1 of 1: 1986 Toyota Camry Custom Pickup
I've been intrigued by the first generation Toyota Camry lately. Is it a classic? I loath what the car has turned into today: a bloated, overpriced and unreliable front-wheel drive vanillamobile. But in its first year, the original Camry was this lean and compact ultra-utilitarian vehicle for the calculator watch-wearing Reagan era commuter. Sure, it was fwd, but it was also cheap, simple, and extremely well built. It helped the body was a clean cut three-box shape of straight lines and zero pretensions.
So you can imagine my delight when I found a Camry that epitomizes the 1st gen's thrift to the max: a customized two-door pickup version, one of only one in existence to my knowledge (unless this was a common customization).
The seller has seemingly taken an '86 Camry four-door and done one heck of a chop job, removing the entire rear roof, seats, trunk and doors and replaced it with a pickup bed. I think it looks amazing, and the craftsmanship is extremely impressive. The cabin looks natural thanks to the b-pillars and side window slivers. There is no fold-down rear gate but the car is low enough that throwing items over the bed is easy enough.
Adding to usability is a 4-cylinder 2-liter turbo diesel engine putting out just 85 horsepower. Camry turbo diesels were offered by the factory briefly so they are rare. I'm assuming this was one such sedan before the transformation. There haven't been many complaints about Toyota diesels except that people wish they made more of them.
The seller doesn't shed much light on exactly who did this, how they did it, or why. But the pictures speak for themselves. Mechanically, they say the odometer reads 163k miles and it has new tires, brakes, belt, water pump and seals. They also say it's running well and turns heads. Toyota made diesel pickups, and there are also those Volkswagen Rabbit diesel pickups, but there probably isn't another Camry Pickup out there, and this one seems ready to go for many more miles of dutiful service. Just check for rust and get the full scoop on the transformation then decide for yourself.
Available here on craigslist in Raleigh, North Carolina for $4,500.