Junkyard Find: 1998 Toyota Corolla LE, New Jersey Skater Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

After yesterday’s Corolla Junkyard Find, it seemed right to follow up with another, newer, Corolla. You know how you can tell when you’re a car’s final owner? Such was the case with the final owner of this much-abused Corolla, who drove his or her Corolla a couple thousand miles west, no doubt to be where cannabis is legal.

This sort of paint job attracts a lot of attention from members of the law-enforcement community, especially when the driver looks like this guy or maybe even this guy.

The house-paint-and-rattle-can-graffiti look also tends to enrage neighbors, which increases the chances that the car will get parking tickets and then get towed away by The Man when those tickets aren’t paid.

The drive out from New Jersey probably featured a lot of E.Town Concrete on the stereo.

Judging from all the stickers and tags on the car, the owner must have been a big fan of Creature skateboards.

Many Eastcrust stickers as well.

You see many of these Grenade Gloves stickers on various mud-splattered SUVs and final-owner hoopties in Denver. They’ve become quite commonplace in junkyards, maybe even more so than ICP Hatchetman stickers these days.

Odds are that this car’s first owner was a rental-car company, as is the case with so many Corolla LEs.

Or perhaps the original owner came from this Buick-like demographic.

It’s hard to imagine any car company being willing to torpedo their wholesome image with a song from the notoriously drug-addled Sly and the Family Stone back during the band’s heyday. What’s next, Iggy Pop selling Cadillacs?

OK, now we need some of Sly’s yodeling, from an era when cities were burning, bombs were dropping, and shit was getting crazier every day.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Boogieman99 Boogieman99 on May 29, 2014

    A lot of fun was had with this car... the type that can't be had when parents buy their kids a brand new Civic or Altima instead of a decade old beater

  • Guy922 Guy922 on Jun 03, 2014

    These Corolla's were probably the crappiest iteration yet. I have a lot of memories and experience with 1988-92 Corollas. In High school and the early years after, many of my friends had those. A few have had 1998-02 Corollas as well. the '98s felt so cheap with the lame upholstery and the low seating position. The anemic engine felt like it was pulled from a Tercel powertrain and it probably is the blandest looking of all corollas of late. I find well used 1988-97 Corollas more visually appealing than a well used 1998-02. The cheapness and butt ugly looks were somewhat remedied with the 2003 redesign. I used to drive a my Aunt's 1999 Corolla CE at times. After driving that and getting into my 1992 Camry, the Camry felt like a whole other world. The Corolla is good at what it does best-Cheap and reliable transport. Those looking for refinement and a high quality interior would be best to look elsewhere.

  • Richard Poore Sure, as the article itself notes (hence my ire) California has mandated that all new vehicles sold in state be EV by 2035. They require EV or hybrid by 2026. Since the author admits to this mandate it seems that the article title is clickbait... was really hoping that there was some sort of changes in the CA position since the state is sorely behind on where they need to be with charging stations for this sort of requirement.
  • VoGhost When will Audi eliminate the fake, oversized grills that impede aerodynamics?
  • Kelley It's about time! I was so discouraged to see those poor Chevy Bolts stuck at the charging station receiving level 2 speeds after 80%, it was ridiculous. It would be nice if EA would had more level 2 chargers, also, at the same locations for people to top off above 80% on the fast chargers.
  • Tane94 Carmela Harris is supportive of EV adoption, so government incentives will be continuing under her watch.