Do you want a supremely mint example of a hugely influential mid-80s Corolla that helped spread the Toyota gospel far and wide around the world? Behold, a 10,500-mile Toyota Corolla LE sedan. What, you were expecting an AE86? The argument could be made that the front-drive AE82, the first to be co-built in the United States with General Motors, became the foundation on which the modern Toyota empire was built.
It was an unusual time, when Toyota was in the middle of transforming a large portion of its lineup to front-wheel-drive, at the time considered a futuristic and must-do layout for any modern automaker worth its sheetmetal. The AE82 gets a lot of hate, crowding the internet searches of those shopping for an AE86. However, if you want to really understand just how much of a paradigm shift this car represented, simply listen to the This American Life podcast about NUMMI, Toyota’s joint venture with GM.
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, this 1984 Corolla LE is said to have had just owner, who put barely five digits’ worth of miles on it over the course of 33 years. Okay, technically it has 16,900 km because Canada, but that’s still damn low for a car whose entire purpose was to cover many miles with utmost efficiency and bulletproof reliability.
Not many automakers can claim to have offered two entirely different chassis, one front- one rear-wheel-drive, with the same name at the same time. Interior-wise there was some abstract design similarity with the AE86, what with the two-tone dash and panels, even though they share no major parts.
While this example has an automatic transmission, unlike most Kidney Cars we feel that it’s not an immediate dealbreaker for a car like this. If you want to hustle it, get an AE86. The purpose of this car, as we see it, is to mark a moment in history. It’s kind of like the VW Beetle, in that it was honest transportation that helped the Corolla move 43 million units and become best-selling nameplate worldwide.
In addition to the low mileage, it is finished in a first-year-only Shell Metallic color, which is kind of like a rose gold. Since most of these were considered workhorse grocery getters, we’re betting very few have been preserved this well.
Yes, we know we just had a Toyota Kidney Car and this one couldn’t be more different. At $4,900 Canadian, the price is about 10 times the asking amount of the clapped out examples you usually see. Upon seeing the Craigslist ad, our Touge California Rallymaster Patrick Strong raised the question, “How good does a specific example of a car have to be before an undesirable model becomes desirable?” Probably this good.
Thanks to Timothy T. for the tip!