This 85 4Runner would be of interest to us based solely on its survivor condition and early build date. Add a US-spec 2L-T turbo diesel motor swap and you've really got our attention.
The seller of this 4Runner has had is for 22 years and bought it out of Riverside, CA. It's claimed that it has spent most of its life in California, but it currently has New Mexico plates on it and the seller makes reference to some hoops to jump through with the Air Board to get it re-registered in CA with the new motor. Either way, it sounds and looks like it has spent the majority of its life in dry climates.
The SR5 has become a baseline package now but in 1985 it would have been fully loaded. This truck includes power windows, cruise, rear heater and (non functioning) AC. The seller has the bracket needed to fit the AC compressor onto the new motor so it could probably be brought back into service.
The truck looks to be in exceptionally nice shape from the photos with shiny chrome and original paint still showing well. Interior shots show rust-fre floors (which is great) but few shots of upholstery. The turbo diesel and rust free frame and body more than make up for any possible cosmetic interior defects.
These early 4Runners are another model that has grown on us after years of being indifferent towards them when they were on the road en masse. In our minds, these are more of a proper successor to the 40 series Land Cruisers than the 60's that replaced them. With the removable rear they offer semi-open air motoring and pickup-in-a-pinch functionality.
If the diesel "conversion" has been done as neatly as it seems (and it should since it's nearly a bolt on swap) this 4Runner could be a unique truck that could serve duty as anything from a beach cruiser to backcountry crawler.
Find this Oil Burner 4Runner on eBay in Aptos, California.
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