 Toyota All-Trac

031416 Barn Finds - 1989 Toyota All Trac 1

Yes, that’s a winch that you’re looking at. Believe it or not, this 1989 Toyota All-Trac found in Hendersonville, NC on Craigslist has a winch on the front bumper! That’s no photoshop trick, there really is a winch on this Toyota AWD wagon. The seller wants $2,000 for this tough little All-Trac.

031416 Barn Finds - 1989 Toyota All Trac 2

This Toyota Corolla All-Trac was a wagon in the spirit of the Subaru 4WD wagon: sort of a slightly-raised, sort of off-road sort of car. But, the All-Trac system was different in that it had a full-time symmetric, four-wheel-drive system with an electronic/vacuum-controlled, locking center differential. Pretty sophisticated for a Toyota, eh? That was a rare feature for a car to have, no question about it. Starting in 1988 this system was available in the Camry, Corolla, Previa (remember those spaceship vans?), Celica, and Rav4 for the US market.

031416 Barn Finds - 1989 Toyota All Trac 4

Boom, that’s a 5-speed right there. And, since this is a manual transmission model there is a switch in there to lock the center differential and control the control, so to speak; to synchronize the front and rear axles to a 50-50 distribution of power to front and rear wheels. As you guessed, it’s automatically-controlled on an automatic transmission car. Sure, the interior could a shower, but it looks decent in there other than needing a good cleaning. I should be so lucky. There are no power windows here, but there is is enough leg and head room for the average bear.

031416 Barn Finds - 1989 Toyota All Trac 5

This is Toyota’s 1.6L 4-cylinder making around 90hp. Again, not a ton of power and even though this car weighs about 2,400 pounds, the 5-speed will make it seem like you’re going faster than you probably are. The seller is the original owner’s son and he says that this car has a “new crank, oil pump, new clutch kit and timing belt kit.” Not to mention, “a new battery, re-manufactured alternator and new belt.” He has spent over $2,700 updating the mechanicals on this car and now it’s ready for you.

031416 Barn Finds - 1989 Toyota All Trac 3

Yes, that’s a rusty piece of plate steel in place of a rear bumper and it has a trailer hitch welded onto it. Ok, so you may want to put a replacement bumper on the back with a regular trailer hitch, but since you’re getting this great car for only $2,000 that shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. Is this one too new or too crusty for you, or are you liking the front and rear treatment on this 4WD wagon?


  1. Avatar photo MIkeG

    If you tried pulling this car out of a ditch with that winch, you’d end up with a winch and a bumper next to a tree, but the car would still be in the ditch.

    Very well built cars, but that All-Trac system may be getting a bit tired, which could cause some worry. I don’t know how reliable those traction systems were made.

    It’d make a nice ski car with a little cleaning.

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    • Avatar photo wuzjeepnowsaab

      The All-Trac system was good for driving on roads but not meant for off-roading anywhere…the winch makes me go hmmm

      These wagons rusted terribly…friend had one where the rear gate rusted right off. Seen many more like it too. Eating salted potato chips would make them rot away

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Chebby

    The winch and trailer hitch say this thing has been worked hard.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Donnie

    the guy should have just bought a truck

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  4. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    The “salvage title” has me a little concerned. In Wis. once a car has a salvage title, it’s hard to get a regular title. Be better if it was missing altogether, which also makes me wonder about the story. ( I think this car was junked) I suppose a winch could come in handy, but 4 wheel drive and winch are something more for the N.Woods, instead of NC. personally, I like 4 wheel drives, where you get out and lock the hubs, and a lever connects the 2 axles. Not much to go wrong there. Looks a little tired, I’d pass. ( but I’d pass on practically any Asian vehicle)

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo JW

      Howard I agree totally, 4×4’s need locking hubs and it’s own shifter for me to really enjoy it. Those to me and my own personal opinion are real man trucks because my wife wouldn’t drive them but will drive our 2010 F-150 crew cab because it has the electric switch 4×4 and no hubs to lock. No offense to anyone personally !!!

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo scooby

      problem is now a days that the only way to get lock out hubs is an F250 and above from Ford, don’t see any other company still making them.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo AMC STEVE

    It looks like it’s parked in a salvage yard. I’m not buying the story and it has rust on the lower rocker panels and probably continues underneath where I suspect rot.
    This guy is clever with a the camera angles but you can’t hide it.
    Chalk it up as deceiving and move on.

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  6. Avatar photo jim s

    i liked the all trac with the manual transmission when they came out. this one would need a PI even at the asking price. could get some of your money back selling the winch. interesting find.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Tim

    That’s not a winch, it’s a bumper remover!

    Like 0

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