“1969 Toyota Corona. Two owners since new. Approx. 98,000 miles. 1900cc engine, 2 spd Toyoglide automatic transmission. Runs well, needs some transmission work, but could be driven home. Clean interior with good upholstery. Radial Tires in good condition. This is an early North American Toyota in good original condition. Some rust on the fenders. Also included: complete 1970 Toyota Corona parts car. Same colour, same model. I have papers for this one as well. $2500 for both cars. Located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.”
If it’s something different you’re looking for, but yesterday’s Rolls Royce was a little out of your price range, then this might be the car for you: a 1969 Toyota Corona. Yup, just like the beer. Which is ironic, since much of the early criticism levelled at early Japanese cars was their “beer can” construction… so perhaps Toyota’s decision to name their early sedan after a beer only available in glass bottles was their attempt at pre-empting the criticism. In any case, the Corona needed all the help it could get in the domestic market, where it’s diminutive size, tiny 1.4L to 2.0L engines, and odd styling kept it marginalized.
Which means owning one 42 years after the fact might prove difficult. Although still doing a ridiculous amount of business, Japanese manufacturers typically don’t provide the same support for older models as many of the domestic manufacturers, which means parts availability can be a problem. The only upside is that this being a Toyota, you’re guaranteed a relatively large amount of parts sharing, especially when it comes to the powertrain and running gear. However, the downside is that this being a Toyota, it’s got rust… and the things that are rusting are probably a little less easy to locate. But for the right owner, it will undoubtedly provide interesting, and willing, transportation… and hey, you definitely won’t need to worry about any “unintended acceleration” incidents!