This JDM Toyota RAV4 from Bring a Trailer is your Thursday 1990s fix

Byron Hurd


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Need a good dose of 1990s nostalgia? How about this all-wheel drive JDM 1994 Toyota RAV4 listed on Bring a Trailer with no reserve

The 1990s were the decade of green. Name a car or truck, and it probably came in at least one or two shades. Your author's family had not one, not two, but three different cars painted in various shades of dark green simultaneously: a 1996 Volkswagen Passat VR6, a 1994 Dodge Caravan and a 1996 Dodge Dakota. This RAV4 would have been right at home next to the bright red Toyota Tercel that shared the same driveway. 

Sadly, this JDM RAV4 is far from perfect. Setting aside the fact that you'd have to live with both the right-hand-drive layout and settle for an automatic transmission, it's also a bit of a 50-footer. The listing photos document all of its dents, dings and rust spots, but suffice it to say that this particular cute 'ute didn't just sit in somebody's garage for 27 years. 

In fact, whoever owned this RAV4 was clearly a bit of an enthusiast. It's adorned with Toyota factory accessories and even a little aftermarket love in the form of some Bosch running lights. Considering the condition of the exterior, this RAV4 may have seen more off-road action than a lot of serious 4x4s, especially when you consider that despite the battered body work, it has only 25,000 miles (~41,000 km) on the odometer. 

You may not see the same potential in this RAV4 that one of its previous owners did, but between Toyota factory accessories and a surprisingly robust aftermarket, it's actually possible to build a first-generation RAV4 into a somewhat respectable soft-roader

Despite the patina, dings and badly faded roof, it actually shows reasonably well, and the goodness doesn't end there. The cabin delivers even more than the exterior, if you ask us. The interior isn't just rad-approved, it's borderline-immaculate. Plus, if you scroll past the interior photos quickly enough, you can pretend you're watching the intro credits to "Saved by the Bell." 

At the time of publication, this time capsule was still sitting on its opening bid of $1,994 (See what they did there?) with four days remaining. Happy bidding!

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