• Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
Corolla badging in the United States got very confusing during the 1980s, mostly because the third-generation Corolla had been such an overwhelming sales success in the 1970s and Toyota wanted other cars to partake in Corolla sales goodness. First came the Corolla Tercel in 1980, a car not related to the regular Corolla. Later in the decade, Toyota shoppers could choose between rear-wheel-drive Corollas and front-wheel-drive Corollas, in the same showroom at the same time. Here's an example of the hot-hatch Corolla that made Volkswagen GTI owners sweat back in the late 1980s, spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard not long ago.



These cars had a well-deserved reputation for reliability, although the GT-S FX16s tended to get bashed into concrete abutments and/or spit connecting rods through the oil pans when in the hands of over-enthusiastic owners. This one still looks very solid with nearly a quarter-million miles on the clock.



The New United Motors plant, aka NUMMI and formerly the GM Fremont Assembly plant, was about 25 miles to the south of the yard where I found this car. The circle of automotive life, completed. Today, they build Teslas in this Corolla's birthplace.



Based on my experience, the AE82 GT-S could run rings around the AE86 GT-S, assuming both cars are completely stock. Start adding big power, though, and the AE86 gets the advantage in drag racing.



This one has endured some abuse during its life, e.g., this field-expedient door lock repair, but it will be going to the crusher in rust-free condition and with a reasonably nice interior.



16-valve quick. Tires that stick. Four-wheel-disc equipped.

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