The Tercel wagon, especially in the 4WD verssion, was once one of the all-time classic Eugene-mobile. Obviously, most drivers of these have moved on to…Subaru wagons, natch. But these are rugged little beasts, nearly unkillable, and there are still a reasonable number in front line use. But like anything else this old, they’re at risk. Especially when a certain bright orange note is on the windshield.
Eugene has a very CC-friendly laissez faire attitude towards long-term parking on the street. Well, unless someone reports a long-term parker, because technically, one is only allowed 48 hours. But this violation is only acted in response to a complaint. I’ve seen cars parked for years; yea, decades, with the grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement. But that won’t be happening to this Tercel.
I’ve written a CC to one of these before, although that one was a 2WD version. And it’s still going strong. This is the more desirable 4WD job, perfect for making Jeeps look like overkill on rough back roads and such. The live rear axle was lifted straight from a RWD Corolla.
And this is also the preferred stick shift version, which features a six-speed transmission, with an ultra-low 4.71:1 “first” gear, roughly comparable to Low range on vehicles with two-speed transfer cases. The little stick is for shifting in and out of 4WD. Since there’s no center differential, 4WD should only be used in slippery/loose surfaces.
Under the hood, the Tercel’s 1.5 L 3A SOHC four made all of 65 hp @4800 rpm. Sounds pathetic, but with a bit of rowing of the gears and realities expectations, it would always get one there, no matter if there was down the street or Tierra del Fuego. These have a rep for being as bullet-proof as just about any engine made, which explains why there’s still so many old Tercels of all kinds on the streets.
In case you’re worried, this one got moved before the tow truck arrived, and I continued to see it for some months afterwards, but not lately. maybe its owner decided to take that trip to Tierra del Fuego after all.