Automotive

Happy 40th birthday to the Corolla!

Happy 40th birthday to the Cor...
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The 1975 two door hardtop could be purchased with three speed auto, four speed manual or gas-saving five speed overdrive transmissions
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The 1975 two door hardtop could be purchased with three speed auto, four speed manual or gas-saving five speed overdrive transmissions
The 1970 four door
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The 1970 four door
The 1971 Corolla 1600 range
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The 1971 Corolla 1600 range
Just six years after it had launched, the 1972 Corolla 1600 Fastback was one of 19 different Corolla models available in the U.S.
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Just six years after it had launched, the 1972 Corolla 1600 Fastback was one of 19 different Corolla models available in the U.S.
1972 Corolla 1600 Fastback - woograin steering wheel, four-on-the-floor, whitewall tyres, fully reclining front seats, front disk brakes and an electric rear window defroster were all standard features
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1972 Corolla 1600 Fastback - woograin steering wheel, four-on-the-floor, whitewall tyres, fully reclining front seats, front disk brakes and an electric rear window defroster were all standard features
In 1971, you could buy three versions of the two-door
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In 1971, you could buy three versions of the two-door
The original 1966 Toyota Corolla
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The original 1966 Toyota Corolla
Detail shots of the 1971 Corolla sedan
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Detail shots of the 1971 Corolla sedan
The 1972 Corolla 1600 wagon
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The 1972 Corolla 1600 wagon
Toyota's hottest seller in 1976 was the Liftback with innovative split rear seats. The Liftback accounted for one third of all Corolla sales in 1976
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Toyota's hottest seller in 1976 was the Liftback with innovative split rear seats. The Liftback accounted for one third of all Corolla sales in 1976
The 1976 Corolla came with an AM radio and electric clock, steel-belt radial tyres, mag type wheels and a tachometer as standard. A rear window wiper was optional.
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The 1976 Corolla came with an AM radio and electric clock, steel-belt radial tyres, mag type wheels and a tachometer as standard. A rear window wiper was optional.
The 1976 Sports Coupe was longer, wider and lower than the standard Corolla hardtop.
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The 1976 Sports Coupe was longer, wider and lower than the standard Corolla hardtop.
In 1976 the lowest priced Corolla was the two-door 1200 which achieved 49 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg in the city in EPA tests.
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In 1976 the lowest priced Corolla was the two-door 1200 which achieved 49 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg in the city in EPA tests.
A 1979 four door.
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A 1979 four door.
The Corolla took out the British Touring Car Championship in 1986 and 1987
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The Corolla took out the British Touring Car Championship in 1986 and 1987
The Corolla won the World Rally Championship in 1999
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The Corolla won the World Rally Championship in 1999
The current generation Corolla
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The current generation Corolla
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September 5, 2006 Cars come and go but the Toyota Corolla – much like Dr Who – has regularly regenerated to meet the demands of time and outlasted most rivals. This year the world’s biggest selling nameplate is celebrating its 40th birthday – and it is not finished yet. The first generation Corolla was introduced in Japan in October 1966. Now, 40 years on, the Corolla is built in 16 different countries, a barometer of the global expansion of Toyota towards its stated aim of becoming the world’s number one automobile manufacturer as much as the popularity of the model itself. In 2005 alone, 1.36 million Corollas were produced in 16 countries and by the end of June this year, cumulative worldwide production reached 31.60 million units. That represents more than 2,160 cars every day – 90.1 cars per hour, every hour – for 40 years. Though it's now four decades old as a nameplate, the best selling automotive design in history is not the Corolla but the Volkswagen Beetle which sold an incredible 21,529,464 over 68 years before it ceased production in Mexico in 2003, surpassing the previous titleholder, the Model T Ford (16.5 million) in 1972. And the most prolific motorised conveyance in history is the Honda Super Cub scooter which reached 50 million units sold late in December, 2005. Launched in 1958, the Super Cub is the first motor vehicle to achieve total sales of 50 million units.A trip down memory lane in the image gallery.

Since its debut, the Corolla has been the number one seller in Japan in 36 out of the past 40 years. It not only helped establish Toyota in Japan, but the USA and UK, too, and in the 21st Century it continues its ‘missionary work’ with growing sales in developing markets such as China and South America. Another 40 years at the top seems very likely.

Over the years Corollas have won races and rallies, done innumerable school runs, helped millions learn to drive and, in the shape of the 1980s’ T Coupe (AE 86), even become a youth culture icon through the Initial D series of books, TV shows and movies.

The 16 countries in which the Corolla is built are Japan, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, China and South Africa.

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