A 1985 Toyota 4Runner owner from Australia was at a junkyard hunting for parts when he spotted a photo in the glovebox of a rotted out car-cass. The picture shows what a rust-bucket 4Runner looked like 20 years ago; it was a stunning red SUV with awesome exterior graphics and a white top. The contrast between those glory days and the SUV’s current status as a death-row resident will make most car enthusiasts shed a small tear.
“I’m a member of the Toyota car club of Australia and last year I bought a 1985 Toyota 4Runner. I am falling in love with this car,” Melbourne, Victoria-based Raff Kountmann responded to me in the comments to his Facebook post on the weird-car-centric page Regular Cars BROWNposting.
“I’m always on the lookout for spare parts for this and my 1994 Toyota Hiace. These older Toyotas are actually becoming harder to find parts for because due to their popularity in Africa and the middle East most scrap [companies] ship them over seas,” he continued.
Raff found this red 4Runner, also called the Hilux Surf, in a U-Pull style salvage yard in Geelong, Victoria, about two hours from his place. The Toyota fan snagged some parts from the vehicle, which he said appeared to be “mostly complete.” While doing that, he spotted something cool.
“In the glove box I found the photo dated 2000,” he wrote. Here’s a closer look at that photo:
Man that truck looks incredible. It’s wild to think that it took only two decades for that automotive perfection to degrade into this iron oxide hulk:
To truck enthusiasts, this may seem depressing, but we can all take solace in the fact that this t(rusty) red machine has offered its organs to help keep Raff’s beautiful 4Runner alive. Look at this glorious off-roader:
This reminds me of that time my former coworker Kristen Lee and I went to a Detroit-area junkyard and found inside a Pontiac Aztek the contact information for the previous owner. We dialed the number, and learned all about that wacky SUV’s glory days. After hearing how much the owner loved that car, it was hard to see it up on blocks awaiting the crusher.
But that’s just life. Cars, especially in areas that see lots of salt and moisture, don’t last forever. It’s a sad truth.