Toyota first brought the Camry to the United States as a 1983 model, and that first-generation car was available in sedan and liftback form (if you want to be picky about Camry generations, the true first-generation Camry was a Celica-based sedan available only in Japan). When the next-generation Camry appeared here as a 1987 model, the liftback was dropped and a wagon was added. Today’s Junkyard Gem is one of those first-year Camry wagons, found in an amazing self-service boneyard in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Cheyenne Metal and Auto, located near some serious fireworks stores and a maker of tasty Wyoming beer, has plenty of late-model inventory plus a big section full of interesting machinery from the 1930s through the 1970s. If you’re passing through on I-80 or I-25, I recommend a visit. Check out that ’56 Chevrolet Bel Air Beauville parked near this Camry; it was only 31 years old when the Camry was new.

How many U-Pull-It junkyards do you know of with a vintage tractor section?

Toyota sold Camry wagons in North America from the 1987 through 1996 model years, though sales had plummeted by the middle 1990s as minivans and SUVs shoved the station wagon into irrelevance.

V6 engines didn’t appear in U.S.-market Camrys until the 1988 model year, so this car has the 2.0-liter 3S-FE straight-four engine, rated at 115 horsepower and 125 pound-feet.

The transmission is the base five-speed manual. Manual transmissions were available in new U.S.-market Camrys all the way through the 2011 model year, though such cars became very rare after the early 1990s and nearly nonexistent in our current century.

The MSRP for this car was $11,888, which amounts to something like $32,823 in 2023 bucks. If the original buyer had insisted on an automatic transmission, the price would have been $690 more ($1,905 after inflation).

There are no power windows or locks, but the $795 air conditioning option is here (that’s $2,195 now). If you wanted an AM/FM radio with cassette (of course you did), the price tag started at $550 ($1,519 today). In order to thwart cassette-player thieves, you could get an aftermarket faceplate cover that looked like a low-end AM-only radio.

This car came tantalizingly close to the 300,000-mile mark. I’ve found quite a few discarded Camrys that drove well past the 300k milestone during their lives.

It’s battered and rusty, having achieved full hooptie status during its final years.

Its last owner appears to have had some connection to the oil and gas industry, if we are to judge by the company decals on the hood.

Good advice for a Camry wagon.

This is the dawn of a new day for the station wagon. If you wanted a rear-wheel-drive Toyota wagon in 1987, the luxurious Cressida wagon was still being sold (for nearly twice as much as its Camry little brother).