This true survivor 1973 Toyota Corolla KE20 has just arrived with us from Portugal where the sunny weather and lack of salt, has obviously contributed to its overall condition you see here today.
During its long term ownership, it was treated it to a full respray a few years back due to the normal “sun fade” and the paint still shines as well today, as when first done. Chrome work are all the original items with only minor pitting evident in some places, nothing that would warrant a rechrome, in fact you would struggle to get a better finish with today’s chrome! Body work is basically rust free, we did find evidence of a leaking battery at some point in its life, causing small perforations under the battery tray and this has been professionally cut out and repaired.
Interior is all original and in excellent shape, there has been some debate as to whether the seats were once all black and the sun light has faded the cloth faces universally grey? Not sure but either way they look nice as they are. Cosmetically the only real let down is the state of the original rubbers door/window seals. All are present and correct but have dried over time and if you wanted to move this car up to the next level for show etc ,then they could do with being replaced (all available on Ebay). If you’re not worried then leave them alone, they will last a good few more years especially here in the UK where sunshine is not such a problem.
Mechanically everything seems good, the engine giving surprisingly nippy performance, gearbox selecting smoothly while the breaks and clutch operate correctly as well. As with all early 70’s cars, noise reduction was not top of the manufacturers to do list, so you hear a lot more going on, but that’s also part of the charm of this great little car.
Paperwork is currently of with DVLA to register it onto UK age related plates and it will be tax and MOT exempt. Now is the time to grab a Japanese Classic, while prices still make them affordable. This is changing rapidly as more people “remember” them from their youth and want something different but very useable at the same time. Show car, everyday classic or both. Your choice?
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