Rising Sun Survivor: 1970 Toyota Corona Deluxe


The third-generation Corona was quite a modern departure compared to Toyota’s past cars, it was really the car that put the company on the map. Toyota sold over 700,000 Coronas before the Camry took over, another sales winner. This little winner is a 1970 Toyota Corona and the seller has it offered up for $10,000 or best offer. It’s on Craigslist in Sherman Oaks, California. Thanks to LB1 for sending in this find!

This example looks like a winner in the vintage Japanese car market. The asking price will give most people pause if not an ulcer but it isn’t cheap to buy a nice example of any car. The seller says that this little time machine “came from a Toyota dealer’s showroom in Tuscon, AZ where it was used to shuttle clients from the airport.” That’s why it has AC no doubt, but as is usually the case the AC will need help to blow cold air again.

Our own Jamie Palmer showed us a very similar car, scarily similar, back in February of 2015 that had a buy it now price of $7,500 and it doesn’t appear to have AC but it looks just about as nice and it’s also a 4-speed manual such as this car has. The 1971 Corona has a totally different design, no doubt thoroughly updated and a better car, but give me a third-gen Corona any day. I passed on a really nice 1969 T50 two-door Corona for $8,000 a couple of years ago and looking back at it now it was a great deal if four-door cars are selling for this price.

The interior looks great but I personally don’t know if I could live with that bright color blue every time I got into this car. It’s nice to have an actual color other than black or tan like most vehicles have now but, dang, that’s an unusual color. This is a 4-speed car which is great. It seems like most Coronas that we run across have a Toyoglide automatic transmission and a manual is almost always preferred. The seller says that they don’t “think anyone has ever even sat in the back seat.”

This Corona “has won numerous awards at car shows because it is all original, old school cool, nothing modified, with just over 50k original miles.” 50,000 miles on Toyota’s 1.9L inline-four is nothing. This engine should go several times that amount with regular maintenance. Have any of you owned a third-generation Corona?

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  1. Bill Shields

    Interesting but I want to know about the twin in the background.

    • Reggie

      I’m the proud owner of the twin in the background! :)

      BTW. This car did sell for 10k to a private collection/museum

  2. Miguel

    The only thing I found interesting on this model car was on the original year, which I think was 1967, the turn signals were activated by rotating the horn pad.

    They got rid of that quickly after that though.

    Maybe Americans couldn’t adapt.

    • Chinga-Trailer

      Many Mercedes of the ’50s also had turn signals activated by turning the horn ring.

      • Gay Car Nut

        I would think that’d be easier than having to reach for the indicator stalk on the steering column.

  3. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Cool it survived…..

  4. Howard A Member

    Here’s my best offer,,,$2,050,,tops.( just to beat the $2 grand person) TEN THOUSAND ONE DOLLAR BILLS( there, I spelled it out, as perhaps the digital version of the prices has lost it’s zing) again, proof positive, there’s California, and then the rest of the world.( and you can’t blame them, with there 4 and 5 digit/mo. rental costs) I have a story about a car just like this, but the price bummed me out so much, I don’t feel like telling it now,,,$10g’s , for crying out loud,, for a tin can Toyota. Coo-coo, Coo-coo ( spinning finger around ear) I know, go back to bed, Howard, but seriously, I know the writer is compelled to give an honest description of a car, but am I the only one who feels this way?

    • Howard A Member

      Sorry,,,sorry, early morning rant, it just shakes up my soda, obviously.The “story” goes, I had a friend with a car like this, he composed a song about it titled “I’ve got the foreign car repair blues”. Went to the top of the charts,,,anyway, the motor starting making a ticking noise. Since no one knew( or cared) anything about Toyota’s, they all said, stuck lifter, bearing, something big. He took it apart,rebuilt it, re-assembled it,,,still ticked. Turns out, it was a broken spring on the fuel pump. D’oh,,,

      • Howard A Member

        And another thing,,,I want to apologize to Scotty for calling this a “tin can Toyota”. I know he holds Asian cars dear.These were ok cars, but just the wrong timing, people in Milwaukee, like my old man, would never have a Toyota in their driveway in 1970. Took a special person to do that. I remember, the 1st and only Toyota dealer in Milwaukee in the late 60’s, was Jack Safro, and was located outside of town, because they were afraid of vandalism from the good ol’ Harley, AMC, Briggs and Stratton crowd. Ok, maybe not that last one, but Milwaukeeans bled red, white, and blue, and was a tough place for imports back then.

    • Mountainwoodie

      HoA lol……..almost spit out my coffee! Calm down…….out here on the West Coast we are just as exercised as you folks in “flyover”. Things are way effing out of whack we can all agree! There are pockets of reasonableness and BF is one of them.

      I think I posted it the last time Jamie had one of these but I think it was a two door; but when I arrived out here back in ’78 I bought a Corona 4 door stick in the floor ’69 dark blue…..for $750.00 I think. It was a great little car zipping around the hills of North Berkeley.

      • Gay Car Nut

        I agree. Until recently, I’d always owned or driven Toyotas. I’d buy another Toyota if I were in the market for one. I’d buy a Toyota Corona if I could find one in nice condition.

  5. Classic Steel

    I drive this car for one summer back in the day which it drive great for being decades old but it needed pedals in the floor or more hamsters 🐹 for power 👀🙃

  6. Luke Fitzgerald

    These things were student cars – bought for a case of beer, or driven by dignified old ladies. 10k? Wow – welcome to century 21

  7. Bob Deveau

    My first car that was registered for the road a 1971 Toyota Corona. This picture dates back to 1976. My Dad bought the car from a private who was under his command in the Air force after he rolled it over on it’s roof. My Dad and a friend fixed it and I got it as a gift after graduating from Boot Camp.

    • Gay Car Nut

      My aunt and uncle had a 1969 Toyota Corona Mk II. Same colour. Theirs had an automatic. I cannot remember what happened to it, whether they sold it, or if it was scrapped for parts.

  8. That AMC guy

    I remember these well, they used to be a very common sight. In fact a good friend of mine had a 1969 Corona back in the 1970s that I helped him work on. In the salt-encrusted Northeast these cars melted back into the earth a long time ago.

    Have never seen an early Corona with factory AC. A little hard to tell, but it looks like the evaporator and vents are in the space where the glovebox would normally go and there’s a small parcel shelf placed underneath. (I used to have a 1978 Subaru with AC and the evaporator took up most of the glovebox, though vents were in the dash.)

    I’m sure that as with my old Subaru, turning on the AC made the car feel like it was fighting a 100 mph headwind!

  9. luki

    Love Coronas. Usually ice cold with a lime.

  10. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking car. I’ve always loved this generation Toyota Corona. I’d buy one if I could find one in decent condition. I’d prefer one with the steering column mounted manual shifting transmission.

  11. cyclemikey

    I had one of these back in the day, that we used for a shop car at one of my shops, to run customers, get parts, etc. It had this same 3R-C engine but it was a column shifted automatic. not the fastest car in the world, but it did alright. And it was SUCH a good, reliable little car that you could forgive that.

    One day one of my parts runner/lot boys took it down to the local Nissan dealer to pick up some parts, parked it up at the wholesale counter, and just shoved it into park without setting the brake, Turns out he didn’t get it into park very well either, and while he was inside it rolled back down the mild slope and into the side of a brand new pickup on the lot. Didn’t really do much damage to the little blue Toyota, but it cost me a rather hefty insurance claim for the truck.

    I didn’t fire the kid, but we never let him forget it, either.

    • Gay Car Nut

      Oh no! I hope no one was hurt.

      • cyclemikey

        Nah. The kid’s ears were burning for a day or two, but that’s all…..

  12. JTNC

    In 1970 I bought a slightly used ’69 Corona 2-door hardtop dealer demo. Red with black interior, 4-speed, no air. The dealer was, amazingly, a VW and Toyota dual, and still today it’s a VW – Toyota dual, under a different name. I traded in a ’65 VW Beetle. The Corona’s 90hp engine seemed thunderously powerful compared to the Beetle, probably would be rather anemic today. It was nicely appointed too, I remember it had Mercedes-like knurled knobs to turn the vent wings, which I thought was very classy. I can’t tell if this 4-door has those. The only real negative on the car was somewhat rubbery steering, but modern radials probably would help that. I would love to have a 2-door but if this 4-door was on the East coast I would consider it. I think the bright blue interior spices it up a bit. Given the apparent fantastic condition Indont think the asking price is out of line.

  13. angliagt

    For $10,000,the A/C should be working.

  14. Gay Car Nut

    I agree. For $10,000, I would want *everything* on the car to be working like it should.

    • cyclemikey

      In fairness, he does say that he’s looking to make a deal. But apparently it’s been listed on CL for a while, so he may be unrealistic about the final deal price.

      • Gay Car Nut

        Perhaps. However collectible a car it may be, I’m not sure I’d be willing to spend $10k for a car like this. I’d buy it for $5k.

  15. 2Pies

    I had a ’69 4-door I bought for $200 with new tires back in ’86. Just needed a new fan, man I loved that car! Delivered a million and one pizzas in Santa Cruz and brought it to college in San Francisco where I finally toasted the motor after overheating it too many times. Drove it to the junkyard and sold it for $50.

  16. Joey Buzz

    This was my father’s first new car he bought, the trans blew after 30,000 miles. He traded it for 1972 Toyota Corona and got over 200,000 miles on it. Late night TV adds at the time said, Get Your Hands On a Toyota And you will never let go. All the old World War 2 Vets, would point at us driving down the block, and say, Look he bought a Japanese car !

  17. dweezilaz

    “Unusual color”, Scotty ?

    It’s interior is blue. Just blue, nothing “unusual”. Unusual if you’ve never experienced anything but taupe, black or grey, I guess.

    The manufacturers have succeeded in their quest to numb people to the idea of color and choices. All in the name of manufacturing efficiency. Good for them. Sucks for the customer.

    That isn’t a good thing, especially in a landscape of grey, black and white cars.

    I’d love to have a blue or green interior in my next car.

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