On The Go Outtake: 1971 Toyota Corolla – Where Did You Come From?

As I drove though the intersection of Polk and 18th, I spotted a little dark car heading west on 18th towards me. As it came closer and stopped for the light, I could make out that it was a gen2 Corolla. never seen this one in town before. In fact, I’ve never shot a sedan of this generation since I shot the ’74 that had to stand in for a ’71 in my 1971 Small Car Comparison.

Now here’s the real thing, but there’s no way I can shoot it properly; I’ll be lucky to peel off a shot or two.

Here’s a crop of that shot. The grilles on these cars were constantly changing, and the coupes sometimes had different grilles from the sedan and wagon, and the 1600 version got a different grille, IIRC. But I’m going to peg this as a ’71, although I might be wrong.

I’m well acquainted with these, as my “adopted mother” Elinor had one in Iowa City; a 1200 sedan in orange. It was a ’72 or ’73 though. Drove it on many a summer’s trip out to the quarry with one or two or three of her daughters to go swimming, or other outings. Nice little car, although obviously not exactly brimming with power. It had to be caned, but it did the trick. The only reason the ’71 Corolla didn’t win that C/d Comparison was the lack of power of its 1200 cc engine, an issue that was remedied some six months later in almost overkill fashion, with the new hemi-head 1600 engine rated at a whopping 102 (gross) hp. That allowed it to literally run away from the competition.

Here it is pulling away. This shot is not in focus, but it’s nice to see it paired with that Prius (and a matrix in the first picture).

Two classic Eugene-mobiles, if ever there were any.


1971 Toyota Corolla: 1971 Small Car Comparison #3