Junkyard Find: 1982 Toyota Corolla Liftback

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 toyota corolla liftback

It has become a Corolla Junkyard Find week, with this ’78 Corolla wagon on Monday and this skateboarder-enhanced ’98 Corolla LE sedan yesterday, so I’m going to keep the streak going with today’s find: a Late Malaise Era (yes, I invented the term) E-72 Corolla liftback, which I found late last year in Northern California.

You can tell when a junkyard car wasn’t towed away for unpaid tickets, because it will still have the keys. This was probably a trade-in at a sketchy used-car lot.

Most cars don’t rust in California, but Malaise Era Toyotas find a way. This car might have lived by the beach in San Francisco for a while, though not long enough to look like this terrifyingly salty ’84 Space Van.

The interior doesn’t look too bad here.

Just 69,000 miles? That suggests a blown head gasket followed by 20 years of storage in a driveway.

The 3T-C engine made just 70 horses, but they were reliable horses.

Come on!

The early 1980s were the pinnacle of the “Oh, what a feeling!” era for Toyota ads.

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2 of 27 comments
  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on May 30, 2014

    That these dissolved faster than orange Tang and still got respect shows that the Vega could have rejuvenated GM had they used a proper motor.

  • Bill mcgee Bill mcgee on May 31, 2014

    A cousin owned one like this , in a nice shade of yellow . Actually I liked the styling of the liftback of the prior generation Corolla better - when they came out the styling was compared to a Volvo 1800 . The above comments about head gasket problems reminded me of when my wife's 1982 Corolla blew its head gasket halfway between Houston and San Antonio on our way to a wedding . IIRC the car only had about 100k miles . Traded in on a Camry after the clutch went out a year later .

  • MrIcky Unimogs
  • Parkave231 On the one hand, I always thought that TriPower was a horrible name for the L3B engine (and LSY, although I don't recall seeing that name applied in practice), especially since one of the three technologies reduces said power (AFM). Of all the historic GM names to bring back...On the other hand, TurboMAX is a horrible replacement name. Turbo-Quad4? (Yes, I know it's not.) FleetFour? (Seemingly target market?) FourReal?
  • SCE to AUX The diesel isn't that compelling compared to the 2.7T, when you consider the 50% fuel cost premium and the need for DEF.But regularly towing 9500 lbs with a 4-cylinder (even a low-stress one like this) seems to be overdoing it. I'd get the 4 for lighter duty, the diesel for medium duty, and one of the 8s for heavy duty.
  • Analoggrotto Over the years GM has shown a keen interest in focusing their attention and development money on large, expensive or specialized vehicles and little to no progress in developing something excellent to complete with such class leaders as : Camry, Telluride, Civic, CR-V, Highlander, Accord, or even ho hum Corolla. And this is the way class division works in the heartland/rustbelt: pretend to care for the common man but cater the public resources to additional security and comfort for the upper echelons of society. GM is Elitist American Communism.
  • Art Vandelay Current Fiesta ST