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Thread: 1979 Toyota Corolla

  1. #1
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    1979 Toyota Corolla

    Hello, I've been drooling over some vintage Japanese cars for some time now, and it'd always been 510's & such until I got hooked more on the Toyota models last year. I'd looked off & on through local listings just to see what was available within a few hours radius, but never really came up with anything that struck me as a "must have" til last week...

    Which brings me to this: a 1979 Corolla coupe with a 3TC motor, 5spd transmission swapped in (originally automatic), pretty clean body (IMO), a decent shape interior, and runs/drives/passes inspection (it just passed 2wks ago). It was primered this winter, but he won't be painting it, so he's selling it as is - I don't mind so much, as I can get it finished in our paintbooth at work without breaking the bank. It has an asking price of $1800 - but I was never planning on dropping over $1000-1200 just to pick an example up. I have the funds to pick this up without question, but was curious as to whether or not I need to have another look about it to scope something out I may have passed over my first time out - and to see what you guys think it's value may be.

    I did a good look over everywhere for rust, and there is only one penetrated area, a small hole in the rear passenger floorboard which you could stick your finger through. There is light surface rust which will clean off easily in the trunk's spare-well, and no rust to be found inside the wheel arches, in the door-frames, beneath the front/rear of the vehicle, or any that I can see as an inconsistency/roughness under the layer of primer. With my history of being a VW enthusiast, this car is in much better metal condition than most of the cars I've shopped in the past. Here are the photos I snapped of it this past weekend:







    The only damage to the exterior I could come across (beyond the horribly sloppy primer) is one dimple in each fender, along the edge of each headlamp, and one sharp ding in the passenger fender. Also, all trim is in place and intact, but the front windscreen trim is replaced with globby silicone in each corner.

    So, senior Toyota JNCers, what do you advise? Here's to hoping this thread turns from a prospective buyer post, into a build thread :tu:

  2. #2
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    Looks like a solid car to start from. I don't see anything can't can't be helped with a little time and effort. These cars can really be a joy to own. The 3TC has a ton of potiential. If you decide you don't want to go that way, it also has a bunch of cousins from the same engine family that will just drop in. I hope the purchase goes well.



    On a second note technically it is not a coupe. It is a 2 door sedan.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingtoy
    The 3TC has a ton of potiential. If you decide you don't want to go that way, it also has a bunch of cousins from the same engine family that will just drop in.

    On a second note technically it is not a coupe. It is a 2 door sedan.
    You know, as blasphemous as it is for not being vintage or nostalgic, the only engine I'd even considered swapping in was the 4AGE Blacktop motor. However, I went ahead & assumed that it wasn't an easy undertaking or very straightforward, so I've done my best to block the idea from my mind :lol:

    Glad to hear some clarification there, when it comes to German cars, everything that has a trunk and 2 doors is a coupe, but if the trunk's attached to the glass its a hatch. That's it - no 2dr sedans at all. I'd had some trouble when looking up parts for the car at work, since under 79 year model, the computer lists Corolla / Corolla 2dr / Corolla 4dr / Corolla Hatch all separate :x

  4. #4
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    Looks alright for a TE-31 2 door hardtop.New glass and trunk seals are avaliable.If you have a paint booth hookup this should come out nice with some good prep time.

    What about the te21 corolla in the garage pic.?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by whit
    What about the te21 corolla in the garage pic.?



    Believe me, I'd much rather find me one of those for sale. But alas...
    On the note of his TE-21, I'm sure the answer is no, but I have to ask: the fully chromed bumpers from that car won't fit on the 79 will they?

    I'd be delighted to hear that there is a rounded chromed bumper option to replace these with the plastic endcaps.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crab Rangoon
    I'd be delighted to hear that there is a rounded chromed bumper option to replace these with the plastic endcaps.

  7. #7
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    we had a number of different chrome bumper options for corollas here in australia

    there was the full chrome one as posted above

    and then there was one with rubbers ends like this one



    and i think there was a third one too

  8. #8
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    Great, now I'm 100% sold on upgrading bumpers - there goes more money in the future :lol:

    So, after picking up the car I intend to pull off most things attached to the body (trim, handles, lights, etc), possibly including the glass, before painting. Am I just going to need to reuse the current seals to put the glass back in, or is there an outlet for NOS/aftermarket replacements..?

    Also, my other concern is I know I'll need to replace the front windscreen. The corners of the chrome trim are gunked up like hell with silicone - and since I'll need to replace this (seller says he can source me one for about $100, and I can put it in myself at work) is there a means of sourcing replacement trim? Or should I just try to clean this trim up as much as possible before reinstalling, and shoot for a cleaner execution than he'd done? See here for examples:





    I appreciate the info, and support from you guys. No lies, I have a handful of friends local to me that are in full support of me getting into a more vintage piece of Japanese auto, but none of them are really rooting for me to pick this up. All of them are insisting I hold out for a cheaper, and hopefully older Toyota - but I'm trying to go full speed ahead on this one. Hoping to pick it up between Friday & Sunday night.

  9. #9
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    here in australia a company called scotts old auto rubber does the rubbers you will need.

    http://www.scottsoldautorubber.com.au/T ... -35-36.htm

    I think they sell a replica of the chrome locking trim to go in the channel for the front and rear windows too.

    you will find rubbers on ebay from guys in thailand. australian experience with that stuff so far is that the rubber cracks in a very short period of time when in the sun.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverra23
    here in australia a company called scotts old auto rubber does the rubbers you will need.

    http://www.scottsoldautorubber.com.au/T ... -35-36.htm

    I think they sell a replica of the chrome locking trim to go in the channel for the front and rear windows too.

    you will find rubbers on ebay from guys in thailand. australian experience with that stuff so far is that the rubber cracks in a very short period of time when in the sun.
    Thanks for the tip & link, I'll look into it - though the last part I received from Australia was quite the kick in the sack when it came time to view the shipping costs. I'll see what I can do ^_^ The input on the Asian seals is also appreciated, as here in TX it's mostly warm and dry.. that would be a really bad thing to experience first hand w/those seals.

    You've been quite helpful so far, so perhaps the next part I had in mind isn't a tough one for answering: how bout sourcing rivet-type fender flares? :mrgreen: :tu:

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