While I feel like I really know jack shit about cars, I’ve experienced enough to know how to shop for one. And today was yet another confirmation of that belief.

1984 Toyota (GASP) pickup, longbed, 2wd, Xtra cab. For the record, I was simply looking for a servicable vehicle because reasons (not interesting enough to post yet WITHOUT A DAMN VEHICLE IN HAND). So cosmetics aren’t the end-all be-all, but they do mean something. The rear of that bed had that typical 2nd gen rust. Upon further inspection, it was worse than that though. There were a few holes along the side at the typical seam of doom. At the bottom of the tailgate, there was that kind of old Japanese rust that I can only describe as: “crispy.” Underside was great. No rust. The interior: Display on the climate controls was half-missing, some, cracks here and there, but altogether in tact. Carpet was nice and the bench seat had lots of life left.

Then there was the test drive. I could write an entire novel about my 15 minute test drive, but let’s just do a list because you all have lives to get back to, and my writing is rusty because all I ever do on here is post pictures of tubs, cars, celica, and dog:

- brakes were nearly non-existent. vehicle shook like crazy when brakes harshly applied
- brake pedal spongy and felt like there was a lot of air in the system
- loud whirring kind of turbine noise (rear diff?) at speeds over 45 miles per hour
- vehicle would nearly stall when braking sometimes
- exhaust gaskets missing (BRBRBRBRRRRRRRRRR!)
- shifter had a lot of slop (but did shift nicely!)
- up-idle adjustment for A/C was not done
- A/C was vey buzzy
- doesn’t like cold starts
- front suspension was so worn it sounded like opening the front door of a haunted house in some bad horror film
- most of all: that unshakable vehicle when you’re riding around in a vehicle and you say, “this does not feel safe.”

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I politely said, “I don’t think this is the one for me.” We chatted for a while, and here’s the real kicker: he wanted $2,800 for it. Think about that when you look back at everything I just said about it. $2,800. You know what actually cost me $2,800?

The SUM of this:

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and this:

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Moreover, though it is early in the game for the Celica specifically, I have spent close to nothing maintaining or repairing either of them, and I would trust either of them as my indefinite vehicle in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. It was a shit-ton of work and time to find either of them, but hard work paid off.

Going back to the seller’s truck: Yes, the body was straight. Yes, they are incredibly uncommon. Yes, everything was there. Conversely: NO. NO. NO. NO.

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Thank you for reading thus far.