Junkyard Find: 1989 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1989 toyota corolla all trac wagon

Denver really is an alternate universe when it comes to the typical inventory in a self-service junkyard (compared to California, where my formative junkyard years were spent). You won’t find many BMW E30s or Volvo 240s, both of which inhabit California yards to the extent that they clog The Crusher’s jaws, but you will find every oddball four-wheel-drive car built in the 1970s and 1980s. I found this ’89 Corolla All-Trac wagon a couple months back and thought, “Man, these things must be a one-in-a-million find, even in Colorado!” Not so, as it turns out; at another yard maybe ten miles away, here’s one more.

I’ve always preferred the Tercel 4WD wagon, the Civic Wagovan, and— most of all— the AMC Eagle when it comes to 80s four-wheel-drive wagons, but the Corolla All-Trac has a certain flair about it.

This car seems very rusty by Denver standards (with 5% humidity most of the time, cars don’t rust much in these parts), but it turns out that this car came from a Minnesota dealership.

I’m sure true Minnesotans— like, say, my parents— wouldn’t even consider this to be real rust, but: yucko!

I’m still toying with the idea of getting some kind of four-wheel-drive winter beater (though my Nord-Frost-equipped Civic does fine in the snow, even with a Californized Wintern00b™ behind the wheel). It won’t be an All-Trac, however. BMW 325iX? Subaru Justy 4WD? Oleg Cassini Edition AMC Eagle (tell me such a thing exists)?

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  • Robinculver Robinculver on Oct 23, 2012

    I currently have a 1989 Corolla All Trac automatic. It runs fairly good at 218,000 km but needs transmission work (for the last 60,000km) but I've had my mechanic looking for parts since January with no luck (or maybe he just doesn't want to bother with it). I'd love to get it running in top shape. I just love this car! I'm in the Orlando Florida area, does anyone know anyone who wants to take on the project? This is my daily driver and I'd rather not be without it for longer than a week or two. Any recommendations?

  • Krsears Krsears on Nov 27, 2012

    Which yard is this one located in? I need parts for my All Trac.

  • FreedMike Ford "Powershudder" DCT? Hard pass...with extreme prejudice. The only people who liked these were the class-action lawyers. With a manual, it'd be a different story.
  • Cprescott I blow on a pinwheel....
  • Jkross22 Looks good in and out, but pricing is nonsensical. Anyone spending in the low to upper 40s and wanting something like this would be better off in a Stelvio and anyone wanting a small, fun SUV would be better off in a Q3, X1 or even X3. All hover around that price.Dodge is getting high off its own supply.
  • Parkave231 If I were employed at Grand River, I'd be very worried right now...
  • ScarecrowRepair I can grok everything but 20 TV monitors. What earthly purpose do they serve? If the entire skin were screens, it could change like a chameleon. But they are just square blobs scattered all over. The rear ones can send messages to tailgators. The others?At least the two fake NOS bottles are car related. If it had cattle horns up front, at least that would relate to historical car bling.Makes me wonder how many other mods are just as useless, and how well any of them are done.