Junkyard Find: 1973 Toyota Corolla Deluxe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1973 toyota corolla deluxe

By the time this Junkyard Find ’78 Corolla was built, the Corolla was an institution in North America (at least in the western parts of the country). Not so with this ’73, built when Toyota was still a slightly oddball import marque and the fuel-economy penalty for a Valiant or Nova didn’t mean much to small-car buyers (this all changed because of certain events in October ’73).

The “Deluxe” badging on this car is funny, because it’s a spartan little beast even by early-1970s standards.

No air conditioning, but it does have an AM radio and a lighter.

And a really cool gas-filler door disguised as a vent on the C pillar.

This example, which I found in a Denver self-serve wrecking yard, has been just about completely used up. The odometer only goes up to five digits, so there’s no telling how many miles are on this car.

Judging by the amount of rodent poop and dirt in the car, this Corolla appears to have spent a decade or so sitting in a field.

This was the sensible cheap car of choice for my peers during my college years (mid-to-late 1980s), and so I’ve spent a lot of time in early Corollas. There’s not much fun about them in stock form, unless you count getting to your destination for pennies in gas as fun. Buyers looking for fun in a tiny Japanese econobox in 1973 went for the slightly less reliable but much nimbler Civic.

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  • Lemmiwinks Lemmiwinks on Dec 23, 2011

    In my experience, "Deluxe" is the bottom rung of the hyperbole ladder. When I check into a room at, say, a casino, it usually goes Deluxe, Premium, Executive, then Luxury before you start getting into the suites.

  • Bill mcgee Bill mcgee on Feb 22, 2012

    As i recall the Corolla came in a basic version even lower than the DeLuxe , at least slightly later in the seventies . Maybe it was after the Jimmy Carter era gas crisis but I remember a couple of co-workers buying really stripper late seventies Corolla two-door sedans and it may have been that this was only true of the two-door sedans but they had really glossy cheap looking plastic floors and no armrests. Meanwhile my sister's 1976 Corolla two-door DeLuxe hardtop at least had armrests and carpet-the latter noteworthy for being a tan/brown color that in every Corolla I ever saw so equipped turned into a funky muddy green within a year or two.

  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.
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