Junkyard Find: 1968 Toyota Corona Sedan
Since my first car was a Corona and I’ve had quite a bumper crop of Corona Junkyard Finds this year (including this ’79 LE sedan, this ’70 sedan, and this ’70 coupe, the last of the 2012 Junkyard Find Series might as well be this ’68 sedan.
This example of Toyota’s first big seller in the United States (Crowns were always very rare and Corollas didn’t get to be big US sellers until the 1970s), which I found at the site of our Auction-To-Crusher study, came with the transmission whose name I love most of all: Toyoglide!
The Toyoglide was a license-built version of GM’s venerable two-speed Powerglide. Yes, even as Land Cruisers got a Toyota-ized Chevy six engine, Coronas got GM transmissions.
The 3R pushrod engine was noisy and not so powerful, but it did sport the reliability the R family is known for (unless entered in a 24 Hours of LeMons race).
My ’69 Corona wasn’t particularly reliable except for the engine, and overall it was just about as terrible as the Pintos and Colts driven by my high-school peers. It took the Corolla and Celica and some cockroach-like pickups, a few years later, to get Toyota its American reputation for build quality.
Still, the boxy little Corona was the first real toehold in the American market for Toyota.
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i have a '66 that i just inherited..my mother bought it new in SF in 1967. i still drive it . people either ask what it is, laugh , or tell me stories about ones they knew