Here Are Some Toyota Corollas You Can Buy That Don't Cost $40,000

Here Are Some Toyota Corollas You Can Buy That Don't Cost $40,000

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Photo: Craigslist

If you were under the impression that to buy a 1980s Toyota Corolla, you had to pay at least $40,000 I have either some very good or very bad news! It is not necessary, and there are, in fact, at least several Corollas for sale for less than this price.

If you are thinking, oh, certainly the Toyota Corolla that someone spent $40,000 on is an absolutely perfect example of a Corolla, something that would make a sacrificial red cow right there in front of the Tabernacle look blemished by comparison. Nope! This one on Bring A Trailer has 114,000 miles, visible rust, and has been repainted, as Japanese Nostalgic Car points out. While the presence of a $40,000 imperfect AE86 implies the possibility of a theoretically perfect AE86 for $50,000 or more, it is important for us to ground ourselves. Let us take a look at some other Corollas for sale that don’t cost as much as a new WRX STI.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DRFT 86 — $7,500

DRFT 86 — $7,500

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Photo: Craigslist

The whole reason that the AE86 is what it is comes down to its excellent 4A-GE engine, which offered the twin-cam performance of something like an Alfa Romeo but with the ubiquity and reliability of a budget Toyota. It is with this in mind that I begin this list with a BEAMS-swapped AE86. This 1980s Corolla’s engine has been swapped for something like its 2000s successor, the 3S-GE. Instead of making a bit more than 100 horsepower, this engine will do double that and not require you to mess around with forced induction.

A few parts of this car are missing, such as most of the seats, the rest of the interior, and some of its wiring harness.

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More Skids’ SR5 — $9,000

More Skids’ SR5 — $9,000

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Photo: Craigslist

Moving from SoCal all the way up the coast to Seattle gets you into YouTuber territory. This is a More Skids car, which you would already know if you had a couple stick and pokes and at least one functional crystal.

It’s an SR5, so it did not have the 4A-GE right out of the factory, but has since gotten one swapped in from Japan. It has a bodykit, a full interior, a limited-slip diff, and BC coilovers. At $9,000 you have plenty of budget left to paint the car one color.

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A Turbo-Less Hatch — $5,000

A Turbo-Less Hatch — $5,000

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Photo: Craigslist

Slightly less money also gets you slightly less Corolla in Seattle. This one is only asking $5,000, and also comes with a built-in scavenger hunt. What does it need? Nobody knows! Per the seller:

It is a project but body is straight NO RUST OR BONDO

Not running at this moment, from what I can see it needs wiring, turbo, intake lining, starter, driver seat, and maybe more!!

Sourcing an old Recaro or two is easy, patching your pockets is more involved.

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Most Of A Coupe — $5,000

Most Of A Coupe — $5,000

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Photo: Craigslist

Continuing our tour of PNW’s lo-buck drift scene is this also-incomplete car with a 4A-GE swap. The seller claims the car is running and driving and “straight!” with maybe a little too much enthusiasm.

I am fairly sure that running over a large pothole is enough to slightly pretzel just about any Japanese car from the 80s that’s not a Land Cruiser. If the seller wants to post a video of this thing tracking straight on the highway with no hands on the wheel, I am ready to update this article.

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Everything But An Engine Swap — $12,500

Everything But An Engine Swap — $12,500

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Photo: Craigslist

This AE86 has everything. It’s been actually restored, with a minty interior, a full bodykit, coilovers, and some good-looking meshies. What it does not have is more than one camshaft. Still under the hood is the old 4A-C engine, which comes with eight valves and a carb. If you’re dropping this kind of money on an AE86, a BEAMS swap can’t be far out of your budget also.

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Sorry, Wrong-Wheel Drive — $2,000

Sorry, Wrong-Wheel Drive — $2,000

Illustration for article titled Here Are Some Toyota Corollas You Can Buy That Don't Cost $40,000
Photo: Craigslist

How did this get in here! This is the Corolla after the AE86, so it has front-wheel drive. What it also has is that wonderful 4A-GE twin cam. It’s a Corolla FX-16, something like the charming hot hatch sibling to everyone’s favorite nostalgic drift car. This thing is probably more fun on your favorite back road, though you might want to invest in a front bumper.

At $2,000 this feels like a vintage listing of what AE86s used to cost. If I were to buy any car on this list, it’d be this one. Also I need those Yakima gutter-mounts.

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A Fully-Loaded New Corolla — $26,486

A Fully-Loaded New Corolla — $26,486

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Photo: Toyota

I took a moment to spec out a brand-new Corolla Hatchback XSE, with the six-speed manual, mudflaps, the roof spoiler, and everything I could find that said “TRD” on it. Even then I only got to a bit over $26,000! I tried to make a new Corolla as expensive as I could, and I couldn’t get it to as pricy as that Bring A Trailer 86. Hell, I could spec out a new 86 and still not meet that figure.

In any case, I would like to wish every AE86 owner out there a good day, and please do not laugh in my face when I offer you my horrible 74 Volkswagen as a straight-up trade.

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Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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