$5,900 Or Offer! 1974 Toyota Corona Mark II

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If you’re like me, and for your family’s sake I hope that you aren’t, then you absolutely love these little vintage/nostalgic Japanese cars; you just don’t see these things anymore in this condition for this price. This one is a 1974 Toyota Corona Mark II and it’s in beautiful Chula Vista, California. It’s on Craigslist with an asking price of $5,900 or best offer. Grab that roll of $100 bills under your mattress and head down there and do some wheeling and dealing on this time capsule.

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This Corona is in amazing condition, especially considering how most of these cars seemed to have rusted into powder after being on the planet for over four decades. The Corona filled the void left in Toyota’s lineup after the Toyota Crown was pulled from the US market at the end of 1972. Toyota didn’t have another “big” car for Americans who were looking to get out of their gas-guzzling, full-sized cars and into something easier on the pocketbook during the gas crisis era of the early-1970s and the Corona filled that gap. These were great cars and they were meant to ease the transition for those folks who were used to huge US sedans. But, they are a lot smaller than American cars of the early-1970s, of course. The Corona Mark II was over four-feet shorter and one ton lighter than a 1974 Chevy Impala!

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The NADA price on a perfect example of this model is around $3,000, which doesn’t take into account the current bubble for vintage/nostalgic Japanese vehicles. But, I would use that information along with a handful of crisp $100 bills to strike a deal on this car. I would prefer a two-door, mainly for “collector” value and coolness. Although, I have a feeling that for most folks “cool” and Corona don’t go together in the same sentence. I’m so glad that I’m not most folks because I think that this car, even with four doors, is super cool! This is my kind of car, something relatively inexpensive and in almost perfect condition that I can drive around the neighborhood, to store, out to eat, and even take it to car shows and draw a crowd. The seller says that this one is all original, at least body and interior-wise; the engine has been rebuilt.

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Speaking of that, here is the 2.6L, 4M Toyota inline-six with around 110 hp, more than a decent amount of power for this 1.5-ton car. This engine was rebuilt 5,000 miles ago, but supposedly, other than that this car is all original. I couldn’t even imagine having this engine in my 1971 Corolla 2-door wagon, that would have been fantastic!

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The interior looks like it was taken from a 1974 Toyota brochure, other than not having people dressed in plaid, bell-bottom jumpsuits. The dash and rear seat are as perfect looking as the front seats look. It looks like there may be a crack on top of the dash. Of course, that could be fixed and it’s a good negotiating factor. As I said, I absolutely love cars like this; they aren’t super fast and they aren’t super rare or collectible, but they bring back so many memories of this era for me. And, they’re just fun, in my opinion. They’re small enough to not take up your whole dang garage and you can squeeze a few of them into your garage if a person (me) were into hoarding.. er.. I mean, collecting small cars. Have any of you ever owned a Corona Mark II? What do you think is a fair price for this car given it’s superb condition and the current Japanese car bubble? $5,000? $4,500?

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Comments

  1. Spence

    I know this will piss a few people off. But I would pull that engine, store on a shelf.
    Finesse ala factory style a twin scrolled 1UZ mated to a 154, LSD, coilover and enjoy every second this beauty would give me.

    Like 2
    • Scotty Staff

      As a staunch purist and keep-things-original-or-restored-to-original-specs guy, I don’t see anything wrong with that, Spence! I like your thinking in keeping the original engine, you can always put things back together again. That would be quite a sleeper.

      Like 3
      • Rhonda

        how many miles prior to the rebuild?

      • Gay Car Nut

        I agree. With some cars, I don’t mind restomods. But there are some cars that shouldn’t be touched. Simply well maintained and driven safely as possible.

  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Nice car, with historical significance perhaps….This is at the exact point where the Japanese began taking over the US market as Detroit offered the Vega, Pinto, and it’s usual line of huge gas guzzlers. Arguably Detroit didn’t get it until maybe the Taurus in ’86.

  3. Howard A Member

    I always thought this car had the same styling as the Mazda RX4. Great cars here. Like Rex sez, this is right about the time things began to change, and rightly so. Japan offered these while America was still spinning it’s wheels with alternatives, but with short comings. Toyota had it all together with these cars. Collectible? Nah, but if you are looking for a great dependable, economical car, this would fit the bill. These literally melted away in Wisconsin, so it’s so unusual to see one intact. Cool find.

    • Scotty Staff

      I never realized the RX-4 connection before, Howard, but now I can’t look at it without seeing that!

  4. Murray

    Not a Japanese car person but I do like to see cars of this vintage that have managed to survive largely unmolested. The Japanese managed to build some interesting cars which had European like specs. This Corona Mk11 and the Datsun 240K for example. Cars which had so much more character than their offerings of later years. I could never be interested in examples such as yesterday’s Honda offering, no character and was nothing more than an appliance. Today’s car is something much different.

  5. Woodie Man

    Not to put too fine a point on it but Chula Vista is hardly beautiful……..and a 4 door slushbox Corona? Got to be a real fanboy

  6. Gay Car Nut

    Beautiful looking car! I had a neighbour when I was a boy who had a Toyota Mark II similar to this. I thought it was the most beautiful looking car produced by Toyota. :)

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