V.I.S.I.T: (KE20) Toyota Corolla Wagon

The other day we spent a while admiring the perseverance of somebody who keeps an ’81 Cadillac Eldorado alive and in pristine condition, despite living in Iceland, not a country which The Firm With The Duck Spangled Crest has ever held as their number one target.
But then again, driving around in the reddest, shiniest ’81 Biarritz on the island is sure going to get you some admiring glances. You could say a similar thing about spending wheel time in today’s featured early ’70s Corolla- but the glances you’ll receive are more likely to be ones of shock, confusion, maybe even pity.

Click and large up the images to taste the patina

Of course, I’m generalising about The Human Race generally. Anybody au fait with the Hoonverse way of things is far more likely to smile and cross the road for a closer look.
I did. It was incongruously parked outside Harpa, the new Reykjavik Opera House. Upscale doesn’t begin to cover it.
As you’ll have seen from my survey of Icelandic Road Traffic, the island seriously knows how to make cars rust. It happens unremittingly and must be very hard indeed to stay on top of; I’ve seen cars a quarter the age of this venerable Toyota because the tin-worm has got its teeth deep into their flesh.
There IS rust, it would be implausible for there not to be. But it’s been kept in check sufficiently to be seen as patina rather than disease.
I’ve spent several minutes trying to assimilate the script down the side and can’t establish whether it refers to a website, a magazine, a club, a company or a sinister organisation that does something sinister with fermented shark meat, but whoever it is it would appear that this little wagon is central to its operation.
I saw this rocking about on several occasions in Reykjavik, and moving under its own power at least once, so it’s confirmed as a goer, which is nice to see.
There is a wealth of cool little details spread all over this cars dainty body; from the teardrop-like grilles coming from the corners of the rear quarter windows, through the fake intakes next to the front headlamps, to the oversized indicator lamps mounted under the front bumper (a handy piece of aftermarket “improvement”), there are so many things to look at.
Will we ever be able to say this about a Toyota again?
Or anything else, for that matter?
(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2016)

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  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    What bothers me a bit is that Toyota is more successful at a time when this is their design pinnacle:
    …then when a two door wagon with tidy yet interesting design, and the first Celica, were around.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Are they? I would have thought Toyotas market share peak, round these parts anyway, would have been mid 80s to mid 90s, before diesels got popular, and their petrols were iron block units that could take endless neglect and abuse, and before the Koreans started undercutting them in the bland commutemobile stakes.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        It’s first the last couple of years that Toyota, GM and VW have been fighting to be #1 globally, so I assumed that Toyota is more successful now than before. Haven’t checked my facts (yet) though.

        1. crank_case Avatar

          Me either, just anecdotal observation how the Carina II used to be Irelands default rural tranport, rivalled only by the Jetta (MK2 Golf era) running a non turbo diesel. Ever since turbodiesels started to take over, the balance shifted to Passats and even Audi A4s in what we refer to as ‘felt spec (named after the town of Magharafelt – big wheels, badly lowered, blow off valve, emissions equipment removed or bypassed).

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            Toyota has been growing violently, but it’s hard to find numbers going back decades. They’re selling over 10 million cars/year now.

          2. crank_case Avatar

            ..and yet there isn’t the hoped for abundance of cheap used GT86s 🙁

          3. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
            Dean Bigglesworth

            The cheapest early ones are hovering at about 18k euros in Germany, or 60% of their cost new. The vast majority is over 70% of their new price. Only a bit over 300 GT86 and BRZ combined for sale on mobile.de, so people seem to be holding on to them.. Here’s hoping the upcoming modest facelift will cause every current owner to immediately get the new one.
            btw only 22% of the cars for sale on mobile.de are automatics.

          4. crank_case Avatar

            Irelands such a small market that they’re pretty much non-existent. I’ll probably have to look to importing from the UK. The pricing here’s sorta dumb, only one high spec trim, 40k euros. In context though, all cars here are expensive, people don’t seem to have issue with shelling out more for some dull as dishwater middling Audi thing and used AE86s fetch mind bogglingly stupid money.

          5. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
            Dean Bigglesworth

            Finland is in the same boat, I only used Germany as an example as that’s the closest large market where importing from is feasible. The largest used auto site in Finland currently has thirteen used GT86/BRZ for sale, starting at around 30k euros.
            Similar car from Germany would be about the same price actually, about 20-22k euros for the car in Germany, maybe 7-8k euros in tax, and 1-2k euros for a trip to get the car here and all the paperwork and whatnot. Not a lot of data to go on since only one single GT86 has been imported privately since the car was released; a 2013 model imported last year with 77k km on the odo, taxes were a bit over 8k euros.
            If you want to have a look here’s the official data on all imported used cars from last year: http://www.tulli.fi/fi/yksityisille/autoverotus/taulukot/autot/au/002015.pdf
            As you can see from the 2015 data, Chevrolet Alero imports outnumber GT86/BRZ imports by exactly 300%

          6. crank_case Avatar

            *googles Chevrolet Alero*
            Oh dear…

          7. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
            Dean Bigglesworth

            A lot of weird old cars imported here, probably because new cars are so expensive that you have to get creative to get something interesting that stands out. Even an Alero becomes interesting in a sea of grey hatchbacks and CUVs. Not good, but interesting. An Alero is also very cheap.

      2. WinstonSmith84 Avatar

        Toyota is the number one carmaker in the world now. It certainly wasn’t the case twenty years ago, or even ten years ago.

  2. Maymar Avatar

    Apparently the text translates to Ship Power, or Ship Electricity, or something like that. Make of that what you will.

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