Thoight it was about time I posted some details on my RT112 Corona. The hardtop bodystyle was never sold in Australia, we only got the sedans and wagons of that era. The US market got the RT114 (18RC and RT115 (20R).
I first saw one of these cars when I was about eight years old. It was a South African import RT114 (same shape, but 18R engine) and I loved it.
Fast-forward twenty years and I decided the time had come to go searching for one. So I posted online and in magazines all over Australia. Finally I turned up an ex-Sth Africa RT114 in Sydney. Most likely it was the one I saw when I was eight. But it needed heaps of work and it had been modified in ways I wasn't happy with.
I tried New Zealand and scanned US websites with no luck. But a few Coronas of the right shape were popping up on Yahoo Japan, so I contacted an importer. It took a couple of years to find the right car - most that turned up sounded good but turned out to be full of rust!
Finally, in August last year a tidy-looking silver RT112 1800GL appeared on Yahoo Japan. I contacted my importer who contacted the owner. The photos I received looked very promising. So the importer negotiated a decent price and bought the car on my behalf on August 30 last year.
I knew I was taking a risk buying it on the basis of a few photos, but I was getting desperate, as each car I looked at was more expensive than the last! I couldn't sleep for days, worried that the car would arrive damaged or be a rust bucket.
The importer kept me posted along the way, and finally my car arrived in Melbourne in October, almost two months after I bought it. The transport company drove it out to me. I was totally stoked! The car was a LOT better than I expected. The seller had been very honest.
Some pics on arrival:
I trailered the car home, but I needn't have bothered. It ran fine. It came up great after a good clean!
A local panel shop replaced the front guards (wings, fenders) with new ones and resprayed the car. It didn't need a full respray, but I wanted all the paint to match. I fitted rechromed bumpers and CSA alloy wheels with Yokohama tyres. I had to fit new seatbelts and door mounted mirror for local compliance. I replaced some suspension and steering bits etc and the car passed it's roadworthy certificate. It's now fully registered and gets driven most weekends and turns a lot of heads
I've still got a few jobs to do. The carpets need replacing and the fender mirrors will be refitted when I find a gasket for the left one. I also want to change the wheels for some Watanabes or Konigs as well as a few other little jobs.
The car as it is today (less plates):
It was an expensive exercise, but I love the car and it was worth every penny.