1985 Toyota Pickup - Original Owner - Beautifully Restored

  • Make: Toyota
  • Model: Pickup
  • Type: Standard Cab Pickup
  • Year: 1985
  • Mileage: 176700
  • VIN: JT4RN50R3F0096655
  • Color: White
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Brown
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Vehicle Title: Salvage
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States


Hi folks, My name is David Screen and I am the original owner of this 1985 Toyota pick up. I am currently 54 years old and I purchased this pick up brand new from Fletcher Jones Toyota Las Vegas in 1985 when I was 20 years old for even less than the $5995 that they offered it for back then - I paid $5877. It was completely stock and it didn’t even have a cigarette lighter in it. I have loved this truck for 34 years and my intentions were to keep it forever. It completely breaks my heart to even have to sit down to write this out to sell it. But circumstances have led to this moment where everything that is nonessential has to go in order to save the home that has been in my family since I was seven years old.

I bought the truck when I was 20. It took me everyplace and everywhere without fail for so many years and I drove it daily until I was about 39 when I had my first child and my new wife and I purchased an Expedition back in 2001.

The first complete makeover was in 1995 when I had a body man friend of mine go over the whole truck fix every dent and give it a complete paint job in its original white paint. Another upholstery friend of mine did an awesome job back then and that makeover held pretty good for about eight or 10 years. I also at that time had the truck lowered just 3 or 4 inches just to make it more visually align with the wider and lower profile tires and rims.

After purchasing the Expedition and 2001 the truck sat on the side of the house for roughly 10 years, being only driven when we needed to go pick up something large like a refrigerator, washer, or water heater. Sometime about 1997 the head gasket failed and the plastic timing chain guides broke for the first time so he and I rebuilt it and it ran excellent for many more years. In about 2002 the plastic timing chain guides broke again so I had all that replaced but it was never quite right and it always sounded sloppy. All of that is kind of a moot point since it has a brand new engine in it now – I mentioned that because it was back then is when I became acutely aware of the fatal flaw design in the 22R engine = plastic timing chain guides….Really? The brand new engine has the Teflon coated metal timing chain guides.

I didn’t drive it very much at the time so it wasn’t an issue until one day in August 2014 I was doing 80mph with the air on up the 215 from Henderson to Vegas and the timing chain skipped a tooth. I knew I was screwed at that moment and I whipped off the freeway at the nearest exit and my plans were to get it off the road, park it, and call a tow truck and have them bring it to the house.

As I came down the off-ramp of the freeway I had the green light that was turning yellow and I was going to clear the intersection but a kid in a VW rabbit whipped into my lane and slammed on his brakes and I slid into him and tapped the back of his flexible car - which then of course dented my front end. I was so fortunate at that moment because another driver that witnessed the accident happen ran up to me and said he witnessed the kid cut me off and slam on his brakes and the kid was at fault. He shoved his business card in my hand and I was able to prove that I was not the cause. His insurance, Allstate, of course totaled the vehicle just because of the little dent. They gave me the option of taking a check for $2700 or giving me a check for $2100 and my truck back. The decision was easy of course - I took the check and the truck. But I had no money to fix the body or the engine so it sat on the side of the house until the middle of 2017.When I was able to scrape up enough money to replace the engine, do body work and paint, and the upholstery I started lining up the team to handle it. I told them all I wanted to restore it to its original state as close as possible and they were all eager to get on board with the project.

First thing to do was locating a replacement engine out of California and have it shipped. eBluejay dot com provided the rebuilt engine and shipped it to Vegas. We had to provide the valve cover, intake manifold, and carburetor, and oil pan. I located a cherry picker for my mechanic George and he handled swapping them out.

My friend Jerry was the obvious pick since he was a veteran body work and paint guy and had done the restoration in 1995. He only takes on one project at a time and he parked my truck in his workshop on the side of his house and he plugged away at it for the next 12 months. I went online and started purchasing every single solitary new part that I could get for a 1985 pick up. I had some excellent success. I found a ton of stuff and was able to replace a lot of stuff that was worn out. (You can read the full list of parts I replaced below)

I had no idea that his intentions were to completely take the thing apart and paint the cab, the doors, and the bed separately – but as you can see in the photos that’s exactly what happened. The paint on the truck is perfect.

After he had completed it was time to send it over for the interior. Although I knew my buddy Troy was a very good a upholstery guy I really had no idea that he was going to literally take the entire inside of the cab apart dust it, paint it, and methodically put the whole thing back together. He even dusted behind the clear plastic over the speedometer. ( see the interior images in the photos) this guy was truly a professional . What was really cool is when we realized that the vents in the dash had deteriorated and were falling apart my thoughts were to go to eBay and see what I can find. Miraculously when I typed in “1985 Toyota pickup AC vents“ The very first item on the top of the search results were four brown vents that were in perfect condition. I scooped them up from $110.

The truck turned out 10x better than I ever could’ve possibly imagined when we started the project. As you can see from the photos it looks perfect. And in my opinion it is as close to perfect as you will ever find a Toyota truck that is 34 years old….and is still with its original owner.

I would like to thank you if you were actually still reading this. It had been suggested to me that I leave this next part out, however if I have to sell my truck I have to share this part of my situation.

My wife and I went to church in February 2018. We loved it. Up until that point we were not living a very Christian life. However we started to walk with the Lord at that time and our marriage and our home life started to get noticeably better. Four months later and through a set of circumstances God reached out and completely convicted my heart. I cried in my wife’s arms for an hour and it took me three days to realize what had happened to me. I had been saved and there was no looking back. My wife and I walked together another two months before she woke up on a Monday morning and announced she was leaving me because she didn’t like the custom home we had built together on the property that I grew up on. I couldn’t understand at the time how that could be but I have been convinced through prayer that this move of hers is not about a house - that we are actually in God‘s plan to match our hearts. It was a year ago July 23 that she left and the Lord has worked many miracles over that time that have kept us from divorce and I’m still more convinced than ever that that is still His plan. I have sat quietly and faithfully awaiting my wife’s return since she left and somehow been able to manage financially over the last year. I ran out of money this July. I have been praying to God to have him help me write this and to lineup the perfect person purchase it that will understand my situation, respect it, and carry on the work that has been started on the truck. . However it's important for me to mention that God has had us in the palm of His hand his entire time and I am trusting in Him now to make a way that this will all workout to His glory!

I got the truck back from the upholstery guy about two months after my wife left me and I knew that it would be at the top of the list of things to go if it was necessary. It has sat in my garage since I brought it home only to be driven once a month around the block as to not damage the condition I picked it up in. It is still as perfect as the day I brought it home 10 months ago.

I have the starting bid set $19,750 simply because that would allow me to catch up on my past bills and give me enough money to maintain the household for another 9 to 12 months. The $750 part of the price is Ebay'sfees for selling thevehicle.At this point it wouldn’t make sense to sell it for anything less than this.

I would like to thank anyone who has read this entire thing and I would also like ask that God bless you and your loved ones.

Here is what I’ve put into the truck:

Reconditioned 22R engine out of San Diego $1600

Install metal/Tefloncoated timing chain guides $100

Engine installation $1200

New oil pan $30

New radiator $200

New starter $80
New alternator $100
New fuel pump $35

New Carburetor $200
New Fuel Pump $45

New Battery $100

New Distributor Cap/Wires $30

Engine Total = $3720

New hood, fender, front bumper, grill, end caps $500
Body work $3500
Booth time prep and paint $1000
Windshield and new gasket $200
New chrome windshield trim $520
New door weather-stripping $80

New felt weather-stripping for both windows $100
New door windowinner gasket $80
New brake lights left and right $90
New chrome rear bumper $400
New drivers door inner window guts $40
New BF Goodrich T/A radial tires$600

Body = $7110

Complete interior installation including rebuilding bench seat, dismantling and rebuilding entire dash. $2000.
New AC air vents $110
New door latches handles and window crank handles. $50
New Sony Bluetooth stereo and speakers $150

New Rear view mirror/ int.light $15

Interior = $2325

Total = $13,115

Here are the list of items that have not been completed. My hopes were to dial these things in prior to selling it but I have had little time.

The carburetor needs to be fine-tuned.

One of the tiny sleeves that go around the door lock you pull up and down need to be replaced.

The pump for the windshield wiper sprayer and water reservoir

Reinstall Visors

And probably a few more minor things.


David Screen