4WD Long Roof: 1989 Toyota Corolla All-Trac – SOLD!

by | Nov 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

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We love four-wheel-drive wagons here at Guys With Rides. There’s one problem: many of them are in very rough shape, owing to their ability to live where the going gets rough and sloppy from wintertime roads. Try finding a Civic Wagovan or a Corolla All-Trac in the snow belt; we’ll wait. That’s why this super clean 1989 Toyota Corolla All-Trac SR5 caught our eyes immediately, as it has withstood the test of time to emerge as a classified listing in incredible condition. Despite having over 250,000 miles on the clock, the seller’s Corolla wagon is in extremely good condition, with only some superficial flaws visible in the listing. We first spotted this rare Corolla in November 2022 on the Craigslist Orange County, California, page for $7,000. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows that the seller is asking for reasonable money, given that the average sale price now is clocking in at just over $12,000.

If you are serious about buying this nicely preserved All-Trac, you can start the conversation by either calling or texting the seller at (808) 443-9958.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Toyota featured here on GuysWithRides.com.

There comes a point when you can forget the ills of a particular make or model upon realizing how few are left in road-going condition. For years, I had a relative who exclusively drove Toyota beaters with about three good years left before the body disintegrated into the Earth. A Corolla wagon was usually in the mix as a possible daily, along with old 4Runners and Hilux pickups; after all, you can jam an excruciating amount of firewood in the back of a Corolla wagon. His last one was a delightfully charming thing, ratty and rattling but also incredibly dependable, with a functioning heater, comfortable seats, and halfway decent manual gearbox. It was as simple as simple gets, but it conjured some mildly affectionate emotions from me, just knowing how cruelly it was treated. Yet, it showed up for more abuse daily, fully aware that the shocks would eventually come through the cargo bay floor. And even when it succumbed to rust, the engine and transmission still performed flawlessly.

The lugnutsoldcrap YouTube Channel features this vintage 1989 Toyota Corolla sedan commercial:

The All-Trac Corolla took that formula and added a second dose of toughness, this time in the form of a rugged four-wheel-drive system. The body would still rust out from under it if not looked after or at least washed off after driving through salt-licked roads, but driving one of these in the snow only served as the temptation to stay outside and play. While not particularly gutsy or fast, the combination of a spacious wagon body with a drivetrain that could see 200,000 miles without much of a whimper made cars like our subject wagon very popular among Toyota loyalists; however, the all-wheel-drive option did command a price premium over the standard wagon model, and Toyota eventually found the sales numbers didn’t justify keeping it around. Later examples such as this All-Trac from California are harder to find than the original Tercel 4WD wagon, and are slightly more refined than its older sibling. The seller reports he’s replaced the master cylinder, battery, and tires in his ownership, and that the wagon has otherwise been extremely reliable. Surprise, surprise.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For sale is my rare classic 1989 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Wagon AWD, almost fully original with the exception of a replaced radiator, new battery, etc.. this one was built in Japan and imported to North America.

Runs great, has been my daily commuter since my acquisition in late 2020, with just a master cylinder replacement, new tires and battery, as the only costs since. Drives up to 65-70 mph @ 3900 rpms in 4th Gear… 5th Gear does not hold, per previous owner the 5th gear teeth need refurbishment. Since I live in Laguna Beach up to 4th gear has worked fine for me.

This SR5 Corolla edition is equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, and its odometer currently indicates approximately ~253,000 miles. Power comes from a “4A-FE” 1.6-liter. Output is sent to all four wheels through an ‘All-Trac’ four-wheel drive system. Amazing gas mileage.

Clean title with no known history of accidents. Recently passed smog and newly registered. Was planning on keeping but decided to get a new car, so it’s time to let her find a new home.

Equipment includes 13-inch wheels, newer tires, a 4WD locking center differential, hand-crank windows, operational heater and air conditioning needs recharge or something, an operational sunroof, and an AM/FM/cassette radio.

Never this nice: if you’re looking for a Corolla All-Trac, would you go to California to find a rust-free example like this?   

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