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1969 Toyota Corolla Sprinter: All Factory

1969 Toyota Corolla Sprinter

Vintage Japanese cars always make me chuckle, due largely to the fact that these cars were little different from their ancestors: cheap, fuel-efficient transportation that had a knack for reliability. But given their age and rarity today, classic Toytoas like this 1969 Corolla Sprinter found on craigslist suddenly seem desirable as an easy-to-own project. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Proston for the find.

Toyota Corolla Sprinter

Not much information is given other than the car is 100% factory. That’s not very helpful, but it certainly appears that way in the photos. The Sprinter name was associated with a car sold solely in the Japanese market, but there are certainly more than a few examples roaming around stateside. As a 1969 model, this Sprinter may have the upgraded 1166 cc 3K engine.

Corolla Sprinter

There are certainly some nice design elements here, from the Sprinter script on the rear decklid to the slim chrome bumpers. I can’t tell if this car is more of a primrose yellow or cream color, but with all the factory badging in place, there’s a good chance it’s original. At the very least, if it’s a repaint, some level of care was taken upon re-assembly. I’m not sure that justifies the $10,000 asking price, however.

Clean Toyota Corolla Sprinter

This example here (thanks to Japanese Nostalgic Car for the photo) shows how a Sprinter can be modified for a more aggressive look. I’m not sure a survivor like this should be altered from stock, but upgraded suspension and tires could make this vintage economy car more fun to drive. I particularly like the Japanese wing mirrors on the fenders. How would you use this old-school Toyota?



  1. Roland Libby

    Remember these cars well, or at least their siblings. Hauled many from their assembly plant, at least then, in Pt. Edwards, N.S., back in the late ’60’s. They were well prepped for the Canadian climate. If they didn’t start at 20 degrees below…go get gas. Spartan, but adequate.

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  2. Birdman

    Hmmm… Buffalo Craigslist… Philadelphia Phone Number… and BC Tags on the car in the picture…..


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  3. Cassidy

    I dunno which ’69 to buy… I know! Let’s race them! Wait. This poor little guy is probably slower than yesterday’s Luv. Nice looking, tho! Nice to see rust free cars

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  4. randy

    Why is the guy hiking his leg next to the car?

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  5. Scotty G

    Nothing like starting out a post with a disparaging remark against vintage Japanese vehicles, nice work (not). That first sentence literally makes no sense. What “ancestors” are being referred to by the writer? I’m confused, this car IS an ancestor to today’s Japanese cars, did he / she mean Toyotas that are even older than 1969? Hmm.. Sorry about my reply, but dang, I’m getting very tired of vintage / nostalgic Japanese vehicles getting such a lack of respect, even by automotive writers.

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  6. St. Ramone de V8

    Here in BC, we saw many of these Sprinters. I don’t think that the name was used only in Japan. Common here. Fun, cheap, reliable little cars. Rusted quickly, as most everything did. This one looks good, seeing a BC plate on it when it’s in Buffalo is puzzling. Priced way out of reality.

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  7. Galaxie Greg

    Wow!! You don’t see many of these. My brother had a car very similar to this. He got it as used car in 1973 and drove it back and forth to a local college & work, etc. It was white with black top, had 4-speed, 1,100 cc engine, also had some GT stripes along the rocker panels, flat black stripes on hood and a twin tailpipe extension. I think it was just a dealer dress up package. The “Sprinter” part of these Toyota Corolla’s is just the semi-fastback roof, which looks far better that the plain sedan versions. It sure was a fun little car to drive, not fast, taught myself how to drive/shift gears, etc years before I turned 16.

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  8. shiro1303 Member

    This would pull good money even back here in Japan.

    My daily driver 77 Toyota Lite Ace has that same 1200cc (1166) its a bulletproof engine they even used them in forklifts even gets 24 miles to the gallon still

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  9. BCfromBC

    The Sprinter models were available in Canada where this car is registered (note the BC plates or tags as sometimes called in the US) I had a ’69 Corolla sedan as a first car. A neighbor had a Sprinter. Circa 1980.

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  10. David Henderson

    I bought the first 1969 Sprinter sold in Cranbrook BC from Kimbrook Motors ( I worked there ) . It was a dark green colour , loved that car ! Paid $1996. for it ! The starter developed a dead spot so had to push it to start half the time . Traded it in on a used Chevy van when I went to work at the Ford dealer !

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