18k-Mile 1987 Toyota Corolla

There's a running joke on COTC about low mileage econoboxes: exactly that. They're low mileage econoboxes, as opposed to low mileage rare and exotic sports cars. Just what prompts someone to barely drive and then store an immaculate '87 Corolla? Sometimes it's not even intentional. The seller says this vehicle has had just one elderly owner who recently passed but always kept the car garaged.

The E80 was the fifth generation of Corolla and the first to implement front-wheel drive, although the AE86 hatchback versions still retained rear wheel power for a few more years. Purists will scoff at the switch, but it was inevitable and the car still retains a its core values of hardcore thrift, reliability and simplicity. Fwd just means it's even cheaper.

This body lasted until 1987 and was a huge success, with 3.3 million units sold. Despite that, you never see them on the roads anymore, at least not here in wet and salty New England. Styling is classic rising sun economy car of the 80s, all straight lines, hard angles, clean planes and minimal detail. Underneath the hood is a 1.6-liter SOHC 4-cylinder that produces a mere 90 horsepower.

Having accrued just 18,921 miles over the past 26 years, the seller says this Corolla is "exactly what it appears to be"...which is an unusually low mileage survivor Corolla in pretty good shape. Cosmetically, they say it has no rust and still smells new. They do say there is a small crease on the hood and some typical scratches. Otherwise, they say it's ready to hit the road.

What do you do with this? Try to get it into the Toyota USA museum? Keep it stored for another 26 years? Drive it as the daily commuter it was meant to be? Somehow, all seem acceptable.

Available here on ebay in Norristown, Pennsylvania with bidding at $3,325 and a Buy-It-Now of $4,499.

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