Today’s Lesson: 1980 Toyota Corona

Here’s one that will zoom to the top of everyone’s must-have list: a tan, four-door, automatic, Toyota! This dream car is a 1980 Toyota Corona and it’s listed here on eBay with no reserve and a current bid price of just over $1,000. It’s located in Gainsville, Florida. A 1980 Toyota Corona?! Why?

As we’ve said before, this site is for showing older vehicles. Period. If they have been recently uncovered from barn, garage, shop, or other storage facilities, so much the better. That’s how this site cut its teeth into the public realm and that’s always preferable. But, it’s an old car site, not an old American car site, not an old 500-hp muscle car site. It’s a site for people, all people, who love old vehicles with two wheels, three wheels, four wheels, six-wheels, or no wheels. American-made or not, two-door or not, fast or not, fancy or not. Old. Vehicles. It’s not a hard concept, folks. It’s a website to show off old vehicles that are for sale. Yes, even tan, four-door, automatic transmission-equipped Toyotas. All we ask is that you be respectful of the posts, of the sellers, and of each other. It’s really not a tough concept, in fact it’s how the world really should be anyway, isn’t it?

Why is this tan, four-door, automatic-transmission-equipped Toyota being highlighted on Barn Finds? It wasn’t found in a barn. It may be a contender for the least exciting car that is for sale anywhere on the globe right now, at least by the standards that most people think should be the rule here: of only showing American muscle cars. But, this 1980 Corona is original. It’s one of the last rear-wheel drive Toyotas. It’s cheap. It’s nice. It’s highly-unusual to see one today. That’s why it’s being shown here. It appears to be a really, really nice car. Rare doesn’t mean valuable or even desirable, but I would argue that this 1980 Corona is almost as rare as any Superbird or Hemi Cuda is if not even more so. Rare is good whether it’s a $1,000 Toyota or a $1,000,000 Hemi Cuda. They’re both worthy of being shown here. I’m preaching to the choir since 99.9% of you already know this and don’t have a problem with us showing oddball or foreign vehicles in-between the great American cars and trucks. Thanks for indulging us and allowing us to slip in a few unusual vehicles here and there.

Back to this Corona! There are a few people looking for cars like this Corona as the bids will show. As a sixth-generation Corona, it’s the last rear-wheel drive of the series for the US market and it was replaced by the front-wheel drive Camry in 1983. I know, an even more boring car! But hey, the Camry eventually came with 4WD (1986+) which would make for a unicorn find. There are no engine photos of this Corona, but this car should have Toyota’s 20R 2.2L inline-four with around 90 hp. This is the nicest RT130 Corona that I have seen in a couple of decades at least. The metal in these cars wasn’t 1920s American sheet metal quality so most of them have rusted into the ground by now. But, and this is a big but.. somewhere out there a person is looking for a car like this, or for this exact car. They won’t have the fastest or the most exciting driving experience, but we’re not all looking for that. We’re looking for what makes us happy and if that happens to be a tan, four-door, automatic-equipped 1980 Toyota Corona, we’ve just done our job. Class dismissed, you all get a gold star!

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Comments

  1. Andrew not amember

    I see the light !

  2. Andrew Tanner Member

    Great writeup there Scotty! I love this car, and I don’t have a good reason for it. The wire wheel covers are really doing it for me! Also, “But, it’s an old car site, not an old American car site, not an old 500-hp muscle car site” and the surrounding paragraphs and otherwise related statements I could not agree with more, nor have said better myself! This is a great car and while it isn’t for everyone, you’re absolutely right that someone is looking for exactly this.

  3. PJAKABenziBoy

    Whats that cupholder looking Pod thing next to the cluster? Is that where the nostalgic car magic comes from?? Whatever it is has peaked my interest. 😀

    • Eric M.

      If memory serves, it’s a clock.

  4. Gay Car Nut

    If I hadn’t already bought a new car, I’d be interested in this gem. I’ve always liked Toyota Coronas.

  5. Adam T45 Staff

    Oh Scotty, how I echo your sentiments. This site is about old cars, regardless of their heritage. I get frustrated by people who comment on posts on this site who seem to think that the entire automotive world begins and ends at the US border.

    When these were sold here in Australia, there was a concerted push by the Australian Government to increase the local content of cars sold here. As a result, these Coronas were sold in Australia with a locally developed motor sourced from General Motors (Holden). The engine was referred to as the “Starfire 4” but quickly became known as the Misfire 4. They were a horrible motor that leaked, shrieked and were generally harsh and unreliable. In a bid to address these problems, Toyota replaced in excess of 50 internal components to seek a remedy. Eventually they replaced a 51st component: The whole engine! They switched to a Toyota engine and solved all of their problems. In spite of the engines that we received, I always liked these. Just be glad that those of you in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” never received these with the Starfire 4.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Adam, I wish I could give this more than one thumbs up!

      • Adam T45 Staff

        Thanks for that mate, (is that Aussie enough?) I appreciate it.

  6. Todd Zuercher

    Always appreciate your finds here, Scotty.

  7. Greg Bly

    Really nice car.Keep up the good work.I enjoy this site.Thank you.

  8. Andrew B

    I owned a 1981 Corona for many years. Sold it in 1999 with 260k miles on it. The most reliable vehicle that I’ve ever owned. The 22R motor was flawless.

  9. Evan

    Scotty, I’m with you. There are a million auto blog sites. What makes BF unique and fun is that there really aren’t many rules. If the writers and editor think it’s worth writing up, it gets written up.

    Fie on the naysayers!

  10. Jwinters

    My friend had one of those back in the early 90’s. he was the butt of many jokes but one time we took it out to the desert to a party and we saw lots of 2wd pickups out there getting stuck and we went bouncing past them in that little car! it was fun times brings back memories.

  11. Mike H. Mike H.

    I love vintage J-Tin, period. Do any of you see what makes this one EXTRA special?

    It has not one, but TWO (count them: TWO) car stereos.

    A 5-speed would have been nice, though. . .

    • OIL SLICK

      one is a cassette player. You can see that it’s started to disintegrate just sitting there. Whomever buys this will have a life long battle fighting the tin worm. You can see the design influence on the later Camry.

  12. Rube Goldberg Member

    Back from a time when Asian cars were built well, to win over the US, with head gaskets 1/16th of an inch thick, not like the tissue paper gaskets today, that require you to spend more repairing the car, than what it’s worth, ultimately requiring replacement of the entire car. ( there’s no money in fixing older cars, pretty clever, hit ’em in the head gasket) It’s clear these rust free Asian examples never spent one day in the salt bath. That’s all it took to get the rust ball rolling, and junkyards up north were plumb full of these. Great car, would love to have it.

  13. 68custom

    Make a great daily driver!

  14. Sparkster

    An old girlfriend had the” coupe” version of this car with a five speed. My memory isn’t good enough to remember if it was a two door coupe of four door type coupe. Anybody out there know if these came in a two door ? Fun & solid car to drive.

  15. irocrobb

    I actually like viewing these old cheaper cars far more than expensive cars I had never had a chance to own. I was married with 2 children and barely making ends meet

  16. Derek

    Well said Scotty and I fully agree in fact, I actually get a little tired of all the big ‘Murican Yank-tanks after a while although it’s kind of amazing there are so many of them stashed away in barns and garages. I like the Corona in spite of a strong preference for Datsuns of that vintage and five speeds over autos.

  17. Wolfgang Gullich

    I echo your sentiments Scotty. I love all cars from all continents and even some questionable marques. Keep up the good work and the great finds!

  18. Dan D

    My first car was a 1971 Toyota Corona sedan with an automatic on the column and bench seat! I remember hating it when my Dad first showed up with it, but I grew to like it especially after a few customizing touches from the JC Whitney catalog…. Mine was powder blue with dark blue velour-like seats. That car served me well for 4 years.

  19. Jerry Watkins

    I bought my first Toyota in the early 1980’s. I had an 1980 and a 1982 tan Corona that looked almost like this one. It was a great car. Since those two Coronas, I’ve had several Camrys and a couple of Cressidas. We currently have a 2003 Camry – 4 cycliner. They’ve all been great cars. Extremely reliable and trouble free but maybe just a bit boring. If I had unlimited garage space, I’d probably go after this 1980 Corona. For excitment now, I also have 2008 Corvette with 436 hp.

    I’ve tried to include a photo my my 1980 Corona but not sure that it worked.

  20. David Russell

    Decidedly beige.

  21. David Miraglia

    Boring

  22. Buick Fan

    I had a powder blue one way back when, and it was a great car, but if going up a hill with passengers – you had to turn off the a/c to maintain speed. Other than that it was great, and drove past many gas stations. Keep the unusual cars coming!

  23. Kevin W La

    I sold these new in 1980. Great cars but we could hardly sell them. Everyone wanted the Corolla’s and Celicas then. We also sold Pontiacs, Cadillacs, and GMC trucks. Quality wise, the Toyotas were much better than the other 1980 models we sold. They also made a four door hatchback of this car that sold even less than the sedan!

  24. Pete

    Mu mu mu mu my Corona sing it with me. LOL. Say what you will these lil Toyota’s and other models of that era provided people with a reliable means of transportation. That didn’t clobber you with high gas bills with standard commuting. This was made during the oil embargo era where we had to line up for gas. Would you rather own a Chevy Citation or a Ford Escort? Maybe Mustang II? Yeah I don’t think so. You just keep um coming Scotty I appreciate these old Nippon cars. I especially loved the RX7 it was in it’s second year at this time. I will own one of them again before it is all said and done. Hopefully a 79 – 84 I can still fit in those. LOL

    • Buick Fan

      I think you have 1 too many mu’s Pete…

  25. Anthony

    Always loved these Toyota Coronas since I was a kid.
    Barn Finds is an excellent site and I hope it always stays the way it is without auctions.
    Bring a Trailer used to be good now I just delete it in seconds because it became a garbage auction site and got ruined. Nothing like it used to be. I hope Barn Finds never goes that route.
    Merry Christmas everyone if I do not write till then.

    • Dan D

      X2 re: BaT! (And BF…)

  26. creekerdad

    Love the old Coronas…..in 1985 we had a 1980 Corona LE Wagon, 5 speed, dark cinnamon velour interior…. I bought it used at a Cincinnati Porsche Audi dealer… the prior driver, a doctor’s wife, hated the Audi 5000 her husband bought her when he traded the Corona.
    It was Ziebarted when new and looked great when it was 8 years old when i traded it for a new 1988 Ford Aerostar XLT….. what was I thinking?

  27. Melvin Burwell

    Nice car. Don’t see these any more. Good buy. Good price.

  28. Daniel Mix

    I had a 1979 Toyota Corona LE Liftback, which was one of the best cars I ever owned! Not bad for a college kid in NY! A very nice 5 door sedan. It was Black with Burgundy cloth interior and loaded to the moon with every option. It was originally from Florida, and the 20R engine carried me up to 260,000 miles problem free! I sold it when I brought my new car when I got my first real job after graduating, a 1987 Camry! I would love to see a Corona Liftback like mine again! Let me know if you come across one!

  29. Ty

    This was my 1st car! Mine was beige and the liner had sagged so I just ripped it out had some horrible seat covers and drove it everywhere! Dukes of hazard had nothing on this thing!

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