Worth $35,000? 1985 Toyota DLX Pickup

Finding a 1985 Toyota pickup truck on Barn Finds is not a typical event.  It’s not a barn find per se (though the seller claims that’s where he found it), it’s not a classic muscle something or other, it’s not a, “Hey, I remember those, haven’t seen one in years” it’s, well, a bit different. Nevertheless, that’s what we have to examine today so let’s see what the story is. This 1985 Toyota DLX pickup is located in Hollister, California, and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $35,000.

Yes, you read that correctly, $35 large for a 23K mile, 4×4, Japanese pickup truck. The seller describes his truck this way, “People use the words rare, and clean all to often, I try not too. That being said, best of luck finding a North American version of this highly sought after pickup with such low miles in this condition.” Playing devil’s advocate and considering the price, my thought is what not just buy a new 2021 Tacoma TRD Off-Road edition? According to Toyota’s website, it lists for $34,315.

The seller purchased this truck from the proverbial little old lady who bought it new and then could no longer drive so she parked it in a barn. In spite of its low mileage and storage situation, it was repainted a few years ago. No doubt about it, it looks great! With no rust or dents, the truck was disassembled for painting and then had new graphic decals applied. The new paint was not applied to the cargo bed but it looks fine just the same. The seller claims that the exterior redo cost $5,400. The entire package presents very well.

Power is courtesy of a 2.4 liter, “22R”, in-line, four-cylinder engine working through a five-speed manual transmission and engaging both front and rear differentials. I can say from experience that the 22R was one of Toyota’s greatest hits. The seller describes this Toyota’s operating characteristics as “Mechanically the truck is as sound as they come. It starts cold perfectly, makes no strange noises, and drives nicely. It has great road manners all around.” The underhood image helps to authenticate this truck’s mileage claim. It’s unfortunate that this version of the 2.4 engine is the carbureted 22R version and not fuel injected 22RE, an enhancement that came to passenger cars two years earlier and makes a big difference in power and driveability. Nevertheless, it is still a sound powertrain combination.

The interior is perfect and is listed as 100% original. By ’85 Toyota, and other pickup truck manufacturers had made improvements to their interiors to make them less spartan and more accomodating. Being a DLX, this truck is the rubber mat version but the interior is still a nice blend between workday functionality and a welcoming driver environment. It really needs nothing.

There you have it, it’s a like-new 1985 Toyota DLX pickup with a not so new price. I posited the question at the beginning, new or used? What would you do, go for this pristine 35-year-old example, or spend the same coin and go for a new one with everything that constitutes a modern pickup?


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  1. alphasud Member

    It’s a really nice truck and I’m sure he will get a lot more money than what he put into it. Show it to a large enough audience and there will be someone out there who wants it enough. Personally this would not be a truck I lust after. I have a truck. It’s a 04 F350 I use for work. It’s got dents and scratches, it’s dependable and it hauls anything and pulls anything I need it to do. What would I do with a truck like this? I could drive it on weekends and in sunny weather and enjoy a vintage Japanese truck or I could hop in my old Corvair Corsa or VW and do the same. I’d rather do he latter.

    Like 10
  2. ace10

    The beautiful 1st year LE Pickup that sold this weekend went for $26 and change. It is VASTLY more desirable that this one being flipped. Not even in the same realm, really.

    Like 5
  3. Caozman

    The world would fall off its axis without dreamers.

    Like 4
  4. Engident

    “Hey, check out that 4×4!” …I got $35k for him if it comes with a hover conversion

    Like 2
  5. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Cue “Dreamer” by Supertramp in regards to the asking price

    Like 5
  6. Francisco

    I have some ocean front property in Arizona.

    Like 6
    • stu

      How much for that ocean front property in Arizona? Sounds like a BARGAIN!

      Like 1
      • Francisco

        I’m still negotiating for the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe I’ll buy a vintage Toyota pickup truck instead. Know anybody?

        Like 1
  7. Tom Crabtree

    I have an ’87 XtraCab 4×4 DLX.
    If someone would give me $35k for it, I’d unload it in a heartbeat.

    A fool and his $$$ are soon parted.


    Like 5
  8. bobk

    Mr. ODonnell asks exactly the right question in his write up. 35k for a 35 year old very nice – but nothing special pickup or essentially the same money for a new pickup.

    Like 6
  9. Ike Onick


    Like 1
  10. Howard A Member

    While it’s great to see stuff like this, or that 4Runner, BF’s needs a category called “you must be kidding” file. There must be some kind of guide, “The over pricing guide for Asian vehicles”, because I can’t imagine where they get their numbers from. Priced solely on the fact there just aren’t many like this, it’s not a 5 figure vehicle, neither was the 4 Runner. Great trucks, changed the world, they did, but $40g’s? They were tinny, cheaply made, rode rough, and the minute you take it anywhere else but CA., it will start to rust. And you gonna bounce your pristine $40K dollar Toyota through the brush?
    You know, I always say, “what if these people buying this stuff for 5 figures, needs a kidney someday” and I apologize. Looking at it the other way, maybe these sellers DO need a kidney, and will milk the market for whatever it takes. Nice, huh?

    Like 3
    • ace10

      The market over the past two or three years disagrees with virtually everything you wrote.

      Toyota 4X4s are among the hottest collector vehicles in this country. You may not like that, or understand it, but that’s a fact.

      Nobody is going to offroad the very best examples. And they’re not going to be sitting outside under a tarp. They go into collections just like Mustangs, Chevelles, Ferraris and whatever other iron a person might be into.

      Like 8
      • Ike Onick

        Oh boy! A collection of Toyota trucks!!! can’t wait to tell the wife.

        Like 3
      • ace10

        If you need your wife’s nod of approval, then that’s on you. Enjoy your collection of mullet-mobile and I will enjoy my 4X4s.

        Like 2
      • stu


        Ride em cowboys……………………

      • Ike Onick

        A$$10 would be a more appropriate name.

      • ace10

        Takes one to know one, Right?

  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking truck! I remember when the Toyota truck looked like this. My older brother, Chip, had one like this. :)

  12. rex m Member

    My 85 4Runner is money in the bank…

  13. John L.

    Is the seller on crack? But, some idiot will buy it so they can brag about how much they paid for it.

    Like 4
    • Ike Onick

      The buyer certainly will be.

  14. DuesenbergDino

    Nobody mentioned the extensive repaint? For such an “amazing” truck why did it require disassembly and a repaint? Therein lies the mystery…

    Like 1
    • Doug


  15. DKW

    Very, very nice truck. But I think the author of this write-up is spot-on questioning the need for a respray and in comparing the BIN with a brand new truck. Sure, you might not find one this age that is this nice, but how do they verify the mileage? Are there chronological service records to show this is accurate? And while it’s certainly subjective, no way would I compare the collectability of this truck to, say, a sports car.

    IMO, it’s a sub-$10K truck. Some people might be willing to go higher because of it’s condition, but if it weren’t in this good a shape, I’d say it was a $5-7K truck. But that’s just me… If I were in love with it, maybe I’d go a bit above $10K, but it’s still a 35 year old Japanese truck meaning it’s not nearly as nice as today’s Japanese manufactured trucks that have enough similarities that I’d choose the newer, nicer one all things being equal. And, as stated, the author was spot-on stating this seller’s price is on par with a current model.

    But, hey, that’s just me… well, me and several other commenters that have said something similar.

  16. James

    I think this guy is drinking the cool aid, I saw this same exact truck for sale on eBay a couple a years ago. I think it was around 10-15 grand.

  17. Rod Plapp

    I sold those brand new and our dealer would install Chrome roll bar behind the cab,big wheels and tires.Sold for around $14,000 if I remember.No SR-5 graphics though because they were all DLX models.Pretty basic truck when first introduced.If I had that kind of money to spend I would want it to look like when it came out.I’m kidding.For that kind of money just buy new.

  18. Rod Plapp

    I will amend my statement.I was referring to when they first came out.Not the 1985 model year.

  19. Doug

    Good luck! But, it’s not a damned museum piece. Sure it’s worth a pretty penny, but it’s in no way a collectors item.

    Maybe dot com’ millionaire that lost his/her virginity in a similar will stumble along the posting and gobble it up!

  20. john hugh

    he’s asking 35K because his buddy sold his rusty 69 camaro rs roller for 25K

    • Doug


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