1969: Toyota Corona Gives You Go!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

A generous 24 Hours of LeMons racer gave me a copy of the February 1969 issue of Playboy as a gift last weekend, and it’s even more of a time capsule than most publications of its era. The only cars advertised in the issue are the Ford Mustang (Mach 1 and Shelby), Volkswagen Beetle, Datsun 510 (labeled as the “/2”), and the Toyota Corona. Since my very first car was a ’69 Corona, I felt compelled to share this ad.

0-60 in 16 seconds. 25 miles per gallon. Top speed of 90 MPH. Toyoglide transmission with two forward gears. Hmmm… those numbers don’t sound so great.

Other than this one, I haven’t seen a Corona coupe of this era for many years.

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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  • Nikita Nikita on Jun 14, 2012

    Was the 1962 Chevy II Nova Sport Coupe with 90hp standard four and (optional) Powerglide the template for this thing? I still remember "Zero to sixty in sixteen seconds!" in TV ads for the Corona. Granted, my VW was slower, but in the muscle car era it seemed odd to make a big deal about that performance number.

  • Moparman426W Moparman426W on Jun 14, 2012

    Which japanese cars still used solid lifters into the late 70's, was it datsun, toyota, or both? My memory is hazy on that one. But whichever it was I remember how loud the lifters were, and how bad they sounded. Sure the slant 6 used solids through mid 76, but at least they sounded cool.

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