No Reserve Survivor: 1978 Toyota Corona Coupe

Before offering the now-popular Camry to customers in the United States, Toyota sold a front-engine, rear-drive compact vehicle known as the Corona. The Corona was available in various body styles and it shared components with the Celica sports car, making it a fun vehicle for those seeking something slightly larger than the Corolla. This 1978 Toyota Corona Coupe is a rare survivor, and it’s available here on eBay as part of a no reserve auction.

This Toyota is available in New Milford, Connecticut with a clean title. The seller is very honest about the vehicle’s condition, mentioning a handful of minor defects and stating that it is not perfect nor restored. They also note that the coupe was always garage kept, and received no usage during winters – which means no exposure to snow and road salt.

It’s rare to see a Corona in a coupe body style, which adds to the impressive nature of this example. It still features blue California plates, which is where it spent its entire life before its current ownership. The seller claims that “most of the paint is original,” and it’s hard to tell which areas of the vehicle received repainting.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find an all-original time capsule of an interior, even down to the factory radio. Unfortunately, there are some imperfections inside the Corona, such as cracks on the driver’s panel door pull and ashtray, a minor crack in the dashboard material, and cracked material on the tops of the rear seats from sun exposure.

Under the hood, you’ll find the 2.2-liter 20R engine, which pairs to an optional automatic transmission to drive the rear wheels. The 5-digit odometer shows 87,670 miles, and based on the condition, this number seems accurate.

At the time of publication, bidding is at $2,950. Would you add this Corona to your collection, or would you prefer another classic Toyota model?

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    My parents first car was a 1965 Corona with the 2 speed toyo-glide. That left an impression on my dad to buy Toyota’s and Honda’s for the next 10 years. The Corona coupe is rare. I know I have only seen the sedan and wagon versions. When I worked at the Alfa/Saab dealer the owner always drove the junk trade-ins. We called them airport runners as these cars were of no value but good transportation. He drove a 1982 Cressida coupe (might have been a 83). I think that model replaced the Corona. He jokingly called it his Lexus.

    Like 5
    • nlpnt

      The Cressida was a step above the Corona and replaced the Mark II. The Camry replaced the Corona.

      Like 1
    • Kevin Barr Staff

      The Corona and the Mark II (the car the Cressida originates from) were pretty similar in global markets, and the Cressida was only available as a sedan or a wagon in the United States. Perhaps he was driving an imported Mark II coupe? Either way, this is a neat story, so thanks for sharing!

  2. Gerry Member

    Looks to be in nice shape
    I think this is a 2DR sedan though as the Coupe that was produced here in Japan had a slightly different roof line and was a hard top (see pic)
    May have been sold in the states as the Corona GT though here it could be had as the 1800 or 2000 GT

    Like 6
    • nlpnt

      The car listed here is very much a two-door sedan, full B pillar and identical roofline to the 4-door.

      As such I’d have to leave it for someone else, I’d be far too tempted to destroy its’ originality with a better color, a manual swap, maybe some sort of period wheel upgrade – anything from Watanabes to white wagon wheels…

      Like 1
    • Stevieg

      My Dad had a 1974 Mark II fastback coupe like this. It was an old beater at the time, probably unsafe for transportation (although he drove it from Milwaukee to Tampa for work…he was an ironworker by trade).
      Mom & I went on a family vacation to Florida when I was 14, Dad allowed me to drive the car around town lol. No license, from another state, in a car registered to the state I am from. Sounds like a GREAT idea lol.
      It was a cool car though. It had some sort of inline 6 & a 4 speed stick. It had a lot of power. Probably even faster than stock due to the weight loss caused by rust (bits & pieces that fell off lol).

  3. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    Sedan………………. not a coupe

  4. Billy1

    This would be great with an LS swap, a T56 and mini-tubs.

  5. Bob C.

    2 door sedan, 2 door coupe. These years were very confusing, especially when someone was trying to order a piece of glass for it. Most customers didn’t know the difference.

    Like 1
    • DON

      I worked at a Toyota dealership in the 1980s. People would ask for parts for their 2 door Corolla , and we would have to ask ” coupe, liftback or hardtop ; all three were two doors and all were different. On top of that they had Corolla sedans and wagons , so I agree , very confusing

  6. Shino

    I’m not sure that I ever knew that a 2 door Corona existed.

    Like 2
  7. 370zpp

    Sedan, coupe, whatever. What this truly represents is a perfect example of what the U.S. automobile industry failed to take seriously at that time.

    Like 4
  8. David Miraglia

    Eh….

  9. James

    I would get a vanity plate reading VIRUS, and be happy.

    Like 2
  10. PairsNPaint

    My wife had one of these (a four door) when she was younger and she has often told me how much she enjoyed it. Unfortunately, one day her (then) husband was driving it and got t-boned at an intersection and flipped it in a three-roll crash but was still able to drive it home!

    Yes, it was totaled.

    Like 1
  11. Gary D. Oliver

    If I bought it I would put black California tags on it reading “VIRUS”

  12. Gpak

    Make sure to wear protective gloves and a face mask if you inspect this one.

  13. Jasper

    Wow. Been a while since I’ve seen one of these. Seems they were always either silver, khaki or chamois yellow. Definitely a sedan, not a coupe. Older brother hung out with some kid who had a Corona SR hardtop Coupe a few years older than this one. Neat car in its plain way. Leave it alone.

    Like 2
  14. Chris Londish Member

    The Corona was always a 4 dr sedan in Australia although there was a few examples imported from Japan privately of the sports version although this one still looks like the granny edition with the auto trans my parents had an earlier model incredibly reliable but so oh dull

  15. Glenn Schwass Member

    A friend growing up had his Dad’s 71 Corona and we did the head on it. This brings back such memories. Great to see this. My mom had a 78 Corolla wagon later. They rusted bad so it’s rare to see them around here…Philadelphia area

    • Kevin Barr Staff

      I’m also in the Philadelphia area, can confirm that finding old Toyotas and their parts is quite a challenge.

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