CC Outtake: 1976 (or so) Toyota Corolla (E30) Wagon – And a Toyota Pickup in the Alley

Third generation Corollas have become a bit scarce, but since they are Corollas, there will undoubtedly always be a few around, forever. Could life in Eugene exist without them? It’s questionable. And of course the same applies to old Toyota pickups. So it should not be too surprising to see two within proximity of each other, like here.

Let’s take a quickie look at the pickup before we get back to the Corolla. This is also a third generation Hilux (N30/N40) which came out a couple of years after the featured Corolla, which arrive here as a new 1975 model. This generation Toyota pickup is still fairly plentiful. As to which of these two is more durable, there is no answer. They both are.

From the stripes on its sides, this appears to be an SR-5 model, which of course was graced with the slickest shifting 5 speed built up to that time. On a pickup truck. Poor GM; they could only dream about such a transmission, and available all across the Toyota line. Just in time for the energy crisis. Bingo!


This generation Corolla wcan be considered the breakthrough one in the US, as it spanned perfectly the two energy crisis. This of course helped to propel sales upwards, and the Corolla was now a household word, even parts of the country where Toyotas had been a bit slow to catch on.

Oh, this is so familiar. I broke through the century mark in a friend’s Corolla 1600 of this vintage, on the way to Death Valley in 1976. And it was utterly uneventful. I’m not trying to give the Corolla powers and qualities it never had; its handling was modest and the steering hardly brilliant. But with the five speed transmission and the fairly powerful little hemi-head 2-TC 1588cc engine, it was hardly screaming its lungs out at that speed. Quite the contrary, actually.



Thanks to its conventional RWD, rear leg room and seat width were compromised. This was no-state-of-the-art-mobile like the new VW Rabbit, but then it was its polar opposite in terms of quality and reliability. Too bad R&T didn’t do a long term test of a Corolla as a corollary to their VW Rabbit misadventure.

But yes, the Rabbit was a brilliant car to drive. But no 5 speed to be seen in it either. Not for a couple more years, anyway.


Toyota wagons are utilitarian appliances. Which explains why I drive one. And why this person does. There’s no cheaper way to haul oneself and some cargo around over the long haul.

Which of course explains why I make a point to stop and shoot them. It’s the essence of Curbside Classics.