1978 Toyota Corolla KE30 1.2 from Norway


It keeps going on forever


Water pump had to be replaced after 250000 kilometres.

Seats started to wear after 270000 kilometres.

General Comments:

My grandmother bought this car new in 1978, and she drove it until 1994, when I was 18. Then she handed it over to me, due to the retiring of both granny and gram-pa. They figured they only needed one car. (They had one each)

It was completely in perfect shape, like brand new, in 1994. Interior still smelled kind of new. No paint scratches or damages. It had been running for 121000 kilometres at the time I got it, and it was fantastic to drive.

However, here in Norway, the roads are most slippery during winter. Because the motor was located in front, and the car had rear-wheel drive, its rear end seemed to really easy slip off the road and begin to sway back and forth, and with no pressure over the driving wheels, it was hard to regain control, once slipping.

So the car went out of the road and downhill. Its chassis was smashed, and the car was beyond recovery. This happened about after 187000 km, in 1998. Really a shame.

Then, I bought another, but I extracted the intact motor and gearbox from the wrecked one and installed them into my new station wagon model. It was not as clean and good-conditioned as the previous chassis, but it was nice. And not to mention; cheap. And I started driving right away. But I needed something more safe, so I sold it to my uncle and bought myself an Audi 80.

But my uncle kept it. And he drove it until 2006, when he had to sack the whole car, it was through-eaten by rust. But the engine and the gearbox never complained. It was really really solid built. Never had any engine trouble, clutch had to be replaced after 230000 km, though.

My cousin is on his way to buy one right now, I wish him tons of driving pleasure years ahead!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2006

3rd Sep 2007, 04:38

Show the car toyota ke30.

1978 Toyota Corolla KE-30 1.6L from North America


This car is more reliable than a new Corolla


The automatic three speed transmission lost all, but first gear in 2000.

The air conditioner works great, but sometimes the compressor does not engage, and I have to flip the a/c button on and off until it catches a good connection.

The car sometimes idles rough and runs rich in humid, hot weather, but it goes back to normal a day later.

General Comments:

The interior is delicate and brittle, and cannot survive any abuse caused by children or pets crawling about the cabin.

The car could use a fourth gear, because it runs high RPM's on the highway, and seems like something may go wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2004

1978 Toyota Corolla from North America


A cost efficient car


We had to replace the air filter.

We had to buy new windshield wipers.

We replaced the water pump with a reconditioned one.

It came with replaced brakes and tires.

General Comments:

I can't complain about my car, mostly.

Learning to drive a stick shift as my first car was hard.

It doesn't really get going fast, but it runs smoothly.

I mainly enjoy the way it looks and the strange glances I get from others as they see it and fail to recognise it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2002

1978 Toyota Corolla 71.2 cubic in. from North America


Very reliable


The car has hit many deer over the years and has cooling system problems, but were easily fixed.

The clutch went out at 270,000 miles (second replacement) and was very cheap to have repaired.

The transmission blew at 302,000 and has not been fixed due to trouble finding a new one, but will be fixed when I find one.

General Comments:

This car is a great car to learn to drive in and is very fun to drive.

The engine is very easy to service because of the room under the hood.

It started every morning, even at -20F zero in 3 feet of snow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2002

17th Nov 2003, 02:28

I have a '78 myself. Man, this car has well over 600,000 miles on it with all original equipment. Still starts EVERY TIME, no question. Toyota is THE best.

21st Jun 2004, 00:56

I loved my 1978 Toyota Corolla wagon. Was still running great, but started to have body problems, like rust and problems with the tailgate hinges, which weren't easy or cheap to replace. If I was a mechanic, and a body man, I'm sure the car would still be running and on the road. Quit driving it with 90 something thousand miles on it, but as I said, rust was its main problem. Gave it away to a guy who trashed it. Too bad.

Also, had an early Toyota truck (1972) and loved it also. Very reliable, never left me sitting by the side of the road. It had body problems as well. The floor of the cab was shot on driver's side and the vehicle doesn't have any support in the rocker panels, like a VW. Beware! I thought it had a frame under them, but it's a unibody. Was such a nice looking truck. Wish I still had this one too. Probably would have been worth getting the body work done, but didn't realize Toyotas held their value so well at the time. An old farmer bought it from me, probably needed a timing chain by then (had about 85,000 miles on it). Wish I had kept this vehicle too. Hope the old farmer (who was mechanical and got it running again after it had been sitting for a couple years and drove it off) got some use out of it. This was when it was about 12-13 years old. Had a long bed which was standard back then and was a beautiful soft red color. And great looking running lights on front. Inside was still perfect. Had manual choke, handy. I lived in southern Illinois back then, so rust is always a problem in Illinois. I quit driving it when my mechanic told me if I had an accident the body/floor would fold on me and was unsafe for me to drive it. That's why I quit driving it--but it still ran fine! Loved both my Toyotas.

2nd Oct 2004, 21:09

I saved a two-door 78 Corolla from rotting away in a trailer park. The automatic transmission was all, but trashed, and the rear end was hit, which didn't crumple the tail facade, but bent the quarter panels outward slightly. After 4 years of sitting still, everything worked like new once I got a new transmission & battery and flushed out all the spoiled fluids & fuel.

It has only 120,000 miles on the original motor, and the a/c still works, as well as every electronic accessory, light, and gauge. I could never sell it, because I only paid fifty bucks for the car, and only $1000 to bring it up to maintenance, which included more than mechanical repairs. I am restoring the interior to better-than new condition, and the body damage is being fixed as I type.

By March of 2005 I should have one of the only restored 78 Corollas in Texas. Maybe the whole country.

8th Jul 2005, 20:34

I had a 2 door 1978 corolla as my first car. No rust, but the paint had faded from red to orange. I could do all the repair work on it myself. Great car! It was stolen a few years ago, and was written off. On the positive side, the thieves took out a tree, and took out the corner of a building before they ran out of gas. The guy at the tow yard said they could have kept going otherwise. I drive a newer Mazda now, and find I miss my old corolla.

1978 Toyota Corolla DX 1.6 from North America



Clutch @150K miles.

Alternator @200K miles.

Seat belts are wearing out.

Replaced radiator every 10 years.

General Comments:

4 speed geared too low for modern 85mph driving. A/C still works great. Paint was all used up years ago, so I just repainted it. Has never failed to run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 1999

24th Mar 2001, 22:11

My 78 Toyota Corolla Deluxe lift-back seems to be running smooth for now and so far I have really enjoyed it. I have had it for about two months though I am getting tired of the same old performance, I'm wondering if anyone could direct me to some high performance parts to upgrade it a little, or maybe a lot.

Email @ Vwchico8@hotmail.com


6th Apr 2010, 13:34

BRDracing.com, sick parts fair to great prices.