Thursday, October 9, 2014

2k: Blandly Go Places: 1980 Toyota Corolla Wagon

Toyota's "Let's Go Places" slogan is the brainchild of a task force on La-Z-Boys and Xanax drips in an off-white room. It was a rush job meant to replace "Moving Forward," which quickly became fodder for news anchors following the unintended acceleration lawsuits. It's as needlessly explanatory as if McDonalds adopted "I'm Eating It." If "Let's Go Places" is a mantra for throw-caution-to-the-wind thrill-seekers, it's more befitting of simple yet capacious examples from their retired lineup (like this one) than the current vanilla boxes on its showroom lots. This E70 fourth-generation wagon is all original and sports a 5-speed manual, and is perfect for an Idaho-dwelling penny-pincher enthusiast hoarder. Find this 1980 Toyota Corolla Wagon in Boise, ID for $1,800 via craigslist.

Parking a new Corolla in your driveway has the reverse effect of hanging a Coutach poster on your kid's bedroom wall. But it wasn't always that way. The first four of its eleven generations were wholly rear-drive, with the AE86 supporting the cause through the end of 1987. The 8-valve pushrod 3T-C engine was good for 75 horsepower and great fuel efficiency thanks to a "Turbulence Generating Pot," essentially a tumor adjacent to the spark plug orifice providing smooth combustion in the lean-burn engine.

Everything essential for moving forward (heh) is intact, including recent brake work. It comes without oil leaks or rust... or a window crank knob, passenger windshield wiper, dome light lens, and a few others. None of that is dealbreaker status on a 34-year-old car for less than 2 grand.

This 'Rolla just completed a year of service as a daily driver, which is fantastic testimony to its reliability. Its 75 horsepower will keep your nose and record clean, and if it ever gets as boring as a Toyota advertising slogan, a world of engine swaps is at your fingertips. 

See a more oddly desirable econobox? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. 1980. The leading edge of the decade in which Toyota Took Over The World.

    At the beginning of the '80s they had just cracked the code to the American market - boring durable product with reliable automatic transmissions.

    At the end of the decade they had become the car everyone bought for transportation.

    Along the way, and for a while thereafter, they actually built a few interesting cars - indeed, probably the best Toyota products in terms of overall design and quality probably came a few years later, with the XE10 Lexus IS, the S160 Lexus GS, the FJ100 Land Cruiser/Lexus LX, the MkIV Supra, etc.

    But it was the '80s when Toyota destroyed everyone else.

    This is a cool little car, anonymous shape but all the good stuff will fit it, everyone needs a little wagon with a 4A-GE 20V or 3S-GE BEAMS blacktop in it, right?

  2. Always like the import small wagons !


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