A Four wheel drive, 5 speed (quasi-6 speed), wagon with a plaid interior? We’re in. If we were to average all of the cars ever featured on Moto Roster, the Toyota Tercel SR5 may be the Frankenstein's monster result and we're ok with that. It's funny how a car that we used to nearly despise can start to make sense and even become desirable.
Though the inclinometer on the dash may lead you to believe that these share some underpinnings with their truck brothers, these 4WD Tercels were built from the sedan parts bin. The motor and transaxle are basically stock Tercel pieces and they're mated to the rear axle from a Corolla via transfer case built into the transmission.
Since there is no high/low transfer case, a unique "extra low" gear is available when in four wheel drive that gave a semi-truck like 17.6:1 gear ratio.
When these were in showrooms during the mid to late 80's they stood out as an oddity along with the similarly awkward 4WD Civic wagon that Honda was offering. Now however, it doesn't take too much imagination to see these evolving into the current small SUVs or CUVs that we see everywhere.
This particular wagon has covered 250,000 miles but is claimed to be thoroughly sorted. A "certified Toyota mechanic" rebuilt the engine and performed a host of other work including a new Weber carb, timing belts and water pump, valve adjustments, a new exhaust, and much more. 175 pounds of pressure are said to be present in each cylinder which strikes us as wildly high, but we are not familiar at all with the 3A motor.
All of the work was supposedly completed for the mechanic's son who ended up not being keen on the idea of driving this beast to school. We can see where he's coming from but his loss is your gain.
Said to be rust free having spent most of its life in Oregon and then New Mexico, it's on offer in San Diego, CA but the seller warns that the new carb and exhaust will probably not satisfy the CA smog checkers.
We like the blue + blue interior on this one as they're normally various shades of beige. 14 inch steelies always look tough and some T/A whitewalls would really make for a mean look. We'd leave the tired paint and bask in this piece of engineering from back when Toyota used to sell zany stuff.
Find this 4WD Wagon on eBay in San Diego, CA.
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