1987 Toyota Corolla

There’s something to be said for the front-drive Corolla of the mid 80s. Their charms aren’t immediately present, but they show themselves in the right light. 


  You could get them with the same high tech, high-revving 16-valve engine as the rear-driver AE86. They had plenty of space. They were like GTIs, but better. With their slab sides and sharp creases, they had a kind of static, architectural look to them – a bit more like a building than a car.

I found this one at the bottom corner of Morningside Drive, right where it meets 110th street.The old trees cast a beautiful blue green shadow on the block. It was already dark enough with the sun having just set over Jersey and the pink clouds over Harlem turning purple. The new red paint on the Corolla shone out.

For third grade,I I lived just off the corner of Morningside Drive, up eight blocks from this Corolla. I didn’t know anything about cars back then. All I knew were birds with the Flickers living holed out in one of the tall trees in the park being the standout neighborhood residents. I don’t think that my current obsession with cars is very different.

I hunt out examples of rare breeds, I spend much too much time identifying some half-glanced subject, I study their movements in my spare time. Birds are difficult to photograph, but you don’t get to use binoculars when you’re looking at cars. It’s a trade-off.

I couldn’t call it a step forward or a step back, just an endless, joyful, tiring pastime.

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1 Response to 1987 Toyota Corolla

  1. Håkbråk says:

    CarSpotting is a lot of fun. And binoculars are sort of creepy anyhow.

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