Tuesday, June 20, 2017

California and Japan join forces to show off again

I was visiting my mother at the Chico, California library where she works when this lovely little ray of sunshine entered the parking lot:
This is a 1979 Toyota Corona T130 Station Wagon in Yellow. We here on the East Coast can just stand back in awe of how utterly rust and damage free an everyday grocery getter from 38 years ago can be in California.
This righteous grill symbol is a C for Corona with some sort of star power emanating from the center. This is also the easiest way to discern the vintage; the year before had round headlights while the year after this one had a chrome horizontal bar running the width of the grill. Take a second to admire that factory pinstripe on the hood in brown!
This Corona is proud and upright with excellent posture and grooming.
There is a fantastic song named Corona by the Minutemen that most people know as the opening theme for Jackass. I highly recommend the Minutemen documentary We Jam Econo for anyone who digs that track. Corona is also a beer. Drink extremely cold when it's hot out ONLY.
About the most damage I can see on this ride at all is that the paint looks a touch on the faded side, but really! This thing looks to be wearing its original paint so I'll go ahead and call this a flawless original survivor.
The hubcaps are correct and pretty snazzy for a late-'70s Japanese car. They look a lot like a hybrid of old Ford Falcon hubcaps in the center and '80s Econoline caps around the rim.
This year straddles the line between the rounded '70s Toyotas and the angular boxy designs of the '80s. The lines are just barely softened but it makes for a friendly car.
Get a load of that checkered 1979 Toyota upholstery! Also this seems to have a green First Aid kit in the rear, probably offered as part of an AAA membership or gift for opening a checking account decades ago. It lends a wholesomeness to the whole scene that's so earnest I can't stand it!
The Corona was one step up in size and stature from the diminutive Corolla, but they're really very similar cars. The last car I owned as of writing this post was an '83 Corolla wagon (also in yellow). If you could whittle this Corona down on all sides leaving perfectly straight lines and reduce the 4 square headlights to 2 you would have my old ride.
Somehow I have no doubt that the rear window washing fluid still works from that black dot above the center glass. There's probably an AM/FM radio in the dash ready to read you the news at a moments notice.
In the Northeast when you bought this car the fuse was lit; you'd be lucky to make it to a year before the first spec of rust made itself known. Here in Sunny California the factory quarter panel yawns at another perfect day. Every time I post a car I snapped in Cali I'm reminded of how I ought to exclusively buy cars from the West Coast and drive them back.
We'll close this out as I notice the damage on the passenger side. Looks like a whiskey dent/scrape along the doors happened in some parking lot or garage along the way.
There is nothing flashy or particularly memorable about this wagon except for the fact that it remains on the road after almost 4 decades in such solid condition. Most older Toyotas have a cult following but somehow the Corona has been ignored by most collectors. It's not small enough for the Corolla set, not sporty enough for the Celica/Supra folks, and don't have anything to offer for the truck and Land Cruiser aficionados. The running gear is just as legendarily bulletproof as the other Toyotas of the era and its scale makes it a bit more practical than the smaller rides. If I saw this with a sign in the window I would have to contact the owner and give it a test drive. You could certainly do worse for a usable everyday classic set of wheels.

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