Junkyard Find: 1992 Toyota Previa All-Trac
Living in Colorado, I have become something of a connoisseur of low-sales volume, all/four-wheel-drive versions of otherwise commonplace vehicles. The rarest one so far has got to be this ’87 Ford Tempo AWD, but I also have managed to find some fairly unusual All-Trac-equipped Toyota vehicles.
There’s this ’90 Camry All-Trac, a car that’s a rarity even in this state and just about unheard of anywhere else, and a few examples of the Corolla All-Trac wagon. Now we have this gleaming gold Previa All-Trac.
The Previa featured a bunch of very interesting engineering under its conservative-looking minivan exterior. The engine is a mid-mounted straight-four laid on its side under the front seats, with a weird remote-reservoir oil system (not a dry-sump, despite the urban legends you may have heard, but still different), and the engine accessories are way up front and powered by a long shaft from the engine. Later North American models were supercharged, though this ’92 just has the naturally aspirated 2TZ.
All-Trac Previas are nowhere near as rare, here in Denver, as are All-Trac Camrys; in fact, most Previas you see here have the All-Trac system. They’re uncommon in wrecking yards, though, because it’s worth fixing Toyota minivans when they break.
The mid-engined Toyota MR2 is well-known for overheating problems, but Toyota got it right with the Previa and this big radiator air intake gulping air through the grille and sending it rearwards.
The interior in this van is not too tattered by used-up-minivan standards, so a combination of body damage and some expensive mechanical problem is the probable reason for being parked here instead of the mall.
It’s a suburban-early-1990s time capsule!
In Japan, taking the golden retriever for a balloon ride.
[Images: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars, Toyota]
Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.
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