By on June 13, 2012

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.

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13 Comments on “1969: Toyota Corona Gives You Go!...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Datsun 510 (labeled as the “/2″)

    So 510/2=205 right? :P

  • avatar

    My college roommate had a Corona back in the mid-1980s. I can’t remember the model year, but I do remember that it was an unreliable piece of junk, even by the standards of the day. I had a 1975 VW Rabbit, not exactly the byword for a bullet-proof car, but I was the one who had to rescue him when the Corona broke down.

    Not that I was surprised – my dad had a 1972 Hilux pickup that had an unkillable drivetrain but that was otherwise a pain. In particular, it had front drum brakes that went out of adjustment every 100 miles or so – even the dealer couldn’t get them to work right.

    Just goes to show that if you work hard at product improvement you can overcome problems – Hyundai are a great contemporary example of this. If someone had told me 20 years ago that I would be disappointed that the rental car agency had did not have a Hyundai for me to rent and that I had to take a Nissan instead, I would have laughed in their face. How times have changed…

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    As a former owner of a 1970 Boss 302, i would have enjoyed seeing the Mustang adds.

    Who was the gatefold girl?

  • avatar

    My dad had one of these. It was nice for a small car of the time, but it wasn’t very reliable. I learned a lot about fixing cars while working on it. Being in Connecticut, there were two main reactions: a.) Everyone thought it looked strange, and b.) it rusted like crazy. We used to call it the “Toyota Coroda”.

  • avatar

    Really slow, and proud of it!

  • avatar

    I remember that my parents had one of these when I was growing up in the early 80s. Our other vehicle was a 77 Honda Civic. The Corona Mark II rusted like your wouldn’t believe, but the interior was VERY nice.

    Embroidered fabric seats, automatic shifting knob that was heavily chromed with a leatherette shifter top. Was certainly not fast, but even today I marvel at how nice that interior was.

    If memory serves me right, it had a 1.9L 4-cylinder, and was quite smooth for its time. It wasn’t particularly reliable, but certainly on par with other cars from the 70s.

    The rust though… the rust…. I remember my dad perpetually trying to fend off the rust that was eating away at the rocker panels and the base of the trunk.

  • avatar

    Very first Toyota I ever rode in. A buddy in the air force who’s folks lived in Sacramento, 40 miles from base, owned one. In blue.

    I had to admit I was impressed with how smooth it ran and how economical it was. This was 1971.

    Kinda plain, but a decent sedan nevertheless.

  • avatar

    C pillar and backlite remind me of Corvair…

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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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