Junkyard Find: 1978 Toyota Corolla Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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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  • Richard Richard on Feb 22, 2023

    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.

  • E Bouyssou E Bouyssou on May 11, 2023

    I have one and they are great cars

  • Syke Yeah, no sympathy for the dealerships whatsoever. I've gone enough thru training a dealership's salesperson under the guise of trying to buy an EV. I'm pleasantly surprised that Ford's insisting on Level 3 DC Fast Charging rather than the usual Level 2 that most dealerships have now. This is definitely forcing a commitment on the part of the dealer that they're going to be serious about selling EV's.Oh yeah, DC Fast Charging is never free, so you're definitely talking another income stream for the dealership. The big question is are they smart enough to make something real of it?I continue to say that the legacy automakers biggest problem when it comes to selling EV's is their own dealerships. And this article really drives that home.
  • SCE to AUX Yeah, I'm going to spend 5 or 6 figures on a used/abused car from a punk.
  • MrIcky I'm not buying any of Musk's BS until he steps into the ring with Zuckerberg. Musk dropped the challenge, Mark picked it up, Musk pussed out. 2 men enter, 1 man leaves- you know the law.
  • SCE to AUX Best practice is to keep an EV at 1/3 - 1/2 full if sitting undriven for long periods.Dealers could easily get by with only one DC charger, or even none. A Level 2 home charger would be sufficient to top off test-drive cars, for instance.The only time you might want a DC charger is at the moment of sale, so you can send the customer home with a 'full tank of gas'. This could be done in 30 minutes while signing papers. But how often will that really be necessary?Alternately, they could simply give the buyer a voucher card for a nearby DC charger, just as they might for a gas-powered car.Ford's demand for DC chargers is absurd.
  • Dave M. Stellanis has a problem on their hands. Jeeps and Rams are costly with mediocre reliability; Chrysler and Dodge are on life support and certainly won't see the turn of the decade. They need a new game plan stat.