By on October 21, 2012

Because the factory-hot-rod FX-16 version of the AE82 Corolla held its value better than the non-GT-S version, you tend to see more of the FX-16s in junkyards these days. In fact, this is the first one of these I’ve seen with an 8-valve engine for several years.
These things were well-built and reliable little commuters, though something of a snooze to drive. This one nearly made it to 250,000 miles, which is more than respectable for a car of its era.
Who says American cars of the 1980s weren’t reliable? Made in California!
This one appears to be a Midwestern transplant to Denver, since cars don’t rust much in these parts.
Toyota should have partnered with Mitsubishi and/or Subaru on this car, in order to get some more futuristic dash and interior action going on.

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20 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1988 Toyota Corolla...”


  • avatar
    mypoint02

    I’m more interested in this little guy’s neighbor. Looks like a 93-95 Audi 90 and it appears to be in really good shape. I wonder what did it in. After the whole unintended acceleration debacle, Audi was on its last breath here in the US. ’91 was their low water mark, but they never really got going again until the A4 was released in ’96. Any Audi from this era is exceptionally rare. A shame because they were actually really nice cars. These were the first cars that had a 2.8 V6 instead of the straight 5s.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I’ve gotta tell you I had a 1993 90S, and that 2.8 with 180(?)HP wasn’t really enough to move that hefty car along with the auto.

      Mine was generally reliable, and of course the interior was perfect even though it was 12 years old (except a rear door panel, which the cloth came unglued). Pearl white with a parchment cloth, and black/wood dash. The doors made a great thunk when you closed them. I sold it after a year and a half due to a vacuum leak issue which I couldn’t resolve on my budget. For $200 less than I purchased it.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Nice find.

    This one looks to have been repainted, at least in part. One photo you go is the edge of the hatchback, and I saw some minor over spray on the window gasket, and see a bit of red peaking through, just inside the hatch opening, and of course, the red section of the liftgate which may have had a spoiler on it.

    That tells me that this car may have been red, and an accident had it resprayed white.

    For 244K= miles, the driver’s seat looks pretty good as you’d expect it to be more worn out that it looks in the photos.

    Even I don’t see too many of these anymore here in Seattle these days.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The hatches were the very first thing to rot out on these things, usually in the first 3-4 years. So quite likely it got replaced and painted. Yet another ’80s Japanese car that typically never saw its tenth birthday in the salt states. They simply did not last long enough to get that bulletproof reputation up here.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Loved these little cars. So amazingly functional, economical, and solid. Disagree on Soobie provided ‘futuristic’ dash technology as these late ’80s Yodas were pretty fantastic as compared to the mundane Ford Escort, the direct from 1978 Dodge Omni, and the squared off, poorly engineered Chevy Cavalier interior space.

    • 0 avatar
      Maintainer

      Which direct from 78 Dodge Omni? The 85 Omni I had had a Tach as big as the Speedo. It wasn’t close to boring either after a quick Frankensteen transplant.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        All of them, I had a 1990 Horizon and aside from an airbag it felt and looked like it was straight out of 1978, apart from the boring grey interior and dull, faded, warped grey exterior. Very boring and cheaply made car.

        Once the tranny broke I went to an ’89 Tercel and learned what a proper compact felt like. Still boring but at least it didn’t flake rust everywhere.

  • avatar
    BigMeats

    Argh… this is making me relive the 80′s and all the surprises I had when one friend after another bought their first Japanese cars. Whenever I’d ride in or drive one, I couldn’t get over the feeling that I could just ball the thing up in my hands like a pop can.

    Just In Time manufacturing was already a tired trope by the time this Toyota was made. What seldom got mentioned, though, was the “Just Enough” school of engineering that these things introduced. It was astonishing to help someone do maintenance or repair on one and see all the wee tiny Japanese renderings of hoses, clamps, brackets, connectors ..etc. God, the absolute rationality and complete absence of anything like Western notions of sufficiency these little soldiers presented.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Those weren’t around very long in these parts, they rusted and crumbled away in short order.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    Never seen one here by the rock salt crusted shores of lake Erie, these pop cans had no hope of survival here in the winter

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    These are all long-gone here, even more so than the Civics of the era, but a friend from Eugene had a nearly-identical car – dubbed the ‘Skateboard from Hell’ – and quite enjoyed it until she emigrated to Scotland.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    Never see these up North. Obviously we don’t have many 80′s Japanese cars in rural NY.

    The other day I saw one of those awkward coupe Tercels of the same vintage, turquoise and driven by a little old woman. Its strange to think that in this day and age that was an exciting sight to see on the road…

  • avatar

    We owned a ’92 (the last model year of this design) for a few years, up until four years ago. They were definitely a snoozefest to drive – no question about it (the three-speed automatic certainly didn’t help; I’m surprised they still sold some of them with a three). However, it was a rock-solid car.

    I threw new struts into it and got a set of winter rubber for it, and some nicer wheel covers, and it served us well as Car #2 until we got my wife’s Fit in ’08.

    It’s probably still on the road.

  • avatar
    autojim

    At the place I interned during college, one of the office staff downstairs bought one of these new. Red. Never registered/tagged it. Come to find out, never insured it either. After several months driving around on the paper tag in the back window, which by this time had faded to complete unreadability, he got stopped for no tag, and no insurance. $300 fine each, but reduced to $5 each if you presented proof of correction. So he got insurance, got it tagged, went to the courthouse and got the tickets reduced, then called and cancelled the insurance as soon as he got back to the office. He, of course, kept the proof of insurance in the glovebox in case he got stopped again.

    I made a point of staying way the hell away from him on the road from that point forward.

    And now, whenever I see one of these cars, I think of that guy and how amazingly stupid he was.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Based on the condition of the tires, this sample must have died suddenly, catastrophic engine failure?

  • avatar
    wavespy

    Hey! That’s in my local (by Colorado standards) junkyard!

  • avatar

    This seems corolla car still looks good ..
    http://oemarbakries.blogspot.com/2013/11/mobil-sedan-corolla.html


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