Sometimes, you can find a car that allows you to both get in on a growing trend, while still getting decent performance for fair money. You might be wondering what a stock 1979 Corolla with the simple addition of JDM-tite-yo mirrors is doing here, but hang on for more details on that. While the Corolla’s current reputation is cemented as an emotionless, reliable-as-death-and-taxes car that will bore anyone who’ll sit in it into working on clearing out their email inbox, brushing their teeth and sipping a latte while driving it, nostalgia means we can look at the few older examples that remain and appreciate them for what they are. But before that, let’s look back at period reviews, in which they were actually criticized by Road & Track for being too large, heavy, overpriced, too small inside, and for consuming too much fuel. The rear suspension also came under fire for being crude. With that convincing sales pitch, you’ll definitely want to check out this 1979 Toyota Corolla for sale for $3000 in Austin, TX.
Finished in what looks to be the epitome of Corolla colors – gold metallic – there doesn’t appear to be anything outwardly special about this car. Stock thirteen inchers have been sprayed in matte black, which, in connection with the giant safety bumpers, don’t really help the looks. You’ll want to keep a broom handle in the car to adjust the mirrors while you’re actually sitting in the driver’s seat, or bribe a friend with some beer and pizza to come over and adjust the mirrors in 17 easy steps of “just a little to the left… now right… now diagonally down to the right” and so on. Just a fun afternoon with your car and a friend, right? The aftermarket chin spoiler is a neat touch, and will look better once you find yourself a set of rest-of-the-world small bumpers.
That said, the rear bumper has obviously done a good job protecting the body at some point, so while it’s slightly out of kilter, everything else looks straight. Unfortunately, the lighting on this picture is not great, and there are no shots of the passenger side, so it’s hard to assess overall condition. Austin’s humid, hot summers are not easy on interiors or exteriors, though the winters are not so harsh, so plan for issues with the plastic and vinyl parts as well as the metal.
And here’s where you’ll stop thinking this car’s just another bland box that outlived its expiration date – the 2T-C engine is the larger option available with 75hp against the 3K-C’s 55hp, and though it was probably emissions-choked at some point, it’s now wearing a set of shiny new exhaust headers as well as dual Weber carburetors, which should get you closer to 100hp. In addition, the car is said to have a new battery, exhaust, front coil-over shocks, and new rear lowering blocks (yet it’s not slammed to the ground, if the photos are current). Finally, the 5-speed transmission has been rebuilt.
The seller also offers – rather vaguely – to include these wheels for the right price, though perhaps you’d want something a little narrower that will allow a bit more sliding around at the expense of fashion. The car’s also said to have been well-maintained, and to run and brake perfectly. With the power upgrades in place, perhaps you’ll want to give some more time and attention to the brake and suspension upgrades the seller has already started. If you’re looking for a car that will get you access to vintage rallies and the Japanese classic car scene, this looks like the perfect entry to both those hobbies.
Editorial note: This being a one-man show, there may be occasional outages due to things like travel and sick days, or even playing with old cars. To be automatically notified when the next post shows up, subscribe using the button on the side of this page. Your email address won’t be used for any commercial purpose. Thanks for reading!