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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