Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Someday people will look back upon the Camry with fondness and desire, and when that day arrives, I hope to be long-dead. Until then, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has its predecessor for you to get all nostalgic about.

Great Corey Haim's ghost! The '85 Ford Escort pulled out a white knuckler 50/50 tie in yesterday's voting! For one half of you, the car brought back fond memories of misspent youth and family trips with beloved, and now departed, loved ones. For the other half, it was flashbacks to those 32 months you spent in a dysentery-ravaged Viet Cong tiger trap, subsisting on nothing but a handful of mealy rice each week and the briny effluence of your own urine. For you, that Escort was just one di di mao away from you blowing your brains out. At least that's what it seemed like based on the comments.

Let's see if today's Toyota - which is recall-free - can endear itself to at least a plurality of you. Before there was the Camry, or its big-boy pants wearing brother, the Cressida, there was the Corona. Larger than the Corolla, but smaller than the Crown, the 2,170-lb mid-sizer was a Goldilocks-approved just right. Although it shared its name with a beer that was slanderously rumored to have brewery-worker pee as its secret ingredient - mandating a wedge of lime to overcome the wang tang - the Toyota Corona never faced such nefarious competitive challenges.

Lime could be used to describe the color of today's 1971 Corona Deluxe that comes to us by way of Craigslist. Modestly donk'd with 17s and lowered, it's rocking the expected window tint treatment, but is otherwise unmolested in appearance. Under the hood it's sporting, not its original tire-twister, but a later 22R with a Demon 350 2bbl. Behind that 22R is a W-series five speed out of a Celica of an undisclosed generation.


The vinyl roof is gone, but like a foundation in the forest, the stainless trim that defined it remains despite all the new green around. Inside it's tired seats and naked floorboards, but there is a wood-rimmed aftermarket steering wheel for you to wrap your hands around. Stepping back outside, you can see that the car has been shaved of its badging, and that the left-front tire looks to be a little extra low profile, making a trip to the tire store a good addition to the buyer's to-do list.

The seller doesn't show us, but still describes a bit of front end damage caused by an incestuous incident with a much younger and more muscular Tundra. That's the sort of behavior you might expect from a Chaser, or creepy Uncle Venza, but not from a Corona. The seller also notes that, with the exception of having rust, the car is rust free. That's possibly one of those zen riddles that are so popular with the introspective ricer crowd.


All this could be yours for $3,400, plus remembering to bring a tire pump when you pick it up. While not as quirkily pretty as the precedent T50s, the relatively short production run of the fourth generation cars (1970 - '73) means greater standout-ability at the JDM fests, and this one's in reasonably nice shape that you wouldn't have to park it in the visitor's section should you choose to go.

So what's up with that price? Does $3,400 make you want to intentionally accelerate to this Toyota. Or, does that price make you want to issue a recall notice to your wallet?

You decide!


Bay Area Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

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