Junkyard Find: 1984 Toyota Camry LE Liftback

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1984 toyota camry le liftback

We don’t normally put the words “Camry” and “rare” together in the same sentence, but this series is all about finding rare-but-not-valuable oddities (e.g., one of the very last GM J-body. When it comes to rare Camrys, there’s the seldom-seen-in-the-wild Camry All-Trac and the nearly-as-rare Camry Liftback, and I’d found exactly one example of each in wrecking yards prior to today’s find. Yes, here’s another first-gen Camry liftback, this time dressed in whatever Toyota called this strange metallic purplish-brown hue.

Before car companies got into the whole brevity thing and started slapping plain old LE badges on slightly-upscale trim levels, Toyota added these attractive Limited Edition gold badges on Camry trunklids.

228,126 miles was very good for a car built 30 years ago.

The interior isn’t bad and— this being a California car— there’s no rust. Why is this Camry in the junkyard? Perhaps the engine or transmission crapped out, or maybe the car got towed away for too many parking tickets.

The 91-horsepower 1S-L engine was enough for 1984, and for 1984 buyers of Toyota sedans.

Air conditioning!

The lack of the macho-ness we expect in 1980s JDM car ads is disappointing here, but this is a Camry.

I’m sure the automobile industry longs for the days of fuel-economy testing that gave the early Camry a 44 mpg highway rating. At 47 mph with a tailwind, maybe.

Room for a rock group… or a group of rocks!

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2 of 58 comments
  • IHateCars IHateCars on Jul 02, 2014

    "You stole my Jesus-fish, didn't you?!" This one is screaming for a Crabspirits treatment....

  • Ian Fox Ian Fox on Jul 09, 2014

    Oh wow. This was my first car. Mine, however, was a DX rather than an LE. That meant unpainted bumpers and scratchy seats. There were some good things about this car. It was super easy to do maintenance. I could very easily pop out a headlight and replace it. The stereo was easy to swap as well. No installation kit required. The bad? Well, the transmission didn't last forever. The power steering rack had a high failure rate as well. Don't even think about going up a steep hill with the A/C on. Still, it was a good first car, all things considered. See if y'all can find a Camry Diesel. Now those are mega-rare!

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.