By on June 12, 2012

Rear-wheel-drive AE86 Corolla GT-Ss are worth bucks these days, and you won’t see them in low-priced self-serve wrecking yards. The AE82 front-wheel-drive Corolla GT-S hasn’t held its value so well, and so examples do show up on The Crusher’s doorstep. We saw this white ’87 in California last year, and now I’ve found this silver ’87 in Colorado.
I’ve never owned an FX16, but it’s one of those classic 80s cars that I keep meaning to shop for.
Built at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, the FX16 was a worthy competitor to the Civic Si and VW GTI.
It was more awkward-looking than the VW and the Honda, what with its Toyota-stolid angular lines, but the 4A engine (shared with the MR2 as well as the AE86) made up for the already-dated-looking-in-’87 lines.
So, another FX16 GT-S about to leave the planet. I’m hoping a few solid examples will still be around when I decide to buy.

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22 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16...”


  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    “I’m hoping a few solid examples will still be around when I decide to buy”

    Do you want more solid than that? That’s a car that would still be kicking a$$ in the 3rd world.

    And I guess it must a fun little thing with that motor. The sedans with 4AC was peppy for a little car.

    • 0 avatar
      Buzz Killington

      I had one for a few years while I was in law school. It was a fun little thing, indeed. Wonderful car. It currently lives on as one of the longest-running Lemons cars around.

  • avatar
    vwbora25

    always liked the lines on these cars, test drove one back in 87 and yes they were peepy for the era but I prefered the driving chararestics of the GTI

  • avatar
    rodface

    Ah! I just drove by one of these on the way to work this morning. The size of the greenhouse is impressive.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I was THIS close to getting one an FX16 in ’86, but went for an Integra instead.

    Which I should have never sold.

  • avatar
    paxman356

    I always liked these, and would love to own one someday. It has to get in mine with the Mazda 323 GTX, and an ’83 Plymouth Sapporo Technica, however.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I always did like these, and I remember them being entertaining to drive, maybe not something take out for a night drag racing or even autocrossing. On the other hand a quick stint through a mountain road with one of this would put a smile on nearly anyone’s face.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    A little interior work and it’s good to go, oh and the engine?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    “Are you SURE the wheels have to be round?”

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    When I was heavy into AutoX these were very popular in the northeast. Other popular cars were the Civic Si and the Acura Integra. I remember these were damn fast in their class.

  • avatar
    kinsha

    I can guarantee you this car would not be in this boneyard if it were a manual. More than likely tranny grenaded and a new one could not be found. They were only available in these and Prizm GSI’s and the Prizm had the hi comp 4AGE so I do not know if that tranny would work.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Supposebly the FX16 was imported to replace the Starlet here in the US, why? We had the Tercel for that role, in fact in the 3rd generation the Tercel basically was a Starlet but with a slightly bigger body and engine.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    Awesome little car. Also the first new car I ever owned. Bought a new black one in the waning days of my senior year of college, with only my job offer letter as my credit collateral. It was a sweet ride. Nicely shifting five speed manual. 40 mpg on road trips, fun high-revving engine. The few times I took it in for service, the service writers called it a Tercel which kind of annoyed me but reinforced its sleeper status.

    Sold it with 115K miles and a leaking head gasket to a guy who exported it to his family dealership in Costa Rica. The car I replaced it with, a 1993 Sentra SE, wasn’t as much fun but had better headroom. Didn’t keep that Sentra long.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Judging from my recent trip there your old FX16 is probably still in use in Costa Rica, where it’s larger and more powerful than a great many other cars.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    223K miles – rest well old Toyota rest well.

    Oh ya, and Holy Battlestar Galactica font Batman! This is an early version of a Colonial Raptor, no FTL though.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-corolla-gt-s-fx16/#

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Murilee, thanks for writing the only column on here devoid of fanbois and arcane pissing contests. Everyone who comments seems happy or at least waxes nostalgic about a the vehicle they used to have. Also, some of us have flashbacks about the vehicle from hell.Thanks

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    25 years old and 223,000 miles, and it seems to have worn its age pretty well. Its still in very serviceable condition cosmetically, although those badly fitted seat covers are probably hiding some seriously trashed upholstery.

    Either something expensive broke, or the last owner just got tired of having the thing in the driveway.

  • avatar
    gmrn

    Ahhh. It does my heart good to see this version of my old car. I bought my red ’87 in 1997 off of the original (female) owner for $1300. I knew it needed a clutch (and had 170K on the odo) but otherwise it ran great. It was pretty impressive when the 2nd set of intake runners opened up @4700 rpm IIRC. That car was absolutely unfazed by a dozen-or-so redline runs every day, for the 2 years I had it. Great seats.
    Look closely and you see a subtle styling detail hidden among the boy-racer body kit pieces…a small power dome on the passenger side of the hood. I originally thought it was to clear the intake, but nope.

  • avatar
    BrasilianRican

    At the editor when u write these articles about these cars you find can you put the junkyards name where you find them in . Cuz I could sure use some parts off either 1 of theses to FX 16′s . I owne A 87 FX 16 GTS just like the white 1 in this article and im in a FX 16 group thats always looking for parts for these . Thanks

    • 0 avatar
      dewalt

      hi, just responding about you looking for 87 FX GTS parts I have two of them one dismantled and other one whole has 1.6 4Age motors and three speed automatic/overdrive/ECT control whole car has 172k,? and dismantled one 135,000 both have good transmission and one head gasket bad if interested email me but I’m located in northern Wisconsin my email address is handymanhammond@yahoo.com


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