Home » BringATrailer »For Sale » Currently Reading:

What’s your over/under on this 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser for sale on BAT?

Jeff Glucker December 3, 2018 BringATrailer, For Sale 29 Comments


The Civil Guardia paint is gorgeous. Those tough truck tires help the stance. The rest of the modifications are minimal in invasiveness but maximum in coolness. Still, the mileage is relatively high though maybe not so for an old Land Cruiser. There’s no doubt that this is a cool truck, but what do you think the final price will be on its auction listing at Bring-A-Trailer?

Kamil and I posed this question to the Twitter-verse and the answers ranged from $15,000 on up to over $30,000. Yes, old trucks are approaching Bonkersville at the moment but FJ60s and FJ62s aren’t quite there yet. They’re moving there quickly but I believe a truck like this should sell for no more than $15,000. And even that feels high compared to where these were just a few years ago.

This truck is already past that point. With a day remaining in the auction, the high bid (at the time of writing) sits at $16,000. I won’t be surprised if this rises over the $20k mark, but I don’t think it should be that high.

Congrats to the seller though, because they’ve done some excellent mods to a sharp looking machine. The time is clearly right to sell.

Idiot Edit

  • Professor BarnanaHot

    $25,000, but Bringatrailer has, well…they’ve got a real valuation issue over there.

    But hey, it’s working for them. Customer’s always right, etc.

    • Eh, Bring a Trailer once gave me a free license plate frame, so as far as I’m concerned they can do no wrong.

      I will nonetheless be disappointed if (yes, yes, when…) this Land Cruiser goes for more than the HMV Freeway also currently on BaT, but that’s only because my personal retirement portfolio is much more heavily tied to future HMV values.

      • Maymar

        Look at it this way – the longer Freeways are undervalued, the more time you have to corner the market.

      • 0A5599

        Simple solution: pay $50,000 for the HMV. I don’t think bidding will get near that for the Toyota.

        Even so, there’s no need to have to see a Toyota bid higher than a HMV for you to be disappointed. I would hope you could have disappointment just by owning some.

        • Not at all! I was able get my HMV into usable condition after only a few months of having it sit in my driveway, which means it’s far from making the list of disappointing vehicle ownership experiences.

      • Lokki

        Well MD, to be fair, people tend to build expectations when something had the word “Free” right in the name, as in HMV Freeway. True, all adults are supposed to know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and that free kitten from the Animal Shelter will cost a $150 ‘donation’, but still.

  • Zentropy

    I’ve cooled my obsession with BaT partly because it artificially inflates valuation, and partly because many of the commenters are obnoxious.
    I’m in the market for an old SUV or pickup, so I’ve been watching this one. I agree, it’s worth about $15k (at least, to me), but in the condition it is in, with a manual transmission and the mods it has, I think it will go for about $23,000. It will disappoint me if it does, because I’d rather the market stay down. I enjoy buying, not selling.

    • Sjalabais

      I agree that the site inflates valuation for the very best of their kind – usually. But that’s not a bad thing. There’s certainly a crowd there that works real hard on keeping the classic car hobby relevant. And the commenters…it’s become a huge site and BaT tries to suck up those who are just bored into the Jalopnik-like “What is your…?”-threads. Still a great site to oggle nice classics, and they have the occasional bargain.

      • Zentropy

        I still frequent it because (I agree), it is a great site to see nice classics. As for the occasional bargain, I disagree. I’ve not yet seen a “deal” on that site. Good buys require a dedication to multiple Craigslist filters. And at least on CL, I expect occasional “WTF?” statements. The commenters on BaT are absolute armchair quarterbacks.

        • Sjalabais


          /armchairy armchairist

          • dead_elvis, inc.

            Wow, that’s crazy low! I hope the buyer really does keep it & drive it (judiciously), vs just flipping it for twice the price.

            • Sjalabais

              Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing. Funny part is, those auctions that shock the seller like that are usually cars that BaT has helped to stamp as classics. Ten years ago, a Volvo 240 was a classic car for a very specific crowd. Today, it is generally accepted as an awesome, low effort, drive-it-daily ticket into the hobby – just like the Amazon was before. Yet, auctioning off one without reserve on a speciality site, just before Christmas with tiny signs of a downturn gaining momentum…it’s ballsy.

              Hot damn, I armchaired again, didn’t I?

              • Zentropy

                That’s not “arm chairing” at all. That’s a respectable (and respectful) declaration of opinion. What ticks me off is the nitpicking comments about how a car is wearing the wrong wheels, how the restomod builder was an idiot for using a particular donor engine, or how a car isn’t worthy of being on BaT to begin with. I’m not quiet about my opinions even on this site (and sometimes it is my intention to be a smartass), but I always qualify my statements as opinion. Much of the regular BaT crowd are seemingly there just to troll auctions with pretentious remarks.
                As for the Volvo 240, it’s always been awesome, IMO. I’m still kicking myself for not buying the near-perfect grey wagon I test drove about 20 years ago. I passed on it simply because it was an automatic. Dumb, dumb.

                • Sjalabais

                  Yes, I understand what you’re getting it, but these vehicles are conversation pieces, too, and as such I think it is welcome to discuss what mods people agree with – and which they could live without. “BaT-worthiness” is ridiculous though, I agree on that one…

                  I have driven Volvos with automatics and I must say that on the older ones, where switching to a proper gearbox is relatively easy, that would be the route to go. Otherwise, I understand passing on a 240 automatic, as the tranny takes a huge chunk of road feel and power out of the system.

                  • I’ve driven two Volvos with automatics. The first was an Amazon and I admit I would have been tempted to remove that Borg-Warner had it been in my car, as it sucked most of the joy out of driving. (Yes, I’ve driven other Amazons for comparison.) I don’t know how that transmission managed to turn so much of the available power into nothing of value, but it did so very effectively. The owner himself considered doing a transmission swap for quite a while before just moving on to a different Volvo.

                    The second is my 66 GL, so, um, yes, I am an idiot.

          • Zentropy

            I agree, that’s a steal. But if not for BaT, one could have purchased that car for half that. It used to be that “hidden gems” were out there for those who knew to look– now, the internet suggests that even rust buckets with no drivetrain and shot interiors are worth four figures.
            Sites like BaT have increased the public appreciation for former cult-status cars and obscure marques, and if that saves a few from the crusher, then great. Unfortunately, it’s also inflated their prices.
            So, I concede, the 242 is a great example of the “occasional bargain”.

          • Vairship

            And it comes with upholstery crafted from pedigree Smurfs! I love it!

            • dead_elvis, inc.

              Best 240 interior color ever offered!

              (But I think the Swedish spelling must involve at least 1 diacritical mark – Smürf, or something along those lines)

    • 0A5599

      Serious question: how does BAT inflate valuation?

      I follow links to cars posted there, but don’t typically view anything else while I’m there, so perhaps I’m missing something. Does the site publish some sort of value guide, or is it just auctions where the person with the money sets the price)?

      • Zentropy

        BaT itself doesn’t. Obviously, it’s bidders that drive the price. But just as I feel big auctions like Barrett Jackson created a bubble with highly-optioned muscle cars, I think sites like BaT drive up prices by providing wider viewership of cars that sell high. Many of these cars are exceptional, and the buyers well-heeled collectors. But it gives Average Joe the idea that the heap in his garage, by association, must be worth more than it realistically is. I’ve looked at a couple of cars for sale locally in the past few years and tried to argue the seller down, but they’ve said things like “I’ll take nothing less, because one like this sold on BaT last month for much higher.” Yeah, one in far better condition. Granted, I walked away (as I’m sure others may), but when everyone thinks their car is worth more, then the average market price rises.
        If you visit BaT often enough, you’ll see cars return. It’s become a haven for flippers. They rarely add any value to the car before selling it on for a higher price than they paid. So again, it’s not BaT causing the inflation, but providing a mechanism for it to happen and sharing the results to a mainstream audience that is influenced by it.
        I never visit BaT with the intention of buying. I just enjoy seeing exceptional cars and what people are doing with them.

        • 0A5599

          I’m not afraid to have a price range in mind when I go look at something, and if the seller can’t be talked into a number that fits my range, I go home empty-handed.

          Other times I’ve offered half the asking price and the seller didn’t hesitate to agree.

          I’m only an occasional visitor to BAT, but my perception is that (1) The site has evolved from “hey, look at this cool old jalopy that someone found listed on the Outer Mongolia, BFE Craigslist” to “hey, we can earn a lot of fees and commissions helping people list cars for sale, and because our audience goes ga-ga over brown Volvo wagons and El Caminos with ToTT transmissions, we can charge a premium compared to eBay”, and (2) practically nobody buying cars listed for sale there is doing that because they need primary reliable transportation to get them to work on Monday. It sounds like the bigger issue is the scope creep from cool stuff site to auction site, which brings motivation for BAT to run up bids with notices maximizing details favorable to the seller.

      • Sjalabais

        “Some sort of value guide” is available for certain popular models, too:

        The flipping @Zentropy mentions is something that is threatening to piss off some BaT regulars – because then it’s just another market place, not a sanctuary for rare or especially well kept classics anymore.

        • 0A5599

          I like that. It consolidates details regarding what sellers were willing to accept (or set reserves higher than), lets you click into the archive to find out what the bids were and when they were placed, and lets you compare differences between similar cars that had been auctioned.

          Six months ago, I bought my first ebay auction car. While I have bought other cars sight unseen, and non-local before, and I had previously bid on other ebay cars but dropped out of bidding after the price got out of my comfort zone, this particular car found its way to my driveway because I was willing to pay more than anyone else for it. I did pay higher than average in return for a low-mile (mostly) creampuff, and I did spend a lot of time browsing eBay’s completed auctions results, I think it would have added other perspectives had I also browsed cars from the BAT archives.

          I do think the running comments–from the seller, potential buyers, and the naysayers in the peanut gallery–add a voyeuristic element. If I had been shopping for my car on BAT, I would have picked up the phone to ask questions directly. It seems kind of silly to do it publicly, where any positive response from the seller might inspire someone else to bid against you…

          • Sjalabais

            Yes, it’s a fitting platform for the social media age when everyone’s opinion is equally audible. I’m really not bothered by it, breaks between meetings and the obligatory downtime in rooms connected to running water get better with sites like that.

            But you also sum up how prices are being pushed…public assesment, curated sales platform, the social effect of “look what I bought” – all in seller’s favour. The result of private phone calls etc is often posted by sellers, too.

            What did you buy again?

  • outback_ute

    Have to say I’d prefer an 80 series, less rust, more capability and the 4.5 ohc six

    A friend had an FJ62 Sahara in the family with the high roof, dual ac and 7 seats. It had done well over 300k miles and still pulled like a train. Drank like one too, 9 mpg towing a 3000lb trailer, half the trip it was only 1500 unloaded.

    I used to frequent BaT a bit years ago but it’s a giant time suck to get into the comments that make it worthwhile, hidden among a lot of others!

    • Zentropy

      I like the FJ55, but can’t afford one that isn’t nearly collapsing from rust-out.

      • outback_ute

        Non rusty FJ55 – does not compute?

  • Smaglik

    Cool truck, but way too much money for something with all the question marks…

  • Just to follow up on this, the winning bid was $23,000 (as predicted by Zentropy) with 26 bids received. For what it’s worth, the HMV Freeway received 16 bids, topping out at $5,650 without meeting the reserve. Apparently the seller has listed it at $12,900 elsewhere, which strikes me as… optimistic. I got my Freeway in trade for a somewhat rough ‘74.5 MGB.