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Toyota Corona Hardtop (1970-1973). unknown makes loved

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During the late 1970s and early 80s, Toyota was making good progress in Europe. One of the tractors in the range at the time was the Corona, which was already in its fourth generation in 90 and had since been expanded with a Mark II series. The fourth Corona series - the RTXNUMX/XNUMX series was available in various versions and body styles depending on the market. Such as the Toyota Corona Hardtop, which was sold regularly, especially in Japan and North America.

For the European market, Toyota's focus within this class has been on the Celica “20” series from the early 1600s. Moreover, European political and consumer sentiment was not yet geared to a deluge of Japanese models. Toyota had already gained the necessary experience with sporty-lined models. The Corolla, the Corona Hardtop, the 1900 GT, the Corona Mark II 2000 GSS and the exclusive 1970 GT were good examples of this. And in XNUMX, the Celica was the next sporty addition to the Toyota family. But Toyota also constructed a very graceful car based on the fourth Corona generation: the Toyota Corona Hardtop.

Debut in 1970

The fourth Corona generation debuted in February 1970. Toyota launched a sedan, a station and the Hardtop-Coupé. To good Toyota use (then already) the hardtop was beautifully finished and above all beautifully and gracefully designed. For example, where Toyota placed more emphasis on a more powerful design with the Celica, the Corona Hardtop from the early XNUMXs was characterized by elegant lines and a far-reaching rear window. The center mullion was recessed into the body when the rear side windows were rolled down. The whole was exceptionally cared for by Toyota and (depending on the version) very completely finished. 


T platform

In terms of technology, Toyota still used the T-platform with this Corona generation. The Corona (including this hardtop version) had a chassis with a rigid axle with leaf springs at the rear. At the front, Toyota mounted double wishbones and coil springs. At the front you also found a stabilizer. Furthermore, most variants received disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The braking circuits were separate, a development in keeping with the spirit of the time. 

Various engines

In engine terms, Toyota initially used the 2R 1.5 engine with one Aisan register carburettor for the hardtop version. In combination with this engine, the Hardtop was called RT90. In November 1970, the 6R 1.7 engines (model code RT94) and the 8R 1.9 engines (model code RT93) followed. For example, the SL version received the 8R-B engine with two Aisan carburettors according to the SU principle. These engines in particular had an excellent reputation for a quiet running culture and production of the RT91 started in February with the 12R 1.6 engine with one Aisan register carburettor. And later in 1971 the 18R 2 liter engines also appeared in the Hardtop, which in combination with these engines was called RT95.

Gearboxes: also with three gears and steering gear

For the record: of the different engines appeared various execution and power variants. The strongest engine variant was the 18R-E engine with 125 HP and electronic injection. Remarkable: initially there were three-speed manual transmissions and two-speed automatics available. A manual four-speed gearbox with floor lever was also on the program from the start. The three-speed manual gearbox (with column shifter) disappeared in 1971, the three-speed automatic replaced the two-speed version during that year.

Considerable variety, especially within the home market

The Toyota Corona of this generation was modified in appearance several times. The front in particular received a slightly modified face a few times, and the Hardtop piggybacked on these changes. The RT9# Hardtop series was supplied in numerous versions, especially on the home market. And in North America it was on the program with the larger engines, including the emission power sources. That's where the RT8#/RT9# hit.

Rare in Europe, choice for Celica

Especially when the oil crisis made a contribution in the country of unlimited possibilities, people often opted for a car of Japanese manufacture. In Europe, this series therefore appeared less frequently in the booklets. The Hardtop was rare in Europe; the sedan, on the other hand, was available in several European countries (including the Netherlands, with the 6R engine). But still: for the continent, Toyota made the emphatic choice within this class for the more modern constructed Celica and its technical twin brother Carina, who were also given the more advanced A platform.

unknown makes loved

Nevertheless, this Corona generation made it clear that Toyota already had a wide range in the early XNUMXs. And in terms of delivery (and also manufacturing) that was perfectly aligned with the global market regions and the needs within them. On the other hand, in quite large parts of the world, this also brought with it a certain unfamiliarity and rarity of specific models. Models, which in all their classic beauty marked a design-technical transition period. And thus told that unknown does not always have to be unloved. The Toyota Corona Hardtop from the early XNUMXs is a very nice example of this. 

Automobilia 2022 (copy)

Corona programme
RT 939495
Toyota Corona RT94
Toyota Corona Hardtop
toyota corona 4
publicity photo

13 Comments

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      • The automobile is basically European (Benz, Panhard) so everyone else made a copy. The plane is American (Wright) so everyone else made a copy. Although the Americans in question were actually European in descent. And sometimes not. And so you can go on for a long time about who made an original and who made a copy.
        The fact is: the British come up with something, the French cobble it together more or less acceptably, Belgians build it, Italians design it, Germans perfect it and the Japanese try one more level of perfection and Koreans then extract the soul from it. Chinese increase it and Russians put it on high legs. And the Dutch are selling it.
        Disclaimer: No rights can be derived from the above Fact and it is complete nonsense, if only it were that simple in the world.

  1. I started in 1976 with a Toyota Corolla 1200 coupé, then a Corolla 1.6 Sportwagon that I drove Total loss, then a Toyota Corona 2.0 with a five-speed gearbox, after 230,000 it was over 13 years old and we said goodbye by moving in together and a smaller car, in 1989 I bought another Toyota Corolla a 1.6 16v, Unfortunately Total loss through no fault of my own, then a Toyota Carina for the first time with power steering went away with 320.000 km on the clock and still start and run and a consumption from one in 15 at approximately 115 km/h, this was relieved by a Toyota Corolla Verso due to disability, the big car had to go and we bought a smaller car. All in all, about 30 years of driving Toyota, which turned out to be very reliable cars for me with little expense, Toyota would like to again, but I don't like the models anymore, too bad I have good memories of them.

  2. Technically, the Toyotas were great in the 70s and 80s. After 2 German-made and one Italian-made delivery vans, a Toyota Hi-Ace was purchased in 1984. The 3 predecessors were “on” after about 7 years! But I still drive the Toyota almost every working day and that for 37 years! Equipped with the 18R 2 liter petrol engine. And still runs like clockwork. And this car is only used for city trips (delivery) and has accumulated all its 160.000 km's with trips from a few hundred meters to a few km per day. Really great.
    Requires very little maintenance, hydraulic valve lifters but an underlying camshaft with push rods, so no distribution problems. This engine can go up to a million km with long distances. to fetch.
    Top cars.

  3. Ah, so the sadly continued use of ugly kitch hubcaps seems to have started in Japan. Simplicity was no longer allowed, although the photographer's car still manages reasonably well with only a decorated hub cap. And yes, you have to be able to see beauty (and therefore also ugliness). I managed to do that with some effort from the Mazda 343 line from the late 70s, which in my eyes got some sobriety back in line and accents.

  4. My Father Had a Crown From That Time (1968)
    Toyota and Mazda then had beautifully lined cars, unfortunately they were not seen as storage cars.
    My father's Toyota Crown was unfortunately a Monday morning car (after 3 years of rust in the middle of the roof, boot lid and hood, lots of electrical problems and 3 exhausts in 4 years.
    After only 4 years and 80.000 km, the crown was demolished because it was too unreliable, a pity!
    From the mid-70s, the quality of Japanese cars improved significantly and surpassed the quality of many European cars

    • Funny that the carina is also mentioned. My boyfriend's father had one in custard yellow. With upright tail lights that went around the corner a bit. Had a burnt valve in Germany at one point. The German mechanic (unfamiliar with J autos) had apparently managed to fit a Manta valve into it. Could they go back on the Autobahn after the xtra overnight stay

      • I have again. When I read Corona hardtop, I think right; is there also a Corona soft top?

        It's great that Japanese old- and young-timers are now also getting the attention they deserve.

        Secretly thinking of a Mazda 121, that bowler hat with a linen sunroof. What fun we had with that. Lots of space, nice and spicy and high cuddly content. Had to get rid of it at the time, unlike the 626's I've had, the 121 was sensitive to the brown plague.

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