CC Capsule: 1980 Toyota Corona (T130) 1800 – Five Years And One Corona Ago…

When Leaving Thailand in mid-2019, I figured the T87 family would be back for a visit sometime in the next year or so. After all, it’s only a six-hour flight from Tokyo and we had a lot of social, professional and financial ties there. Then travel became impossibly difficult, plans changed and life went on. Before I knew it, it had been almost five years since we’d left Bangkok. It was time to go back and, while there, check on the CC scene.

Of all the tired Toyotas in this huge steambath of a city, of course, I had to find the one called Corona. Fittingly, one of the last Thai finds I wrote up was a T130 Liftback. It was a near wreck, too – this one is still in use, at least.

So has nothing changed car-wise in Thailand since the 2010s? Sure, there are a few new arrivals – mostly Chinese and electric, but on the whole, things have remained pretty much as they were. There are still a lot of Isuzus around, pickup trucks galore, and fleets of colourful taxis and tuk-tuks continue buzzing about the place – it’s all quite same-same. And there are a few well-worn (usually Japanese) 40-plus-year-old cars cheating death, if you look hard enough. Pity I didn’t have much time for that this time around, but one decent find is always good to take.

They do like their Coronas, here. I saw more there than I usually do in Tokyo – mostly T170s and T190s from the 1990s, and invariably in saloon form. This one has the 1.8 litre (a 1.6 was also available, as was a 2-litre), but it’s a rather low-spec model, with smaller bumpers. And a bit of rust, but surely not enough to be a  cause for concern.

Now we see where this venerable motorcar’s owner decided to spend his hard-eared Baht! Spiffing new seats, a shiny wooden steering wheel, a cupholder, etc. – it’s all a lot more affordable than a respray of the whole exterior.

Didn’t stop the owner from adding a pair of new-ish door mirrors and a flimsy rear spoiler. But I digress. It was a real joy to see this Corona, if only to feel like the city I lived in for several years still has some treasure left to uncover.

I can’t imagine better CC hunting grounds than Tokyo, of course. Perhaps some places (such as Beaulieu, Mulhouse or Eugene) would be equally satisfying to prowl, but the eclectic mix of JDM oddities, European classics and American beauties found in the Japanese capital is pretty hard to top. All the same, give me a good old Bangkok banger and I’m a happy CContributor. Hopefully more often than once every five years…


Related posts:


CC Twofer: 1979 Toyota Corona T130 Sedan & Liftback – Forty Years Young, Forty Years Old, by T87

Driveway Outtakes: 1978-83 T130 Corona Liftback – Upstaging The Neighbours, by Don Andreina

CC Capsule: 1979 Toyota Corona – When RWD Still Ruled, by Matt Spencer

CC Capsule: 1979-83 Toyota Corona (T130) Wagon – Mint Mediocrity, by William Stopford

Vintage Review: Toyota Corona and Honda Accord – Two Road Tests, 1979, by Yohai71