Turbo Custom Cab! 1985 Toyota 4×4 Pickup

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

Here’s a truck that checks quite a few boxes: it’s a 1985 Toyota 4×4 Turbo Custom Cab pickup! The seller is “asking” $2,500, which of course means that everyone will go all Rick Harrison on them with excuse-filled lowball offers. This one is on Craigslist in Buffalo, Kansas. I wonder if it would have been worth more if instead of the unshown 2.4L 22R-E turbo engine it would have had the diesel option? Speaking of engines, the seller lists it as being a “22re turbo” engine. I thought that this would have been the 22R-TE, which debuted in 1986, but I could be wrong. And, speaking of wrong, just plain wrong, this is thee only photo in the ad! Ugh, I know, right? A person selling a vehicle includes exactly one photo, and then that one photo shows a dented fender, missing bumper end, mismatched wheels, wipers stopped halfway across the windshield, possible rust by the back wheel, etc. It’s only reasonable to assume that most of us are dreading seeing the other side which surely has to be in worse condition?

Here’s another Custom Cab Toyota pickup that I ran across on the internet, this one is obviously in much better condition than the subject truck is and it was for sale for $9,000 about a year ago. The “Custom Cab” came about in the 1970s before small truck makers started to jump on the bandwagon to provide more seating in a pickup. Wasn’t a pickup supposed to be for hauling things in the back, not for hauling several people around in? I guess, now they can do both, which is a good thing. This was a custom process done by Fabco or Custom Fab, but several other companies also did conversions. For $5,000 over the price of the truck – $11,320 in today’s dollars – they would stretch it and put on the fiberglass extended cab. The seller of the red truck says that it “is in pretty good shape only has a little surface rust on the bed the frame is really nice no rust at all.” And, that it needs “new cv axles for the front”. I think that this is one heck of a lot of truck for $2,500, what do you think?

Get Daily Email Updates:


  1. Travis

    This truck ia an 86 with the IFS and Turbo. I would be leary about the cheap price. It could have different papers from an 85.

  2. JW

    If your handy with a wrench and you only want a truck for hauling $2500 doesn’t sound bad. But I would want a PI or more pictures before laying down the cash. Toyota trucks are awesome as far as being dependable. Our 2002 Tundra was over 250K before the kid hit a tractor trailer with it and totaled it.

  3. Gunner

    You are correct on the turbo. It was for 86 and 87 only. The introduction of the V6 in 88 killed the turbo, regrettably. They were only made in limited numbers for those two years and could be temperamental. If this is a factory TE, then it is an 86. If it is an 85, then it would have the desirable solid axle. I am kind of a nut on these 80’s Toyotas as I own a 87 4Runner with about 165K on the clock with the factory R-E engine. They are great trucks and can take punishment. This configuration is pretty rare nowdays. 2500 is reasonable IMO.

  4. Doug Towsley

    The cabs are very interesting,,, Weird but appealing. I built a hyrid Datsun PU using a 1972 and added a 79 King cab and thought i was clever,, but this is on a whole different level.
    I have fantasized about modding a 1930s-40 style Pickup front cab with a Semi truck sleeper box-cab extension and a modular flat bed that can go stake side, or use a lightweight cargo box thats enclosed… but modern-ish power train. Early style with later model reliability. I think it would be a fun project but way too many in line already.

  5. Fogline

    Is the back and side window broken? Could account for the “reasonable” price. I think the market on these depends a lot where they are. I agree with gunner though that one could drive this probably forever for little money and have a very handy hauler that is hard to break.

    • moorevisual

      I think thats some old tint bubbling up

    • fish56

      Looks like privacy glass for a bathroom shower door.

    • Bruce Member

      That is water from a very recent but light rain shower. See the sidewalls of tires and note the wet hood. This could also explain the wiper position if they didn’t wait for them to return to the off position before shutting off the ignition.

  6. Neal

    I’m assuming the frame was extended to make space for that cab extension?
    Also, How did these early turbos hold up in the long haul; I had an ’85 Subaru Turbo wagon that liked to crack cylinder heads despite immaculate maintenance and cooling the turbo/engine by idling for a minute each time before shutoff to lubricate the turbo bearings.

  7. Woodie Man

    That’s an odd duck. Saw a similar one out this way recently…. but a two wheel drive.

  8. Ted Bethel

    I Can’t tell if it’s and 85 it would definitely be a straight axle. It’s hard to tell with only one picture, but if it is an 85 with the 22R-TE turbo and Custom Cab it would be a Smokin deal for $2,500. I’m a big fan of these 79 through 85 straight axle Toyota 4×4’s I own a 82 SR5 4×4 p/u with a 22R Weber carb(32/36DGV Progressive 2 Barrel) Downey header and Flowmaster exhaust. I’ve had the truck since it was only a year old “it’s my hall my dirt bike take out 4-wheeling” on occasion so it’s barely got a hundred and nine thousand original miles on a 35 year old truck. I have other vehicles, but I’ll never get rid of my truck. Straight axle Toyota rule!!!!!

  9. Rx7turboII

    Marty McFly would be ashamed of this conversion…lol

  10. Dutch

    I’ve got a 87 standard cab 4×4 yote with a 1984 2.4 yote diesel in it. Cane from a rusted out factory diesel 4×4. I’m wait big to get in my new place to swapbyhe solid axle into it. Right now it has 118,000 original miles on the engine.

  11. craZee

    Had one of these 30 yrs ago. New boss told me to go out and buy “any kind of truck I wanted”. I doubt this is what he had in mind, but he never complained. Loved that truck!


Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.