1971 Toyota Corolla from North America - Comments

4th Oct 2012, 23:00

It is getting very old reading the same defending post of why you don't see a 70's Toyotas on the road today.

It's a clear fact that many were indeed sold in the 70's, and even if there were not that many, you would think you would see many of them now if they were what some people claim "the best cars on the planet".

Anyways, the many models that they did sell are not around today, because some rusted faster than a Vega, had no appealing looks, lacked comfort, and have no desire whatsoever to a collector like the 70's American cars do, except for some Celicas with certain packages, or a Corona built as a drag car, like the Vega and Pinto are very popular for.

5th Oct 2012, 02:47

What in God's name are you talking about? I remember in the '80's and '90's, Chrysler products based off the K-car platform (which was more or less all of them) had sagging suspensions at an epidemic level.

And, really, who gives a damn what Toyotas were like in the 1970's? The fact is they and the other Japanese manufacturers got their act together and built the most reliable cars in the '80's, '90's, and beyond, not to mention cars that people WANTED -- not simply cars that the car companies thought people wanted. They also pushed the technology forward with overhead-cam engines, balance shafts, variable valve timing, etc. What were the domestics doing? Doesn't GM still offer unrefined overhead valve engines? (If not, they did up until a couple of years ago.) It's possible Toyota's hubris has gotten them in trouble recently, but they still seem to come close to the top in every scientific survey. Once the Detroit Three switched to building front-drives, their quality and reliability went down the tubes. Okay, we know the early Japanese cars were rust buckets. Why do you conveniently forget the nasty paint jobs domestics put on their cars in the '80's and beyond? Do you forget the number of cars with paint delamination?

5th Oct 2012, 06:47

We did not say only 1970. We said the entire decade. I am commenting on the disappearance of a decade. My take is they were not considered worth saving.

VW Bugs from the time period were a 2000.00 new car. The design was timeless and they were restored. So in 10 years of cars we see zero Toyotas. I could see your point on a 1970. What did the 1200 dealers do in 1971?

I also prefer full frame cars, and have a classic 70 Chevelle SS in my garage.

5th Oct 2012, 08:53

What is it with your theory that just because body on frame cars aren't made any more, they can't compete with others? It makes no sense. As far as I'm concerned, if the car has 4 wheels, an engine and a seat, it can compete with any car.

5th Oct 2012, 16:09

Oh, I see, so it's not just 1970, but the whole decade. Fair enough. The same facts still apply, which effectively put this argument to rest. All throughout the 70's was about the same as the aforementioned percentage. In 1980 the total share of the market Toyota had in the US was under 3%. Thus those are the facts, and that is why you see LESS Toyotas from the 70's, simply because they sold a lot less here in the US at that time. Can we please put this to rest now?

Also - don't even try to claim that the US auto industry made superior products in the 70's, because that was the era in which the US auto industry as a whole actually recalled MORE cars than they actually sold. They made outright garbage for years and years, and frankly it's only been in the last few - after basically coming under real threat from Toyota and others, that they finally started making halfway decent cars.

6th Oct 2012, 01:36

I help people select new cars because I enjoy test driving new cars. A non-car-savvy friend asked me to check out some subcompacts for him this week. His only instruction was "DON'T bother with Toyota. I'll never buy another one!". He is trading in a totally worn out three year old Toyota. One was enough for him. He needn't have worried, because I'd never have recommended one anyway.

6th Oct 2012, 09:48

Where are the 3 percent Toyotas then from an entire decade? I had exceptional full size GMs, especially 327-350 V8s in the 60s and 70s. My Uncle had Mopars; most with 318 and 383s; also exceptional in that time frame. I remember a 1971 Plymouth he had with 160000 miles; virtually a perfect car; ran exceptional. We bought all of them new. What 70s cars did you buy new, that you have such immense first hand knowledge?

6th Oct 2012, 10:13

You are right, the cars from the 70's were just fine. At least we know the truth, unlike commentor 16:09, who never owned one, and puts them down just because they don't like the cars from that era.

6th Oct 2012, 19:24

Clearly the point has somehow and miraculously not been got. OK - let's make this REALLY simple. So let's assume that Factory A makes about 1,000 items over the course of a month. Factory B makes 15,000 items in that same time period. So the first question is which factory made less items? Would you say that factory A made less? Secondly, let's assume that 40-50 years passes by. Would there be less or more items from factory A or factory B? See? Simple.

Oh - and of course there was yet another story about someone's 3 year old worn-out Toyota thrown in for good measure. Yeah right...

7th Oct 2012, 08:45

Why was Toyota so unpopular then in the 70s? There were oil embargoes and gas shortages, and people were buying vehicles to save gas like VW Beetles, which we see. I remember new domestic cars with lines to buy around the block at new car dealerships, selling out the first day, such as Mustangs. The first year alone over 400000 of just one model alone. And you see them everywhere at shows and cruises etc.

My car is over restored. Meaning better than new. Perfect panel gaps, paint etc. The cars were more than a basic appliance. Maybe the view even then was A to B driving and little beyond that. Not worthy of preserving. I still maintain that over a decade in the 70s, they should show up. I saw only one in Florida this summer, and that's it. Cars last here. They get interiors sun faded and air conditioning is almost a must. But few cars rot. I just don't see a whole decade, all models, not anywhere to be seen.

8th Oct 2012, 07:57

1000 cars per month over a decade. With half gone, that leaves about 60000 floating around; perhaps more. I saw one, and I live in Delaware and Florida. I travel by car back and forth. I saw one; just one. Let's figure that Toyota sold more than 12000 year then, which is more likely. Your story isn't very credible. Remember I owned 2 brand new then. Where you there?

8th Oct 2012, 11:21

What is so entirely difficult to understand about statistics? I think the point was clearly made about 5 posts ago: If a company sells less of anything over a competitor that sells more of the competing model, then yeah, there will be less surviving examples of the company that made less of them. Easy. Case closed.

But to answer the question, why did fewer Toyotas sell in the 70's then now? It was because at that point they were a largely unknown brand, along with most other Japanese brands. They had no proven track record, and thus people had less trust in what they sold. It really wasn't until during the mid to late 70's when American automakers were making truly appalling products and the fuel crisis hit, that Americans started buying Toyotas, Hondas, Datsuns, and so on. My parents are perfect examples: They owned a Buick at that time period. The Buick was falling apart almost as fast as it was driven off the dealer lot. We were at the shop constantly getting this thing fixed. Then they got fed up and bought a Toyota, which ran for 250,000 miles without a problem, and ever since then, that's all they've bought.

So it was that experience that gave Toyota its legendary reliability status, and the reason why it rose in popularity and ultimately made the most popular family sedan - the Camry - today. So the important takeaway from all of this, is that a company came here with zero name recognition or historical reliability data to back them up, and by simply making a good product, won over the public. Toyota had to work a lot harder to win over the public's confidence, as a result of being the new kid on the block. The Big 3 on the other hand, for decades were the only choice, and as a result, grew complacent and that made them go through a period of making products that were behind the curve. They have since learned that lesson and now finally make products that are competitive and desirable, thus directly competitive with Toyota, Honda, etc. But it took the introduction and eventual success of the Japanese brands in the US market to make the Big 3 change. So for those who dislike Toyota and Honda, they should probably thank them for making the Big 3 up their game.

And lastly, and as pointed out earlier, trying to use a 40 year old Toyota Corolla as any sort of proof of Toyotas of today isn't making any sort of valid argument. As mentioned above, 40 years ago the big 3 made pretty cruddy cars. Now they make good, competitive products. So I would never use a 40 year old car to judge cars made by the same company today. There simply is no relevance.