1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Remember when four-door hatch versions of small Japanese cars were commonplace?

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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback


As we now know, the 80s were the last gasp for lengthened, four-door hatchback versions of Japanese subcompacts; once the minivans and SUVs took charge, the cold-eyed accountants at Toyota knew they wouldn't be making these things in quantity for much longer. In this case we've got a four-door hatch Corolla, fairly well beat up but still getting the groceries.

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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback


Chevrolet sold a badge-engineered version of this car, built about 25 miles south of here and given the Nova name. You could also get a Fremont- built Corolla FX in the mid-to-late 80s.

Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
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Illustration for article titled 1985 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

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DISCUSSION

Ah yes. I spent many afternoons riding to rowing practice stuffed into the back of Steve's Mom's Chevy Nova nee Corolla. Steve always left about five minutes late, but always wanted to be there five minutes early. That meant him seeking out, finding, and flogging into reluctant action every last one of the 88-or-so arthritic hamsters this thing kept under the hood. If the smell in the back seat got too thick, we'd roll down the windows and his speed would drop. On the upside there was a gigantic cargo hold in the stern, so if somebody missed his ride of choice, Steve'd cheerfully pop the hatch and invite the poor bastard in. Many were chosen, few repeated.

Those were great times.