Junkyard Find: 1978 Toyota Corolla Wagon
The third-gen Corolla was the car that made Toyota in the Unites States; you saw the occasional Corona or Celica and maybe a rare Crown once in a while before the mid-70s, but the 1974-79 Corolla was the first Toyota that sold in sufficient quantity to make the marque an everyday sight on American streets. These cars rusted fast east of the Rockies and— once they got to be 15 or so years old— weren’t worth fixing when they got ugly in the non-rusty parts of the country. That makes them fairly rare in junkyards today; in this series so far, we’ve seen this ’76 Corolla liftback and this ’74 Corolla two-door, and that’s about it prior to today’s find.
Most cars don’t rust much in single-digit-humidity Colorado, but these cars were very eager oxidizers.
The High Plains sun is hard on paint.
The 75-horse 2T-C engine was a sturdy, if noisy, pushrod unit.
Air-conditioning was a rare option on these cars, because frugal buyers of gas-sippers didn’t mind a little sweat. I’ll bet it felt like someone pulling the parking brake when you activated the cold air in this car.
This looks like an aftermarket setup.
Rear defrost! Rear wiper! Even most Country Squire owners didn’t get that stuff!
This ad was hitting Chrysler below the belt.
Didn’t Lee Iacocca use the “if you can find a better car, buy it” line a few years later?
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What a waste. Who in their right mind would trash a classic corolla Wagon in that body condition, even with rust. If I was in a position to, I would go to that junkyard, if I had to travel across the country with a truck and trailer, and try to rescue the car and restore. Ridiculous.