Today’s Seller Good price or no dice Tercel SR5 calls it, “the best car I’ve ever owned, hands down.” Let’s see if the price of this rare but rough AWD wagon also makes it hands down one best deal.
With only 62K on the counter, the 2003 Pontiac Bonneville SEi we considered that yesterday seems to be, for everyone, a total time capsule. Considering it’s from a brand that’s been dead for a decade, it could also be considered a museum piece. However, none of these factors swayed the majority of you towards the seller’s asking price of $9,500. It ended up being a loss of 62% with no dice.
The AWD wagon concept has been popular for decades. Subaru has made a name for itself on such models, and Audi has taken the idea to near-supercar performance levels. Along the way, there have also been original versions of the genre, cars like the The Honda RealTime4WD Civic wagon of the 80s and today’s subject of rumination, the Toyota Tercel wagon.
Toyota introduced the first Tercel model in 1978 with hatchback and sedan models on ticket. It was the brand’s first front-wheel-drive car, but showing how cautious that company was, Toyota designed the Tercel with a longitudinal engine – just like Subaru and most Audis – so owners used to RWD cars don’t have to freak out about staring at a transverse engine when hopping under the hood.
This initial Tercel iteration was so successful that when the time came to refresh the model, the the range has been extended to include more hatchback versions and a funky little wagon with an iconic bay window on either side of the cargo area. the the longitudinal layout of the transmission has been retained for the second generation, manufacturing for easy adoption of a secondary PTO from the gearbox. Owith the addition of a rear axle taken from the then still RWD Corolla, which allowed the creation of a base AWD version of the wagon.
These cars have no center differential and the power is distributed evenly between the front and rear axles, making the system only really applicable. for slippery surfaces. For all other times, manually engaged AWD must be left in FWD mode.
The SR5 version of the Tercel AWD wagon added some nice features like plaid upholstery and grab handles on the sides of the front bucket seats. The wagon also included a fun gauge cluster on top of the dash with a 4WD indicator as well as lateral and fore-aft inclinometers to show the the angle of the cars hang.
Sadly, youit AWD car The version of the Tercel lasted only the single model. When Toyota redesigned the Tercel in the late ’80s, it decided that cool should no longer be in the cards for the small car.
These days Iit’s starting to be that cool editions like this 1984 Tercel SR5 wagon are becoming fewer and fewer. They were always cheap and somewhat dispensable cars and so many of them rusted away into uselessness or made their way into junkyards.
Not only does this one still work, but it also looks like some have been shown to be needed love along the way. The ad – well, a screenshot of at least one other ad – claims the car is mechanically “super sound” and notes a long list of maintenance and repairs undertaken to keep it that way.
Most notable of this work includes new axles and ball joints, all wear items on the front brakes (with the parts for the rear drums waiting in the fenders), a new radiator, timing belt and alternator . There was a bunch of other minor work done to keep the 1.5-litre four purring, but you get the picture. The transmission behind this little mill is a five-speed stick.
The seller admits that while the mechanical parts have been serviced, the bodywork has not, calling the car “no looker”. The body is sound under the faded black primer, with any areas of surface rust having already been addressed. The car was originally silver, which must have looked very attractive with the interior covered in blue and white tiles. It’s a little worn now, but at least it looks used and not… you know, dirty. A few boxes of parts come with the car, showing how spacious the rear cargo area is.
The extra car comes with 198,000 miles on the odometer, but in addition, also a proper title. The seller calls the car the best he has ever owned, but says life events are forcing it to be sold. To that end, they’re asking $4,500 for this quirky and admittedly warm Tercel.
What is your opinion on the car and this price? Does that seem like a deal to keep that 4-wheeled Tercel and treat? Or, is this quirky little wagon just too far to ask that much in advance?
Sacramento, California, craigslistwhere to go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Don R. for the connection!
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