Have you ever been told that you’re not living up to your potential? I know I have. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Corolla has a ton of potential, but you’ll just have to decide if its price is worth living it up.

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Yesterday’s custom 1997 Ford Probe GT may not have come with miles of orange track, but it sure looked like it should. Based on the vitriol it generated in the comments what it also looked like was something that few of you would touch with a 3.048-meter Varsovian.

Not conforming to generally accepted standards of aesthetic beauty shouldn’t be something that elicits caustic retort, but a too-high price sure can be, and it got that too! The apparent numerous failings eventually dropped it in an overwhelming 88% Crack Pipe loss.

Okay, so as it turns out that funky Ford serves as the off-menu filling for what’s remarkably turning out to be a mid-week Toyota sammich. Tuesday we had the trusty rusty Land Cruiser, and today we have what looks to be a solid and filled with potential 1983 Corolla wagon. Oh, and like that dry and nasty bread the hippies eat, this one’s brown too.

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Well, it’s really more of a burnt umber, I guess. Still, that’s close enough for government work in my book. What’s really cool about this car is all the potential it holds. Swap in a 4AGE? Sure. Set it up for the neighborhood Gymkhana? Why the hell not? Drive it to work and back on a daily basis while listening to NPR? You rebel!

The fourth generation Corolla was the last to sport RWD across its model line, and oh what a model line that was. The E70 had what was probably the broadest body style selection of any Corolla model ever, encompassing everything from sedans to coupes to lift backs to wagons like this car. In contrast, today’s contemporary Corolla comes in only one flavor: bitter resignation.

Introduced in early 1979, these also happen to be some of the best looking Corollas ever. They exude a clean and practical squared-off design which led by Toyota Chief Engineer Fumio Agetsuma. He once described the Corolla as the “‘bread and butter’ for various peoples in nations around the world.”

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There’s that bread metaphor again.

This one looks to be very tidy, and save for some unfortunate wrinkling in the passenger door, it’s apparently straight as well. It’s also claimed to be rust-free and to rock its original paint above its Cressida wheels. Based on the pictures, it also comes with a towel, which, if you’re a fan of HHGTTG, you’ll know is an essential traveling accoutrement.

Less tidy is the interior. It’s all perfectly serviceable mind you, but the front seats are each patched in the tacky manner of the jeans that poor kid in 4th grade wore— that poor kid also called them ‘dungarees.’ Weird poor kid.

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Don’t get too excited about the Momo steering wheel in there either because apparently it stays with the seller. You won’t have to worry about driving it home with nothing more than a pair of ViceGrips as a tiller however, as the seller says he’ll reinstall the factory wheel before you go. A couple of dash cracks round out the debbie downer bits in here, and otherwise it looks like a suitable place to do your driving business.

Mechanically things are much more appealing. The engine is the 1.6-litre 4A-C, a 78-horsepower SOHC four, and the ad says it runs perfect. Backing that up is a five-speed stick and between those is what’s said to be a new clutch. There’s also some new struts, a new alternator, belts, and fluids. On the downside, the A/C is dead and getting freon these days is a pain in the ass for most people.

A clean California title is the cherry on top for this 195,000-mile wagon, or perhaps to return to the sandwich metaphors it’s the frilly little toothpick sticking out of the Rye. The asking price may just be the accompanying pickle spear as it’s a nominal $3,800.

What’s your take on this tidy Toyota and that $3,800 price? Is that a deal for such an original and potentially modifiable old school Corolla? Or, is that too much for any non-AE86 car?

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You decide!

eBay out of Carlsbad California, or go here if the ad disappears.

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H/T to 2Big&2Slo for the hookup!

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