1979 Toyota Corolla CS 1.3L petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A cheap and reliable bargain


Slight oil leak from spark plug sleeves.

Split hose from thermostat to water pump.

Slight wear to front seats.

Badly repaired rust beginning to re-surface.

General Comments:

Considering the small capacity of the 1300cc 4K engine, it is quite zippy both on the highway and around town. The ever-reliable 4K engine is essentially bulletproof and seems to go on and on.. Recently I drove the car from Gold Coast to Lismore, and from Brisbane to Gympie within the same week and it didn't miss a beat. The 4-speed gearbox isn't really suited to the highway, however, due to the relatively short gearing, but seems happy to cruise at 100-110 kph.

Rust is quite an issue with this model corolla, although due to the previous owner badly repairing the existing rust, it has re-surfaced. Considering its age, there isn't all that much rust there.

Because I am a larger person, the cabin isn't all that spacious, nor comfortable. However, for its age and genre.. its quite well equipped and would rival any other car of its age.

Overall, I am quite happy with this vehicle. After all, for AU$1200 its hard to find a one-owner vehicle with low kilometres (143,000) and 8 months registration, isn't it?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th December, 2003

1979 Toyota Corolla DX Wagon 1.6 2-TC from North America


Cheap reliable transport


Most recently, oil in cyl 4, could use head work.

2 clutches in 260000 miles.

2 front brake jobs win 260000 miles.

1 water pump in 260000 miles.

1 radiator due to user error.

2 clutch slave cyl due to wrong part (pre 79 slaves fail, wrong size)

Rust around back hatch.

Uphostry... all of it shot after 200,000 miles.

General Comments:

Stock it had a top speed of 120mph, which I timed on man trips to California. Best time Seattle to L.A. was 14hours. Shockingly it seemed to handle better then a 1988 Celica all track turbo. There are many upgrades to improve the stock engine, not the least of which is a DOHC.

I averaged 30mpg most of it's life, my old 76 without a cat got 40 with the right gas. Last check it was closer to 28mph.

To this day it's operational, though a rebuilt head would be in order at this point. The compression tested solid after 340,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2003

1979 Toyota Corolla SE 1.5 from Australia and New Zealand


Excellent car for first buyers and great for restoration


Starter motor failed at 200,000 kilometers.

Had to replace the radiator.

General Comments:

After the 5 speed was installed this cars performance was improved vastly.

Great for rally, better with a turbo, but its hard to find the right turbo motor to fit the block.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2003

1979 Toyota Corolla SE 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand


A bargain with 12 months rego for $A1000


Water jacket sprung a leak under normal usage.

The rust was getting a bit out of control in the doors, boot, wheel arches, front guards and sills and underneath the boot.

Leaking water in the boot.

Would not start due to ballast resistor failing.

Replaced 3 manifold gaskets in 3 months due to stupid apprentice mechanics.

Rear wheel bearings decided to lock up whilst just driving along home, drove into gutter.

General Comments:

She's a lovely piece of motoring history, very good in the mud, great rally car, has never failed in the 4 years I've had it.

Handles great at high speed, great to get sideways.

The seats are great for vinyl and are very comfortable very cold in the winter inside and very hot in the summer due to the black interior.

The instruments were clear and concise and the functions such as wipers and heater were in good places, good driving position, visibility is good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2002

1979 Toyota Corolla 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand


Don't race it unless you're on dirt!


Cracked cylinder head @ about 300,000 (it had a reconditioned engine put in).

Fatal collision resulting in a bent chassis was unable to be repaired because of rust.

General Comments:

A good first car... and a great rally car! Constant feedback from the steering wheel & gearbox added to great chassis balance means this car is best driven sliding sideways.

The most fun I've had, but sadly this car died a rally death... *sniff*

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2001

27th Feb 2002, 18:10

Great for rally is right - I used mine for 3 years (1997 to 2000) for rallies in Canada with no trouble until the front sub-frame broke. Awaiting repair and passing the safety engineers tests. I love the car!