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Rising Sun Survivor: 1968 Toyota Corona

1968 Toyota Corona

There aren’t a while lot of old Toyotas that get be going, but the more I look at this one, the more I like it! This Corona coupe has an almost muscular look to it and I bet it goes alright too. The car was supposedly picked up as part of a package deal from the the original owner’s estate. It has suffered a respray, but the seller thinks the 55k on the odometer could be accurate. It’s located in Portland, Oregon and is listed here on eBay with no reserve. The auctions ends soon though so you’d better move quick.

Corona Interior

The interior looks great here! Good thing too because it might be hard to find replacement parts. I’m not sure about this vintage of Toyota, but the older ones I have owned were tough to get parts for. Anyway, I was happy to see three pedals and a shifter sticking out of the transmission tunnel. I’m sure the Toyoglide was fine, but a 4-speed manual should make this economic classic fun to drive.

Toyota 3R-C

This 1.9 liter engine will probably help with the fun factor. It doesn’t put out a ton of horsepower (59), but the torque figures are impressive (142). The numbers might be a little lower though because this is a 3R-C and that C stands for California emissions. The engine is claimed to run well. Second gear can crunch going into second if you aren’t careful though, so a rebuild or replacement may be in this car’s future.

Original Oregon Blue Plates

I always prefer original paint, but as long as there aren’t any nasty surprises hiding under the surface, I could live with this respray. It has more orange in it than the stock color should, but it does suit the car well. This car could be a lot of fun and if bidding doesn’t get much higher, it could be represent a bargain when compared to similar sporty sedans. Plus, you’ll stand out in the sea of 510s at Cars and Coffee next week!


  1. Fred

    This was brand new when I was a teenager. I always thought the side styling was inspired by the Silver Shadow of the time and wanted to construct a “mini Rolls” out of the four door version.

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  2. Howard A Member

    What a cool find. This, like the 510 for Datsun, was one of the cars that put Toyota’s on the map, in the US anyway. Nothing overly fancy, just good, dependable cars ( as long as you lived in a “salt-free” climate) I have a good friend, who had a car exactly like this in the late ’70’s, only blue. The car developed an audible clicking noise in the motor. My friend got all kinds of advice, all pointing to an engine rebuild. A little odd for an Asian car, but he ended up taking the engine all apart, new bearings, everything. Put it all back together,,,,,and it still clicked. The problem turned out to be a broken spring in the fuel pump! He was a talented musician, and wrote a song called, “I’ve got the foreign car repair blues”. Great find, and be a great car for our Asian car specialist, Scotty G.

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    • Scotty G Staff

      I almost bought this car a couple of weeks ago, Howard. Now, if you could correctly guess the winning Powerball numbers, too, that’d be great!

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  3. Woodie Man

    My first car out here on the West Cast was a ’69 , I think, version of this in 4 door livery. For what it was, it was super reliable and ‘fast’. They used to be ubiquitous in Berkeley….you could find one on every block it seemed. Being a 2 door it’s even better…..take it back to its original color and some day some fanboy in his sixties will pay through the nose for it.

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  4. jim s

    do the PI checking very closely for rust. then make a daily driver out of it. i like this better then the 510 posted earlier because of this has a manual trans. great find.

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  5. Kornmanone

    Very cool car I remember see a lot of them. I’d like to be the next caretaker but that’s a lot of money for that car with Skylines available here in the states now.

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  6. Doug Towsley

    Good Lord this car brings back the memories! Our family had a 4 door version of one of these in the late 1970s, was a good car. We lived out in the countryside near Portland and I was annoyed other kids had cars and I didnt so multiple times when my parents were at work or not at home I would take some of the cars for a spin. One day in the corona I was challenged by Curtis Worsham in his RX7 to a race on the Scenic hwy thru Corbett. I was ahead of him although greatly outclassed. While doing a 4 wheel drift near the fire station the cheap tires folded under and instant deflation. Car became unmanageable and spun and rolled into a guys vegtable garden. I was okay, the car was not. I was also grounded for a very long time. In an attempt to make amends I talked my dad into buying me a book on bodywork and repair, and several big buckets of bondo, tools, and lots of sandpaper. I spent a lot of time trying to fix it and while not very successful learned a LOT about body work in the process.

    My wifes family had a similar car, A corona or corolla wagon (1978) known as “Ol yeller” and with successive family members racked up over 350,000 miles. last seen owned by a drunk in Oregon city 10 yrs ago but was still on the road.

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  7. Dolphin Member

    I knew a guy who owned one just like this back when it was almost new. He was very happy with it.

    One reason for that was that according to him it would do 120. Allowing for the way speedos are usually off, that was probably around 110 or maybe a bit more. Pretty impressive, especially for back then for a Japanese car from 1968.

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  8. Jim

    I think the color difference is partially due to the respray was done in clearcoat modern paint and the original environmentally unfriendly laquer paint is a completely different chemical mix and to have modern paint custom mixed to match exactly is pricey. The shop probably picked something close that was an off the shelf paint.
    Fred, I think you nailed it, they picked up on the styling queues to make it more appealing, it’s subtle but it’s there.
    My older brother had a good friend who’s family owned a few different foreign car dealership’s in the NYC area and raced abd sponsored these from late 60’s until ’80 when they cashed in with the popularity of the foreign cars and made a nice fortune selling off the dealership’s. These cars went like rockets, some engine and suspension work, good tires they kicked butt road racing. Too small for me to fit in but I loved going to Lime Rock, Watkins Glen and Pocono to hang out in the pits and watching. I prefer American but you have to give credit where it’s due, people drove these cars sometimes 200k+ without major issues and great on gas. Hope everyone had a good Easter

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  9. john C

    Sunday night, 8:44pm, and the car price is over $6,000.!! I must pass…however a cool car !!!

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  10. john C

    Sunday night, 8:44pm, and the car price is over $6,000.!! A bit over an hour to go…. I must pass…however a cool car !!!

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  11. hhaleblian

    This was a screaming deal

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