Junkyard Find: 1989 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

You want rare? When’s the last time you saw a Corolla All-Trac, anywhere?

Colorado, where I live, is sort of a living museum of four-wheel-drive vehicles that have been forgotten in the rest of the world. The Tercel 4WD wagon is still a common sight here, along with endless IHC Scouts and every possible variety of old Subaru. Even here, however, you see about as many street-driven Packards as you do Corolla All-Trac wagons.

So, here’s this nearly complete example, with beautiful interior and no rust that I could find. It’s hard to imagine these things ever becoming sought-after collector cars, but one day we’ll realize they’re all gone.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Lemmiwinks Lemmiwinks on Jan 24, 2012

    I know I'm late to the party on this one, but I've been doing a retrospective on these Junkyard Find pieces this afternoon. (It's been a slow day.) For the record, Murilee, you can find a decent number of these buggers (as well as their Honda brothers-from-another-mother) actively roaming the streets of the SF peninsula and east bay. The fact that you can find a lot of vintage Japanese metal near 'round these parts is nothing special in and of itself, but the other half and I always take a picture when we spot one of these little 4wd oddities... I believe we've caught at least three dozen examples in the past couple years. (And no, I'm not thinking of the Tercel.) Folks around here love them some AWD Tahoe machines, even if it means the trip from Placerville to South Lake on 50 will take three hours.

  • JMA510 JMA510 on Oct 22, 2012

    I still have one! A little different though, mine is a Sprinter Carib right hand drive, same deal mostly. See quite a few of them around B.C. interior region since the used Japanese importing market has become so popular in this area. Mine is a 1988 AE95 model, also with only 94000Km so hopefully she will be around for quite a while.

  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
  • Lou_BC There's a company in BC that has kits for logging trucks and pickups. They have "turn key" logging trucks too. What they market is similar to what Ram wants to sell. The rig runs on batteries and a generator kicks in when depleted. On the West Coast logging in the mountains they found that the trucks run mostly on regen braking. The generator doesn't kick in much. Going up mountain, the truck is empty.