By on December 13, 2012

As I always mention every time I write about the Toyota Corona, my very first car was a 50-buck ’69 Corona sedan, and so I always notice them. You don’t see many Coronas these days, though I’ve managed to find this ’70 coupe, this ’70 sedan, and this ’79 sedan in wrecking yards during the last year. All three of those cars were in Northern California, but today’s Junkyard Find awaits The Crusher’s jaws in Colorado.
1982 was the last model year for Corona sales in the United States; the front-wheel-drive Camry took over the rear-drive Corona’s role the following year. By current Lexus standards, the luxury in this “Luxury Edition” wasn’t particularly plush.
This AC switch looks very familiar to me, and it should— I used the same switch as the main power control on the Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox, which even now provides music in the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™ garage.
In addition to refrigerated air, the Luxury Edition Corona also came with a rear defroster.
Somebody (probably a Toyota truck owner) has already grabbed the 22R engine out of this car.
Not only does this car come with a Grapic Equalizer With Amplifier, it has a Phase Diffusion button. Ah, the early 1980s!

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33 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1982 Toyota Corona Luxury Edition...”

  • avatar

    Wow, Burt Toyota is serious about people knowing where you bought your car. I’ve never seen the dealer ID badge attached with sheet-metal screws.

    • 0 avatar

      “I’ve never seen the dealer ID badge attached with sheet-metal screws.”

      They were all done that way years ago. I worked in the body shop of a Chevy dealership in 1973 and we spent a lot of time filling in holes on brand new cars where the purchaser refused to take delivery because of a chrome plated, pot metal emblem screwed on to the back of their brand new car. Corvette owners, in particular, screamed the loudest; there was no inconspicuous place to affix such a monstrosity on the tail-end of a ’73 Vette.

      • 0 avatar

        I had no idea! All the old cars in our family have them held on with double-sided tape (several 60-70’s American motors products, a ’71 Ford and ’78 Caddy). Now I’m really going to notice at the classic auctions and shows.

        In Columbus OH, where I used to live, a certain mega-dealer glues 8″ #1 emblems. That alone is almost enough to prevent me from shopping there.

      • 0 avatar

        So, back then Vette owners hated their cars to have simple badges screwed on?

        Yet nowadays, they regularly swap wheels, tint the tailights, add bodykit parts (largely C4s), and many other things.

        Its interesting how Corvette ownership seems to have changed.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        My 70 Mustang had a dealer name emblem riveted into the rear panel just right of one of the taillights. When the panel was rotting around one of the taillights, (these were the days before Mustang restoration repo parts catalogs with every panel available) For some reason Ford did not have one available so I had the panel spot welded and the emblem holes filled in.

      • 0 avatar


        Um, the hate for the dealer badge is someone *else* putting something on your car. At least the foam tape variety are removed easily enough. There is still and interesting part of this, in that owning a classic car like an old Vette, the original dealer badge is considered a nice touch.

        Go to a car show there are many badly customized C1-C6 Corvettes…dealer badges or not. Corvette ownership has changed little.

  • avatar

    Lunsford Toyota was the dealer in my home town in California. They would put a sticker in the rear window with the name of the dealership.

    Some friends of my parents bought a Corolla back in the 70’s. They modified the sticker so that it read:


  • avatar

    Didn’t the Cressida take over as the luxury model when the Corona went away, rather than the Camry? I ask because of the RWD/FWD difference there.

    The individual buttons pictured don’t look all that dated, and I think the woodgrain is a pretty good replication as well!

    • 0 avatar

      The Corona wasn’t a particularly high-end luxury model in the pre-Cressida days. That was the role filled by the Crown, which hadn’t been sold in the US for (I’m guessing) a decade prior to 1982. The early Camry was pretty similar in price and size to the Corona.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan Roth

      Corona was replaced straight-up by the Camry. Even the names of the two cars mean the same thing:

      Corona = from Latin, means crown
      Camry = also means crown, phonetical bastardization of Kanmura, the Japanese word for crown.

      That first-generation Camry is a hell of a car. They even made a turbodiesel.

    • 0 avatar

      The woodgrain doesn’t look bad at all, much more realistic than what the Big Three using at the time. Actually, it looks pretty similar to what Mercedes was using into the early 2000s. Looks like a pretty fancy stereo for the time too, especially considering that this was the era when radios were still an optional accessory on many entry level subcompacts.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The father of the Camry, in 83, Toyota went FWD just like GM did, but unlike the General, Toyota got it right, the first time out.

  • avatar

    Are those fingernail clippings under the handbrake? Ewww

  • avatar

    I still see BURT Toyota emblems in California. They must be a large dealer. I notice them because my mom named her Corona “Burt.” I’m sure she wished she had purchased it from Burt Toyota.
    I think the Corona was pretty luxurious for its time. Cassette, EQ, A/C, and rock-solid Toyota engineering in 1982. Not bad for a compact.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    Is this “Luxury” edition the Japanese equivalent of “Brougham?” ;)

  • avatar

    Growing up in New England my neighbors had a yellow Corona. In the winter you could sit outside and watch the rust eating it away from the road salt.

  • avatar

    I don’t have a clue what a Phase Diffusion button does, but MAN do I want one in my car. It seems like it should be under a missile switch cover so you can’t hit it accidentally.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan Roth

      Phase diffusion is an audio processing trick that makes stereo signals seem “wider”. It’s a cheap way to get a surround-ish effect.

      I kinda doubt it’s true mid-side processing, where the L+R sum (mono) is separated from the L-R difference (stereo) component of the signal and the two are equalized, level adjusted and phase-rotated against each other before being recombined.

      Not as cool as your idea.


    • 0 avatar

      I straight up want that EQ!!! I don’t know what I would do with it, but I want it!!! (hint hint) :)

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Luxury Edition and no power windows… And people complain about Brougham cars.

    A Malibu Classic from the same era is a much better car than that thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry, but a UAW built-terriblyengineeredthateventhesovietswouldlaugh GM anything from that era doesn’t even come close to this Corona.

      My Cressida had one of the equalizers. My factory radio quit working and I replaced it, but before I loved messing around with it.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        The downsized GM A (and I include B) bodies from that era are FAR from being poorly engineered vehicles.

        For starters they had decent rust proofing compared to any of the Japanese of that time.

        They may have not been perfect (not a single man made machine is BTW) but crap they certainly weren’t.

        And you clearly have never seen a Lada (to name just 1 soviet brand) in the street.

      • 0 avatar

        Those turds are exactly what I had in mind when thinking of ’80s era GM mobile. Those crap boxes gave GM the reputation they have today.

        Those A bodies especially were junk. My great grandma had a Cutlass Ciera that my uncle inherited that was on its last legs by 88,000 miles. The freaking doors didn’t even line up correctly on it.

      • 0 avatar

        @Cressida, sure, the GM products sucked mechanically. But here in the north we have a different perspective on what we consider junk. A car can have a bad engine, trans, whatever, but as long as you have a solid platform to work with you can fix it. Once the structure starts rotting away there’s nothing to work with, sort of like trying to fix a house with a collapsed foundation.

  • avatar

    Reading that ‘Luxury Edition’ badge on the trunk makes me feel as if they were prepping us for ‘LE’ in the years to come.

  • avatar

    O V E R D R I V E

    I’m assuming most of GM this era was Strasbourg 3-speed..?

    Luxury indeed.

  • avatar

    Another highlighted “55”.

    “Something about that little red line always looked so final…”

  • avatar

    My grandpa had one of these. I remember it from my childhood…It was Toyota malaise brown and it was the “luxury edition” like this one. At the same time my grandma had an 86 Camry which they much prefered. Both were garaged and surprisingly not rusty. That 82 corona did 200k odd miles and was replaced in 1995 by a green Lexus ES300 (still alive – only 80k!). The Camry was (predictably) replaced by a newer Camry.
    This would be the ancestor of the Camry, therefore it is the great ancestor of my ’03 ES300.
    Luxury indeed! look at that wood trim and velour interior! and that equalizer….totally 80s. Good find! Haven’t seen a corona in a looooong time. Honestly my grandpas was probably the last one i ever rode in. Rust got them here in Maryland long ago. Hell its a challenge to find a first generation Camry these days.

  • avatar

    What a strange place to put the cruise control switch.

  • avatar

    I have this exact vehicle and I need a taillight lens. Where is it located?

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