1970 Toyota Corolla Sprinter
There is something so innocent and undiluted about post-war Japanese cars like this rare first generation E10 Corolla Sprinter.
Way before their superstardom days of the 80s and 90s, Toyota were barely making a dent in the North American market of the early 70s, where the only cars Americans bought were their own: huge, unsightly, gas-guzzling barges. Then, BAM the fuel crises started happening. Suddenly, small, fuel efficient cars were in demand. Toyota, who had already been building those cars, were suddenly popular. Americans woke up and the rest is history.
But with this young classic, Toyota were still getting out of the gates. The styling is something to behold, with absolutely no traces of any of their annoying and un-artful design cues of today. Instead, the E10 Spinter is sparse, simple, lean and frugal looking, almost resembling a poor man's BMW 2002 Touring hatchback. The pre-regultion bumpers help, too, and the originality of this example is really wonderful, down to the emblems and nameplate.
Underneath the hood is a 1.2-liter inline 4-cylinder engine good for about just 65 horsepower to the rear wheels. That seems pitifully low, but remember the car is significantly smaller, simpler and lighter than today's cars. It will also mean the engine is relatively easy to fix, and extremely good on gas. A peek inside the hood shows just how little space even the engine itself takes up.
The seller says it is all-origial with no rust, both claims seem credible given the pictures and sunny, dry California location and plates.
The E10 was replaced shortly after this model, but this is a remarkable survivor and reminder of the global super company's humble roots and rise from the ashes of WWII.
Available here on ebay.