Junkyard Treasure: 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Wagon

Yes, that’s a Tercel 4WD wagon, this car’s predecessor, sitting hatch-to-hatch with the Corolla.

The Tercel and Corolla weren’t related, but Toyota had only room for one four-wheel-drive wagon in the North American market, so the AWD Corolla All-Trac replaced the 4WD Tercel during 1988.

A junkyard car with the ignition key present generally came from a dealership as an unwanted trade-in or from an insurance auction for totaled cars.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Station Wagon in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

Since I live in Denver, at least one example of just about every four- or all-wheel-drive vehicle ever sold during the last 35 years, no matter how obscure, will appear before my camera in one of the many car graveyards in the area. When Toyota created the All-Trac system, a real AWD rig that required no driver choices to function (though you could lock the center differential if you felt like it), it rendered the smaller and more confusing-to-operate Tercel 4WD wagon obsolete in the American market; the Corolla All-Trac replaced the Tercel 4WD in 1988. These sturdy, reliable wagons sold well in Colorado, and I still see them here from time to time; here’s a high-mile ’91 that I photographed in Denver last week.


These cars were on the rust-prone side, to put it mildly, but High Plains Colorado’s dry climate keeps the process slower than it would be in wetter, saltier regions.

North American car shoppers could get the Previa minivan and Camry sedan with All-Trac around this time, along with the Celica, but the All-Trac-equipped Corolla wagon seems to have outsold all of those cars (at least, judging from the numbers I find in wrecking yards). An All-Trac Corolla sedan could be had over here as well, but few were sold. As the 1990s progressed, Subaru became the 900-pound gorilla of the US-market AWD wagon world; Toyota stopped selling the Corolla All-Trac here after 1992.

With 100 horsepower, 110 mph might have been an optimistic speedometer top speed.

Coloradans who own these cars tend to squeeze every last bit of life out of them, because where are you going to find a small, reliable AWD wagon with a manual transmission these days? 276,598 miles isn’t a big deal by 1990s Toyota standards, but it’s still close to 10,000 miles per year for nearly three decades. This car had the ignition key in the switch, indicating a high likelihood that it was a dealership trade-in and still a runner when it arrived in its final parking space.


Source: Read Full Article