Extreme Corolla

Third Generation E30-E60 1974-1979
July 9, 2009, 1:51 am
Filed under: History | Tags: , , , ,
1976 Toyota Corolla

1976 Toyota Corolla

The Corolla E30 was the third generation of cars sold by Toyota under the Corolla nameplate. It was built from August 1974 to August 1979 and marked Toyota’s greatest growth in the United States in the wake of the fuel crisis. In addition to its sister model, the Sprinter, there was a redesigned-body version built by Toyota affiliate Daihatsu, called the Daihatsu Charmant. While there were certain fourth-generation models with a longer model life, this generation, when considered as a whole, was the longest-lived one, possibly due to the worldwide recession in the 1970s. A large range of cars were built using this chassis, including Corollas, Sprinters, Daihatsu, and the sporty Levin and Trueno models with the DOHC motor.

The 3K engine was used in certain markets and later the 4K, while most Japanese and American models had the bigger 2T engine. A “Toyoglide” 2/3-speed automatic transmission was added as well as a four-speed and five-speed manual transmission, driving to the rear wheels. A three-door “liftback” (E50) and sports coupé (E51) was added in 1976. The E40 and E60 series were assigned to the Sprinter variants.


Japanese market engines:

  • 2T-G — 1.6 L (1588 cc) I4, 8-valve DOHC, carb, 124 hp (92 kW)
  • 2T-C — 1.6 L (1588 cc) I4, 8-valve OHV, carb, 75 hp (56 kW)
  • 3K-C — 1.2 L (1166 cc) I4, 8-valve OHV, carb, 55 hp (41 kW)

Japanese market chassis:

  • E31 — Sedan, 2-door/4-door
  • E36 — Wagon, 3 or 5-door
  • E38 — Wagon, 3 or 5-door
  • E37 — Hardtop coupé (Levin)
  • E51 — Sports coupé (Levin GT)
  • E55 — Liftback (Levin GT)

North America

Road & Track was critical of the 1975 Corolla, calling it “large and heavy” and “expensive” compared to the Honda Civic and Datsun B210. They also criticized the “relatively crude rear suspension”, lack of interior space, and poor fuel economy when compared to the VW Rabbit. The base model cost US$ 2711 in 1975, but only the $2989 “deluxe” model had features comparable to the contemporary pack.

Emissions became a problem further into the 1970s especially with the 3K engine, which became popular because of its low fuel consumption. Its replacement, the 4K engine, came with emissions equipment but only produced 60 hp (45 kW), despite a greater 1290 cc displacement.

The E30 series 2T-C engines outmatched rival Datsun B210’s engine output.

North American market engines:

  • 2T-C — 1.6 L (1588 cc) I4, 8-valve OHV, carb, 75 hp (56 kW)
  • 3K-C — 1.2 L (1166 cc) I4, 8-valve OHV, carb, 55 hp (41 kW)

North American market chassis:

  • E-31 — Sedan, 2-door/4-door (Std, DX,)
  • E-38 — Wagon, 5-door (Std, DX)
  • E-37 — Hardtop coupé (DX, SR5)
  • E-51 — Sports coupé (Std, SR5)
  • E-51 — Liftback, 3-door (Std, SR5)


In Europe, the 3rd generation Corolla was offered in the same body styles as in the US. All the Sedans and wagons, along with the Hardtop coupè, were only offered with the 1.2 L 3K, and the Liftback occasionally had the bigger 2T engine. A small facelift for the 1977 model year saw a redesigned dashboard and additional trim colors for the interior, and a new grille with small twin horizontal steel beams across it. For the 1979 model year, the last year of the E30 in Europe, the Sedan’s exterior trim was redesigned for the Deluxe model option with new tail lights (without the plastic chromed frame around) and another new grille.


The Corolla was manufactured in Australia at AMI-Toyota’s Port Melbourne production facility. It was a popular car on the Australian market and most body styles available elsewhere were utilized. All variants originally came with Toyota’s 1166 cc 3K engine, which was replaced by the 1290 cc 4K engine.

Due to the expenditure of manufacturing of the car in Australia, the production continued for several years after it was replaced by the next generation model everywhere else. A facelift was given to the range in late 1980, giving the car a new grille and rectangular headlamps, however it could not conceal the car’s dated styling. Production continued until September 1981, when the already aged fourth-generation Corolla range replaced it.

Australian market engines:

  • 3K-C — 1.2 L (1166 cc) I4, 8-valve OHV, carb, 55 hp (41 kW)
  • 4K-C — 1.3 L (1290 cc) I4, 8-valve OHV, carb, 60 hp (45 kW)

Australian market chassis:

  • E30 — Sedan, 2-door/4-door
  • E35 — Hardtop coupé
  • E38 — Wagon, 3-door van or 5-door wagon
  • E55 — Hardtop coupé, 4-door sedan
Production 1974-1979
Assembly Toyota City, Japan
Port Melbourne, Australia, Thames, New Zealand
Predecessor Corolla E20
Successor Corolla E70
Layout FR-Layout
2nd Gen Corolla Deluxe 2-door

Corolla Deluxe 2-door

1978 Corolla Deluxe

1978 Corolla Deluxe


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Hi there, i Bought this week one corolla (1974) but i don’t know exacly witch model it is, so if you can send me an e-mail with fotos of KE35 and KE25 so i can see what i have at home!! :S

Sorry about my English,
Portuguese hugs 😀

Comment by Nuno

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: