By Cory Doctorow at 2:12 pm Fri, Feb 8, 2013
Phil Are Go! has performed another public service by doing a nice cutout of the boxy, undistinguished Toyota Corona, the perfect stock art for any dull automotive piece.
Toyota Corona - Good for the kids.
My first arrest was in one of these. It was orange and old the minute it hit the street. I was the passenger. We were stopped by a fleet of cop cars. Surrounded by rifle wielding police we just sat there and called each other names. two teenage kids from Orange County California, dangerously high on cheap pot.
Pics and a receipt from the court clerk or it didn’t happen. I refuse to believe that anyone ever got laid or broke the law or did anything to keep anyone awake in a Toyota Corona.
The Corona was designed solely for going to and from your accounting job where you hoped the boss would notice and you’d get “the big promotion”. It also served well as transportation to church until the kids left crayons in the rear window ledge. To this day, that’s why we can’t have anything nice.
I did say Orange County, California.
That you did. It occurs to me that Mike Ness’ founding of Social Distortion and embrace of hot-rod kulture may have simply been an overcompensation for an OC childhood spent being ferried around in a Corona.
Just for future reference, Donald, please provide a list of cars one is unlikely to get laid in. I might have taken notes, but it occurs to me this a recurring theme with you when old cars are up for discussion and the list of unfuck worthy cars is growing. :^)
EDIT: Sorry, distracted watching Death RAce 2000. Yeah I said it.
From what I’ve seen, guys who rely on their cars to get them laid, are frequently disappointed.
My second car was a 1970 Corona and I LOVED it. I always thought it looked like a BMW 2002. Later I had a 1980 Corona. I drove that thing for years until it died.
My aunt had one of these. Pretty much indestructible.
My first car was a ’68 Corona. That car was amazing. It was definitely indestructible. We fixed the linkages with fencing wire. They were a very simple car and nothing could go seriously wrong mechanically.
Yep, this is why I buy Toyota. Had an ’82 Corolla that wouldn’t die.
We had two of those! Both station wagons. The one with the automatic transmission successfully hauled a two-wheeled trailer over the Rocky Mountains and back. We eventually sold it because there were three of us kids and it was kind of a tight fit. The second had a manual transmission and could have gone on forever if it hadn’t been for that encounter with a fire hydrant.
When I was in college, my car-savvy brother found me a ’92 Geo Prizm. Prizms at that time were rebranded Corollas. It looked (and drove) like a tin can, but when you’re a broke student, reliability is king. That little car just would not quit. It was totaled in an accident – front ended. The hood buckled and everything. Even then I was able to drive it a dozen miles to a salvage yard.
Same here! Unfortunately, a front-end collision proved mine to be destructible.
sure, it’s boxy. But it’s not a box. Look at the very subtle curve of the hood, and the slope of the front grill. Inspired? No. But distinguished, as best it can. Goodness knows, this is infinitely better than the mid-80’s chunks of plastic that followed. I’d happily own, and proudly drive one these. Not so much my old 84 Dodge Omni.
If your history includes ownership of a Dodge Omni, I imagine you’d proudly drive nearly anything else.
Could someone tell me if “snob” is capitalized when appended to a proper name?
snob came from Sans Nobilis (with out a noble title)
snob came from Sans Nobilis
Oxford Dictionaries says that it’s ‘sine nobilitate’, and that ‘snob’ is not derived from it.
Snob seems to be an old word for cobbler, origin unknown.
maybe I should just shouldn’t listen to my mom anymore. Sorry about that tangent, sincerely Cosine
Come come, now. The defenders of the the noble Dodge Omni ride to its rescue? Seriously, have you ridden in one? lectroid, former Omni owner, knows whereof I speak.
And my teasing may seem harsh, but it comes from the former owner of two Mustang IIs, a ’74 Super Beetle, a ’74 Renault 12 wagon, and a ’78 Accord hatchback with no hood. I’ve owned nine cars that cost under $1000 (six of them under $400) and I lost my virginity in a 1978 Mercury Zephyr wagon with gray paint and maroon vinyl upholstery.
I may make fun of Omnis (and to a lesser extent Coronas and Suzuki Samurais and Honda 600s and Ford Festivas), but that’s because they’re the only cars crappier than the ones I grew up with. And the Coronas aren’t crappier as such, just completely nondescript and utilitarian.
So my snobbery earns only a lower-case s, at best.
“…nondescript and utilitarian.”
Oh no! That’s horrible! A car that only provides reliable transportation? What a travesty!
Drive what you want, and let others do the same. Taste is personal.
:^P Nobody subscribes to “Nondescript Reliable Transportation Monthly.” The point of Cory’s post in its entire is that the picture at the top is an unappealing picture of an aesthetically yawn-inducing vehicle. Reliable transportation is great; no fewer than eight of the cars I’ve owned (out of a grand total of seventeen) were acquired specifically for their reliability, though that often came at the cost of fun, style, speed, or any of the other qualities that make driving more enjoyable than riding in a municipal bus.
My judgment of woeful misallocations of transportation resources like the Dodge Omni are not meant as literal condemnations of anyone’s taste, character, or social standing. One can’t always drive the car one would like. We go to war with the ride we have.
Sorry for teasing too hard.
My very first car was a beige ’69 Corona sedan. It was seen as terribly uncool in the early-80s Bay Area, but now that I write about cars for a living I’m proud that I didn’t have a Colt or LTD like all my peers.
My first car was a Mazda B2000 Sundowner with literally hundreds of dents. It’s great having a first car that all the other cars avoid because they think that you’re a crazy bad driver.
My high school buddy Lenny was often first out the high school parking-lot bottleneck gate since he drove a ’72 Pinto wagon, complete with woodgrain stickers. And he didn’t care who he scraped on his way out the gate.
If you cover up the front end, the lines are not so different from those on this fine auto:
They still exist… found this one on ebay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1965-RT40-Corona-Shovelnose-/281060026775?pt=AU_Cars&hash=item41707ba997&_uhb=1#ht_500wt_990
Boxy… Undistinguished? As far as classic automobile aesthetics goes, beauty is in the eye of the chacon a son gout.
I think this little old car is kinda cute, perhaps in a boxy, undistinguished way.
Please note that Phil Are Go! picked a soundtrack to go with the car, which is ELP’s ‘Karn Evil 9’…!
(I could almost see a scene from a movie, with the Corona racing against KLF’s Ford Galaxie through the streets of Istanbul…)
I had one of these for a short while. It certainly had character and charm. Bench seats, three on the tree, no seat belts in the back, power nothing… I felt connected to the car in a way I never have since.
The only real problem it had was a cactus starter engine, but it was frighteningly easy to hotwire. I knew nothing about hotwiring, but after two minutes playing with the wires going to the ignition switch I had it running.
I always thought these little cars were rather distinguished in a plain sort of way. Certainly better looking and more reliable than most American economy cars of most eras..
GM’s answer to this car and its ilk was the Chevrolet Vega. Ford’s was the Pinto. I was there, I know! Now, tell me all over again how “undistinguished” the Corona was.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think it’s kinda cute.
My brother’s into autocross racing. His car of choice is an early 80s BMW like this. Sturdy, reliable, handles well, easy to soup up, cheap.
My first car. Mine had something I’ve never seen since, and I’m happy about that: brown and darker brown houndstooth vinyl top. So ugly. And, it was the first car my Dad had after the divorce, he passed it on to me, he got an Audi Quattro. It had an eight track, and I inherited Carole King’s Tapestry, Santana’s Abraxas and something like a Tom Jones record. Played Abraxas to death.
The only thing bad about this car was it had a temperature gauge that measured something, but it wasn’t the temperature of the engine. It might have been fluctuations in the Van Allen Belts or something. Whenever it crept up, I would get totally freaked out. And when it (for reasons of its own) dropped back down, I’d relax. Until the day that I decided that I would no longer be controlled by an orange needle wobbling back and forth, and put black electricians tape over it.
It might’ve looked undistinguished THEN. But NOW, it starts to looks quirky and interesting…
At one point in the mid-80s, I was in the mood to build a model car. I was in the model shop and realized I couldn’t afford any of the Prudhomme funny cars or Corvettes or Charger Daytonas. I picked one out because it was on sale half off and was red. Turned out to be a 1983 Datsun 200SX. After I assembled it, I began to wonder why I hadn’t bought a few bricks of Bazooka Joe instead.
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