1979 Toyota Corona XT-130 1X 1.9 petrol (Starfire) from Australia and New Zealand


Excellent value, very reliable motoring


Main Nylon-Fibre Timing Gear tends to fail at around 60-80,000km, can be replaced with noisier steel type.

The TOYOTA 1X (Starfire) engine is a robust but mechanically noisy little engine, with its Holden roots going back to 1963, then back to 1940s.

The engine starts to seep oil on most main seals and gaskets by 60,000km, so regular degrease is good idea.

This CORONA CS XT130W WAGON has air conditioning and is at 540,000km at 80,000km into engine N0.3.

General Comments:

The TOYOTA 1X (Starfire), combined with a great little 4-speed BorgWarner gearbox with the bottom ratios matched to the engines good torque and mid-range, makes this a very driveable vehicle in traffic and off the mark. The engine / gearbox combination gets the most out of those nearly 80kw. This vehicle is a happy 100-120km cruiser, but is NOT a high speed performer. A fifth gear might have helped with cruise backed by a lower fourth gear. Gears 1 - 3 are in exactly the right place for the diff /eng combination.

With the suspension well maintained, it handles surprisingly well. We have replaced the front seats, given the kms. It is garaged, with good external finish.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2009

18th Oct 2009, 08:27

THIS COMMENT BY VEHICLE OWNER: Just to qualify the above mentioned review a little, as a previous owner of a HQ MONARO (4-door) Shelby kitted, with a blueprinted 308-V8, with a friend who gives me a drive of his latest V6 Mercedes (Brand-New) on delivery and I also owned an XD S-Pack Falcon with a 351-V8 warmed up a little... So I do know what performance and good handling is.

My review of the Trusty 1979 Corona CS Wagon is written against the design intentions & limitations of the vehicle. It remains one of best things I've ever owned!

1979 Toyota Corona LE 5 Speed 20R from North America


This is an incredible well engineered, reliable and classy car


Head Gasket at 125,000 miles.

Re-built engine completely at 130,000 miles.

Radiator failed at 132,000 miles.

General Comments:

This was my first car and the car I learned to drive in and took my drivers test in back in 1986.

I still own it today and keep it in storage most of the time. It is in pristine condition and I enjoy driving it on nice sunny days only.

It may not be fast or particularly roomy, but it is classy and has lots of chrome to maintain.

Each year they produce stranger looking cars, it looks better and better.

It is too bad there are no parts available and it is a worthless vehicle by trade in standards, but it is worth more to me than anything else I own.

To still own your first car is an achievement in it self.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2005

1979 Toyota Corona LE Liftback 20R from North America


This is a well designed and dependable vehicle


The cooling system developed problems at around 125,000 miles, resulting in a warped cylinder head. Replaced the radiator and cylinder head. Got a valve job at the same time.

Differential cover rusted out and had to be replaced at approximately 165,000 miles.

Replaced struts at around 180,000 miles.

Alternator failed at around 190,000 miles.

I just replaced the original water pump on April 8, 2005 at 206,000 miles.

Needs a new windshield wiper linkage, but I cannot locate one.

General Comments:

I acquired this automobile from my father in 1990, when he purchased a new car. It has been a very reliable vehicle from day one.

The lift back is very handy, making this car like both a sedan and station wagon.

The 20R engine is very rugged and reliable, but is not very fast or great on fuel economy.

The automatic transmission has always worked properly, and never needed any repairs.

It handles well under slippery conditions.

A lot of parts are getting hard to find for this car. There just are not many of these around.

Rust is starting to become a problem, but this is not unusual for any car of this vintage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2005

16th Dec 2005, 03:48

My dad had this car since around 1984 until 1999 and it took us all around the state on family holidays, through a bushfire in the mountains, it was very strong and reliable!

By 1999 the rust started to set in and in the few years leading up to 1999 he had to get a lot of repairs done. The auto transmission and motor went a few times. I haven't seen one on the road in a long time, I really loved that car! wish I got to learn to drive in it!

25th Aug 2006, 10:24

This is an update on this 1979 Toyota Corona.

This car now has 215,000 miles, and is still running well. I finally located a wiper linkage for it.

14th Feb 2007, 15:42

I do agree with you that there aren't very many of the Corona's around anymore, I really liked the 1979-82 Corona lift back's and I thought they were a cool design, I miss the old days of rear wheel drive cars of the 60s, 70s and early 80s.

1st Jan 2008, 16:02

I have a 1979 Toyota Corona. It was my grandmothers car. I am interested in finding information on where to find the windshield wiper linkage? I am also trying to find out how much these cars are worth. I have heard that they are a collectible now. It still runs great. We just replaced the radiator recently. And the wind shield wiper assembly needs to be replaced. Also having trouble with the lights flickering off and on at times. Would love to ask someone a few questions. Who would be a good resource? DFV.

27th Feb 2008, 11:15

Although these cars are getting more popular, they will never be in the same league as a 1957 Chevrolet. Old Cars Price Guide prices these cars in various states of preservation.

As for locating parts like the wiper linkage, you probably will have to check salvage yards. The people at T.O.R.C. also may be able to help track down parts.