Junkyard Find: 1989 Chevrolet Corsica, Ministry in Poetry Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1989 chevrolet corsica ministry in poetry edition

I have found the self-service wrecking yards of Phoenix to be among the best in the country when it comes to discovering top-shelf Junkyard Finds, so much so that I have taken a couple of trips there just for the junkyards. You’ll see everything from a Taurus MT-5 to a Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 4.5 to one of the last Toyota Coronas sold in America in these yards.

The Chevrolet Corsica isn’t so rare, but this one in Phoenix had some interesting qualities.

This car’s last owner was Kenny Stanford, who used his elderly Corsica as a sacred chariot, spreading God-inspired poetry across the Phoenix metropolitan region.

Thousands of years ago, prophets rode donkeys through the desert to deliver their messages to the unbelievers. Today’s desert prophet racks up close to 200,000 miles in the sedan version of the Chevy Beretta.

Like many GM cars of its era, this Corsica has a busted hood release. I wasn’t willing to shred any knuckles trying to persuade the hood to open, because — barring awesome engine swaps — there would be just a 2.0-liter four or a 2.8-liter six beneath. The transmission is the usual Corsica automatic; five-speeds were available, but I have yet to see a three-pedal Corsica.

You could get factory CD players in Chevrolets in 1989, and most new-car buyers opted for at least a cassette deck by then, but this car has the El Cheapo AM/FM radio. At least it has four speakers.

The Corsica is largely forgotten today, but spent some time as the mainstay of rental-car fleets during the early 1990s.

Let’s hope the Corsica-driving Minister in Poetry has upgraded to a newer and more luxurious Chevrolet by now.

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2 of 34 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 09, 2018

    Wow. The MT-5 in the link looks to be "Signal Red" as well. I havent seen one of those in 20 years.

  • Bill Bill on Oct 09, 2018

    My parents bought a 1988 Corsica in 1989, just like this one with the 90hp 2.0 4 cylinder and 3 speed auto trans, but with blue paint and interior. Same radio and instrument cluster as this one. As a 10 year old boy who had to that point grown up riding in a beat to death old Rambler and Sunbird, the Corsica was exciting. The paint peeled and it leaked oil (both fixed under warranty) but overall it was just a meh car. I took my drivers test in it, and as a teenager was very disappointed with the complete lack of power. It had the usual TCC solenoid issue causing the engine to stall once it had warmed up. My parents ended up giving to my sister so she could trade it in towards her first car around 2000-01.

  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.
  • Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.