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Immaculate 1971 Toyota Corona

1971 Toyota Corona Deluxe

I recently received an email from a new member of this fine community. In Ray’s email he presented me with a link to a Toyota Corona Deluxe with the question as to whether I believed it was a barn find and if it was truly a survivor as the seller claimed. As I clicked on the link I was expecting to see a worn out old Toyota, but when I got to the listing I was presented with one of the most immaculate and pristine classic Japanese cars I have ever seen. In all honesty, I was taken aback by how fantastic this little car looks. The seller claims it has just 40k miles on it, but it looks like it just left the showroom. I keep looking for signs that it has been restored, but either it is truly original or has been restored to an extremely high level. Be sure to take a look at it here on eBay or view it in person in Grant, Oregon.

Toyota Corona Interior

Every part of this car looks perfect. The paint is glossy, the chrome is shiny, and the interior looks like new. I have heard that these little Toyota’s were well built, but I didn’t realize they were this well built. It is hard to believe that this car looks this good without having ever being restored, but if it was well cared for and rarely used it could be original. The seller claims that the original owners towed it behind their motor home and that the majority of the 48k miles on the odometer are from being towed. After traveling for a few of years with it, the elderly couple parked it and it has been in dry storage ever since. While I don’t doubt the story, I am curious why it doesn’t have more rock chips and scratches if it were really towed that many miles?

Toyota 8R-C Motor

The Corona was Toyota’s first model to be successful outside of their domestic market. It was first introduced in 1957 and the name stuck around until 2002. The early ’70s was the golden era for the Corona and regardless of whether this one is original or not, it is ideal specimen. While it is the 4 door sedan, it still looks sporty and is quite attractive. There was a very wide range of engines available in the Corona, but this one has the larger 1.9 liter 8R-C inline four with 81 horsepower and 174 pounds of torque. The floor mounted 4-speed is a nice bonus and should make it that much more enjoyable to drive.

Toyota Corona Deluxe

The more and more I study this car the more inclined I am to believe it is original. For one, why would anyone go to the expense and trouble of restoring a 4 door Corona? I’m sure there are those out there that love these cars enough to restore them, but to bring one to this level would be very costly. The easiest way to resolve any questions would be to take a closer look at it in person. So as for Ray’s question, I would say it could very well be a survivor, but without a closer look we can’t know for sure. I am however sure that this is the finest Toyota Corona I have ever seen and with a little work would make a fun driver! Special thanks to Ray H for this Tip!


  1. Robert J

    What an interesting and awesome find! Of course it’s original, as anyone with prudent grandparents (like mine!) can attest.

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  2. Johnnie

    WOW! GREAT! Would a towed car register milage?

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  3. skloon

    In have seen cars swaddled in tarps behind RVs so that may have been the case with this one

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  4. Trickie Dickie Member

    I had one of these, got it almost new.I kept if for seven years, never spent a nickel on repairs. I was in Sales and drove it a lot. I did get a set of Michelin radials that made the car handle so much better. Cars being towed or transported should never have tarps covering them, if out in the open. The strong wind buffeting against the tarps can cause serious paint damage, and put “burn marks” all over the car.

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  5. Brian

    Even if it has had some paint touch ups, or even a repaint, to find an early Japanese sedan in this kind of shape is amazing! I grew up around cars like this, although mostly early to mid 70s Datsuns and Hondas, and even as a little kid I can remember seat seams spliting open and rust bubbles starting to form after only a few years of service. The drivelines couldn’t be killed but the rest of the car would just fall apart around it. This one belongs in a museum or privite collection (maybe Toyota’s?). It may not have a huge book value, but if you bought it and started driving it all the time, I’m betting it would start to go down fast. If that were allowed to happened, it would start to lose what makes it so amazing. You’d never find another one like it.

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  6. Don Andreina

    I’m the sort of guy who’d pay good money for a Japanese car, but it has to be the right model. For where this auction is going, I’d be hoping for a blue whale Crown sedan in similar nick.

    Very nice find, Ray.

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  7. John M

    I actually think this would be a very good investment. Buy it, keep in in a nice dry storage for 7 or 8 years and run it through Barret Jackson Auctions as a one of a kind original.

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  8. Chris

    Grille surround colour looks wrong- weren’t they silver? And no, it doesn’t look ‘sporty’
    It a Corona. Think of it as an early ’70s Camry.

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    • DT

      you are correct,thats been repainted,good eye

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      • doug

        Quite right. My dad bought one of these new for my mother in April ’71. Same colour, plus auto trans. It became my car four years later. The grill surround was silver/grey, not yellowish. The colour of the interior is questionable, too. Ours was black. Also, the underhood and interior door panel tops should match the body colour. Also missing is the original chrome tailpipe finisher – but I guess it’s reasonable to expect this to have been replaced.

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  9. Tom S.

    I wish they still used the name Corona. Camry has always left me cold.

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    • Len

      I feel the same way, and I have this with Datsun too, preferring it over Nissan.

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  10. jim s

    very nice find and at the $8000 ( and does not go too much higher ) this would make a nice daily driver. it is no reserve so someone is going to be happy. but i would do a PI because of what i see in the photo and read does not seem to match. if ground/dolly towed behind RV should have stone chips. if driven paint should have burned off exhuast. still a car that i would love to drive.

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    • Trickie Dickie Member

      Jim……..I agree with you. Its a very nice car, good to super condition for its age BUT things just don’t add up, do they? Heh, but I would still like to have it, having had so much good service from the one I had for so long, same year and model.

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  11. Impala Tim

    The motorhome could have had a rear lower brush or mudflap on it which would keep debris down. They work quite well for this purpose. As for the engine paint, it most likely was detailed but still could be original.

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  12. Pedro

    The black undercoating isn’t stock, which begs the question, what are they covering over? The engine bay looks to be a different color than the body, and the 1971 finish looks too good to be true. Is it really original paint? $8k is perhaps more than I can stomach anyway, but when I look at the photos, it sure looks mint!

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  13. Ron

    My Dad bought one of these in 1975, silverish-blue, with automatic and air, and about 36,000 miles in resonse to the oil crisis. Paid about $1,500, if memory serves. Neat car in a lot of ways. It didn’t look tis good 4 years from new.

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  14. DT

    That black undercoating is not stock! I noticed that too, but it does look like an original car,I had the same car with 10,000 miles on it,still had the plastic covers on the seats and the doors.Nicer than this one.I was hooked for a number of years.Ive had about 10 of these.I could work on these blindfolded.My last one was a 1973 wagon,modified with an 18rbr motor with dual carbs and a racing 5 speed,I still have the corona wagon my mother bought new in 1978.

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  15. ken gregory

    If it’s a manual transmission and towed the odometer should not move

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    • DT

      speedometer output is in the tailshaft,it turns when the rear wheels turn,disconect the driveshaft and it would not turn over the odometer,but you tow it and it will read the mileage traveled

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  16. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    The auction was pulled early by the seller. We can only assume that it sold offline or that the seller changed their mind.

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  17. Colin

    Identical to the family car I grew up with. Purchased new by my Parents. Sold to a Toyota Mechanic when I was around 12, then bought back by me for $250 when I turned 16. Great car! Obviously wish I still had it.

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  18. hoosein

    As I recall, the under-hood paint on mine was the same color as the body but w/o a gloss finish. I bought mine brand new from Fleigh Motors in Hagerstown, Md. Sticker said $2,275. 11 years and 125,000 miles later I sold it. The body was well perforated by then.

    There has been at least one Toyota in my drive ever since 1971. Current one is a 1995 Avalon – young at 145,000 and no rust.

    Brakes, mufflers and timing belts are the only mechanical issues on any of them.

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  19. Ray Halliday

    Ha! I was just thinking about this car and looked it up online. I’m the Ray H that told you about it. I never saw this write up, which is just terrific. This was the first car I had when I was sixteen, handed down from my dad. I put a search for it on ebay for sentimental reasons, and never thought that I would find one, let alone one that looked like this (better than the one I had (and eventually wrecked)).

    Thank you for the neat write-up. I really love this site!

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  20. GLL

    I had one… RT83-707545 pale blue. Same color under hood and in trunk as on exterior. Leads me to think this may not be original paint.

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  21. Mark S

    Whether it is a repaint it up for debate but I can promise you that the color, Jutland Yellow, is definitely the original color! My parent’s 1971 Corona Mark II had that identical exterior color along with dark brown double stitched brocaded fabric seats. The Mark II’s upholstery was a little nicer though.

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  22. Ray H

    You got me interested, Mark S. I thought this Toyota was what my father called Blah Blue. I think the yellow may come from the ambient light in the garage. I tried to look for Jutland yellow, and I ended up at the Toyota touch-up paint site. I found a color called light blue (boring!) that seemed to match the bill. Looking around, I also found a color for ’68-’70 Corollas called Moonstone White, which seemed even closer. Here’s a link to the site.
    At first, I thought this was a picture of our car, but it seemed less elelgant. Is it a different year? I can see it has a chrome strip down the side, and I know that makes it look (to me) less cool than the one above. But this is the color of the one I owned.

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  23. Matt Ventrelli

    I do not believe this car is original. I owned this exact car. 1971 Toyota Corona Deluxe. I NEVER saw this car with this color paint anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Nor did I ever see anything but full black upholstery in any of these cars EVER. There is also an error concerning the engine horsepower. The 8RC put out 108 HP not 81…I was 21 when I bought this car and believe me, I compared this car to everything that was out there in the 2K price range. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING could touch this car in terms of total value. I loved this car from the minute I laid eyes on it and still do. I had intended to keep this car forever if I could, but in 1992, in the small town I lived in I parked it on the street to make room for guests to park in the driveway during my son’s graduation party. Just my luck, after 21 years of terrific service, some drunk moron in a U-Haul truck nailed my Toyota and basically destroyed it instantly. The f’ing insurance company (Allstate) would only pay me $550 bucks for it….and I had to fight for even that. I almost cry when I think of that day.

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