I purchased my 83 Toyota SR5 pickup in Fall 1988. It had 41,000 miles and had been driven by an old man who had died.
I drove this truck exclusively from 1988 to 1997, putting about 120,000 miles on the car. I drove it in all sorts of weather, and since I was a poor student at the time, I truly neglected it due to the fact that I had no money. I made sure to change the fluids regularly, but other than that, I did the bare minimum and all maintenance was not preventative, but reactionary. I think I only had it professionally tuned-up a couple of times.
This truck was bulletproof. It just drove and drove no matter how much I neglected it. I drove it on road trips of over 2,000 miles that crossed mountain ranges, in snow, in heat, whatever, it just ran and ran and ran. It's the only car I've ever owned that I actually had some true affection for and I miss it to this day. I wish I still had it!
Only issue I ever really had with it other than normal wear and tear (broken belts, brake jobs, new tires, etc.) was a string of electrical issues that came one after another starting with my alternator dying. Soon after I had to replace the battery, starter motor, and ignition switch, and each failure caused me great inconvenience since I had no other car. Still, compared to most vehicles, it was nothing and total cost to repair all those things probably came to less than $700.
My one complaint about this truck was the location of the alternator! You literally would have to jack-up the car and tear away half the suspension to get at it easily. It was a nightmare to replace and I would not DREAM of trying to do it on my own again.
Oh -- one other thing -- not the most comfortable car in the world by a long shot. It was a functional interior that was nice enough for a truck, but you felt every bump in the road and the seats, while durable (looked hardly used when I sold it at 161,000 miles!), were hard on the back for trips of over 2 hours.
Overall, I'm just writing this as a sort of love-letter to my long-gone SR5. It set the standard for my expectations for all cars that followed, namely, reliability and low operating cost. That's why I drive Acuras today. I would love to have a Jaguar XK8 but I would spit if I was driving an expensive car that continually had problems. There is NO reason why cars cannot be as reliable as my Toyota was!