Toyota Corolla Wagon 1

There is no point in asking “would you” for this one, of course you wouldn’t. But you know me, I’m a sucker for a project. My last one has done pretty well, and now has permanent daily driver status. It was a no-brainer, I HAD to do it. This one is borderline, although I’m positive Wife 2.0 will veto this one. I could probably flip it and make a quick $500 though.

Toyota Corolla Wagon 2

This little 1990 Toyota Corolla DX Wagon with 212K miles has been sitting for over a month at a small repair shop. It has $1,300 written on the windshield. I stopped to talk to the mechanic who owns the shop, and the first thing he said was he’d take $1,000 for it. He said it runs good, no smoke. He also said that “the air gets kinda cool, probably needs a can of freon.” DANGER WILL ROBINSON! I probably could buy it for $750 if I bugged him for a few days.

Toyota Corolla Wagon 3

Why would a mechanic NOT put in the can of freon (10 min. max) and sell it for more with cold air? One of two reasons: 1) he has already tried but the problem is really the compressor, or 2) he’s lazy. I actually think he might be too lazy. I drive by this place twice a day and he doesn’t bother taking any of the cars he tries to sell through a car wash. But you already noticed that in these pictures, didn’t you? It’s just a messy place all the time.

It’s actually very clean for an 18 year old car with over 200K miles, despite the lack of a basic wash. The interior is quite good and the interior is usually the worst part of an older car. says it’s worth $1,500 as a “Private Party” sale. With a wash and wax, and two hub caps, you could probably get that, if the A/C works. This would be a perfect ride for pizza, newspaper, or phonebook delivery. Corollas run forever, probably gets 30mpg, and it’s basically disposable.