One Family Owned: 1974 Toyota Corolla 1600

Being a fanatic and/or aficionado of vintage Japanese vehicles, my eyes bugged out of my gourd when I saw this 1974 Toyota Corolla 1600 Deluxe. This one-family-owned, incredibly-preserved time machine can be found here on eBay in Mountain View, Arkansas and there is a single bid of $6,000 and no reserve.

I haven’t seen one this nice in a year and a half when we ran across another second-generation E20 Corolla here on Barn Finds back in April of 2018. Frankly, I can’t believe that the seller doesn’t have a reserve on this car given how desirable it is to those of us who covet cars like this – unless that single $6,000 bid was their reserve price. The bumpers do its looks no favors at all but Japanese market bumpers may be able to be sourced which would help to give it a crisper look. The seller doesn’t mention whether it has any rust or ever had any, but it sure doesn’t look like it’s ever been an issue.

The E20 was Toyota’s second-generation Corolla and they were made from 1970 until mid-1974. My first car was a 1971 Toyota E20 Corolla wagon that I just found a picture of recently and it looks rougher than I had remembered it being. Rough or not, I loved that car and it’s why I’m a fan of these little E20 Corollas today. I used to run it around the ice racing track on the frozen harbor in Duluth, MN and have fond memories of that thing. This car appears to have a few marks on the body – just some minor smudges probably from being parked somewhere – and hopefully they can be fixed without having to repaint. On a silver vehicle that usually has disastrous results, as far as matching the paint goes.

The interior looks just about as incredible as the exterior does, both front and rear. But, the seller doesn’t show us a full view of the top of the dash. There appears to be a crack in it above the steering wheel but there isn’t a full photo of it and the video that they provided here on YouTube doesn’t show the top of the dash either. That’s too much about the dash, it’s just unusual that we don’t see a photo of it so it stood out to me. We see the trunk space in the YouTube video and it appears that part of the lining is falling down but that shouldn’t be a problem to restore. This car is not perfect but it’s close and this one has a 4-speed manual transmission, power front disc brakes, and even factory AC.

The engine compartment isn’t as polished and shiny as the rest of the car is which surprised me a bit, but it looks honest in there and that’s always a good sign. You can hear this 2T-C, 1.6L hemi-head inline-four with 102 hp running in the YouTube video and it sounds great. With some detailing, this car could easily bring home a trunk full of trophies at any vintage/nostalgic Japanese car show. Have any of you owned a second-generation Corolla?


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  1. Howard A Member

    I had an early Corolla like this, one of the many $50-$100 beaters I drove. I remember, it had an odd feature. You would move the choke lever over when cold manually, and as it warmed up, the lever would return automatically. Why not just have an automatic choke? Red Forman drove a ’76 Corolla in the hilarious “That 70’s Show”, which was ironic because he got laid off from an American auto maker because of imports. These rusted on the way across the ocean, it’s amazing to see one like this. Great find.

    Like 9
  2. Stangalang

    Nice Toyota but what about the nova sitting next to it??…

    Like 4
  3. Ralph

    I don’t think there is such a thing as “factory a/c” on these, the a/c on most Toyotas was installed at the port or dealership to get around some extra import duty, even into the 80’s most a/c systems on Toytotas were dealer installed, Honda did this too.

    Like 8
    • Rodney - GSM

      My 1978 Honda Accord LX came with factory air. It blows as cold today as the day I bought it. It has never not worked perfectly in 41years. Amazing!

      Like 5
      • Ralph

        It was most likely added at the port too.

        Like 4
      • Rodney - GSM

        I have never seen or read any evidence of that. You may be right but lacking some evidence, it appears as factory installed.

      • Ralph

        It would look factory installed, it was full Honda authorized, just installed here, not like an a/c unit hanging under the dash type aftermarket deal.

        Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ralph, I was hoping that folks would look at the photos on the eBay listing. The last one shows the window sticker with AC listed under the “Factory Installed Equipment” column. It also shows a listing of dealer-installed equipment.

      Like 4
      • Ralph

        Yes, I saw the window sticker thanks.

        It means it most likely had the a/c added at the port when it got to the US.

        Like 1
      • Kubelsky

        I think you’re right that the AC was actually from the factory, because I have the original sticker for another ’74 Corolla (owned by my family), and the AC is instead listed under “port installed equipment.” So there is definitely a difference in the two methods, maybe related to import duties, even though the AC unit in these photos seems to be identical to the one my Father’s car had. (Then there’s “dealer installed,” which seems to be the items listed on the separate blue slip, like the AM radio and vinyl roof in this case). Great articles on these ’71-’74 Corollas, by the way.

    • Alex_LH

      I should think “Factory Air” means “not aftermarket” I would expect that Toyota/Honda would ship in the AC units separately, but they were still first-party units?. As opposed to being aftermarket units added later.

      Unless of course they contracted an American firm to build units to their specs to fit the cars?

  4. Tom

    the gas cap is behind that chromed beauty piece just to the rear of the driver’s side rear window, if memory serves.

    Like 2
  5. Mark Petraccoro

    You have to be a member to bid on these cars?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      No, you only need to register as a bidder for cars auctioned through Barn Finds. This particular one is on eBay though. The link is right in the first paragraph.

  6. suprarossa

    The CB microphone holder clip is period correct lol

  7. Jaak

    I still have my first car, 1977 Corolla KE20, which I bought when I was 17 in 1993.
    Now I bought one more, 1976 KE20:)
    There might be one or two more here in Estonia.


    Like 3
  8. Bob C.

    I remember these went for under $2500.00 new at the time. That little engine actually produced 102 horsepower? That’s compatible with a lot of American straight sixes that year.

  9. 4spdBernie

    Yeah, it’s got a Hemi.

  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $7150.00

    Like 3
  11. chrlsful

    almost the celica in the buddie’s barn (1/2 finished). Same yr I think, turbo, 2 DCOE, about it for now. But I’m surprised how sim they look. Back then I thought ‘not at all’…

  12. Clay Harvey

    My sister had a 73 Corrolla S/W with this same engine and tranny. It was a good driver and very dependable.

    Like 1
  13. Del

    Yup. LS swap needed

  14. Greg

    I bought a brand new 1971 Corolla Coupe in 71. They didn’t have the 1600 engine yet but it had an 1100 4cylinder with a 4 speed trans. Only option it had was an AM radio. Had a factory recall that added a clip on ‘shelf end’ to the under dash storage shelf to keep items from falling into the gas pedal. The car was as close to ‘British racing green’ as possible and it was great looking. Kept the car for 3 years and traded it in on a new 1974 Datsun 1200 Fastback. Wish I had both of them today.

    Like 2
  15. Stevieg

    Cool little car, I would definitely roll it through the ‘hood.
    Back in the ’80s, my Dad, who was living life on the edge at the time, drove a $75.00 1974 Toyota Corona from Milwaukee to Florida for a job (ironworker, rarely worked at home back then). He had to take the back roads, the car was so crusty & unsafe. He would have loved riding in this instead, just for the better condition.
    He made his money there & came back in a newer Cadillac, along with some warrants in Florida lol. I don’t think he ever went back.
    Back to this car, I would love it. I think the price it sold at should be a fair deal for everyone.

  16. Chris

    I still have my ’74 TE21. It still has the 2TC but with efi and a small turbo 5 speed. Mine was a “Farm field” find but was fun to work on just before the birth of my first child. These days it only comes out in the summer for pleasure and track days.

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