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Junkyard Find: 1988 Toyota Camry Wagon with Five-Speed

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, LH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Car writers are expected to love wagons with manual transmissions, but most of my love is reserved for the likes of three-on-the-tree-equipped Ford Country Squires and maybe the occasional 4-speed Datsun F-10 Sportwagon. Still, when I run across a Junkyard Find as rare as a second-generation Camry wagon with five-speed, I photograph it.

Here’s one that I spotted last week in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, shifter - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The Camry station wagon never was a big seller in the United States, and the preference of Camry buyers for manual transmissions shifted from “slight” to “damn near nonexistent” as the 1980s wore on. Has anyone ever seen an American-market ’97 Camry wagon with five-speed? In theory, such a car exists.

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, odometer - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

You won’t see many BMW E34 wagons with this kind of odometer reading, although you will find quite a few (compared to the Camry) with five-speeds.

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, automatic seat belt - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Remember these hateful automatic seat belts? Could be worse.

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, RH view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

This car served its owner or owners well for better than a quarter-century, but the damage from its final fender-bender wasn’t worth repairing.

The dawn of a new day for the station wagon.

In Australia, the Camry wagon was so powerful that it snorted the white lines right off the highway.

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, RH view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, shifter - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, odometer - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, cargo area - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, LH rear view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, union bumper sticker - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, automatic seat belt - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, engine - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, rear drum brake - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, front seats - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, RH rear view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, LH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1988 Toyota Camry in California junkyard, RH rear view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

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