Junkyard Find: 1983 Toyota Corolla Deluxe Wagon
Until the 1984 model year, every new Corolla sold in the United States used a rear-wheel-drive configuration. Today's Junkyard Find is an AE72 Corolla station wagon, from the final model year of its generation sold here, found in a car graveyard in John Steinbeck's hometown.
The 1980-1982 E70 Corollas sold in the United States were powered by the poky-but-reliable 1.8-liter pushrod 3T engine, but the '83s got the far more modern 1.6-liter SOHC 4A engine.
This carbureted 4A-C was rated at 74 horsepower.
It's tough to make out the text on the underhood emissions sticker, but it shows us that this Corolla was sold new as a California-market vehicle.
While a couple of the cheaper US-market 1983 Corolla models had four-speed manuals as their base transmissions, all the new Corolla wagons that year got a five-speed manual with overdrive top gear as standard equipment. If you wanted your '83 Corolla wagon with a three-speed automatic, the cost went up three hundred bucks (about 931 bucks in 2023 dollars).
The MSRP for this car was $6,508, which comes to about $20,187 in today's money.
Cars that live near the ocean in California often develop this sort of top-down rust around seams and glass.
In any place where salty fog tended to collect, there is corrosion. I've seen some real Toyota rust horror stories in coastal California, but these cars dissolved into nothingness much more quickly in places like Maine and Minnesota.
176,100 miles on the odometer at the end.
No air conditioning (which would have been actuated via a switch where there's a block-off plate to the right of the heat/vent controls), but someone installed a mid-1980s Proton AM/FM/cassette unit with Schotz noise reduction. Even just a simple AM-only radio would have been a $110 option with this car ($341 in 2023 money).
There was a time, 30 years ago, when these aftermarket EQ amplifiers were snatched up instantly by the first junkyard shoppers to find them.
It has a new engine that gets 18 percent better fuel economy!
[Images: The Author]
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