Move Over, Marty McFly—This 1988 Toyota Pickup Is a Totally Rad Survivor!

We are suckers for classic Toyota Pickups. While the solid-front-axle models, which were produced until 1986, have a special place in our collective heart, we genuinely love all of the pre-Tacoma Toyota Pickups. When we saw that this 1988 Toyota Pickup was headed to the Mecum Auctions event in Indianapolis, we knew we had to take a closer look.

What Makes This Pickup Special?

Prior to Toyota’s opening of the company’s NUMMI assembly plant in Fremont, California, all of the Toyota pickups in the United States had to be imported from overseas, mainly from Japan. This meant that the number of available vehicles was naturally limited. Despite this, Toyota still managed to bring roughly 230,000 Pickups into North America in 1988.

Through natural attrition, Toyota Pickups have become somewhat of a rarity in the United States, and of those that do remain, many have gone through differing levels of modification. This means finding a Pickup as close to showroom quality as this can prove quite difficult. Other than the period-correct bed-mounted rollbar with KC off-road lights, this truck looks just as it did the day it rolled off the lot.

Two-Owner Toyota, We Think … 

This particular 1988 Toyota Pickup appears to be a two-owner truck … sort of. We know that the pickup lived with its original owner and family in Arizona until 2017. What we don’t know is how many times ownership changed hands within the family. Beyond that, we know the truck ended up in Maryland, with what we assume was its second official owner. Why does this matter? Well, the arid climate of the desert Southwest is the best for combating rust and other vehicular decay. So, spending as little time as possible in the East is a good thing. One could say that this truck is a true survivor.

Big Engine With Blah Power but Low Miles

The drivetrain in this 1988 Toyota Pickup would be a fun one. The truck is equipped with the company’s 3.0-liter V-6 engine, which produced a modest 145 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. The engine is backed by a five-speed manual transmission and a two-speed transfer case with a manual shifter. The engine has just 49,400 miles on it.

Is That … a CD Player?

This Pickup might just be a bit of a unicorn as it was outfitted with the way-before-its-time factory-optional compact disc player. That’s right, Toyota offered a CD player in the Pickup during a time when cassette tapes were the norm, and you could still find an 8-track player if you looked hard enough (fun fact, the last commercial 8-track was released in 1988). In addition to the CD player, this truck also sports rear stereo speakers, which were almost unheard of in single-cab trucks.

Why We Love This Toyota Pickup

Toyota Pickups are cool, there’s no way around it, and this 1988 Pickup, which will be auctioned off on Thursday May 19th at the Mecum Auction in Indianapolis (look for it during the live auction coverage on MotorTrend+ and MotorTrend TV) is one on the cleanest examples we’ve seen in a long time. Like an unmolested Jeep Wrangler TJ, there’s just something about these trucks that makes us want to save them all. Hopefully this one goes to a loving home, where it can be garage-kept and weekend-driven for the rest of eternity.

2022 Mecum Auctions Schedule on MotorTrend

Be sure to catch the remaining 2022 Mecum Auctions on the MotorTrend+ streaming service and MotorTrend TV. Sign up to MotorTrend+ for a free trial today!

  • May 18-21: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • June 10-11: Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • July 28-30: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • August 19-20: Monterey, California
  • September 8-10: Dallas, Texas
  • October 14-15: Chicago, Illinois
  • November 11-12: Las Vegas, Nevada

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