Time warp Toyota Corolla saved from the scrapheap fetches £46,000 at auction

Original condition 1987 AE86 sets record-breaking price

1987 Toyota Corolla GT
1987 Toyota Corolla GT

A 1980s Toyota Corolla that was intially written off by insurers has been sold at auction for a record-breaking £46,250.

The completely standard AE86 Corolla GT fetched almost four times what its one and only owner paid for it when it was brand new in 1987, smashing the previous record for this model, which was set at £29,000 in the US in March.

The time warp model, complete with a full service history, still had its original dealer number plates, factory fit mudflaps and period-correct Nokia phone cradle after being fastidiously cared for by its owner over the last 34 years. She bought the car from Hallens Toyota in Cambridge in 1987 to cheer herself up after a relationship break up and has kept it ever since. She only decided to sell it after an injury meant the lack of power steering made the car hard to manoeuvre.

1987 Toyota Corolla GT
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In 2006 the Wine Red paintwork was keyed by vandals and the car’s insurers deemed it uneconomical to repair. But the owner was so horrified at the thought of her pride and joy being sent to the crusher that she bought it back from the insurer and had it restored to “as new” condition.

The completely unmodified car, with 92,000 miles on the clock, is an increasingly rare example of the famous Toyota and as well as the standard sunroof, radio-cassette player and alloy wheels, the car’s new owner secured a wealth of original documentation, including the period dealer brochure.

“We talk a lot about survivor cars, but this is the true definition of one,” said Chris Pollitt, head of editorial at Car & Classic, which handled the sale.

1987 Toyota Corolla GT

“So many of these ended up as drift or track cars or just rotting away. Only the true adoration of this ’86 prevented the insurance company from obliterating it after incurring paint damage. The frantic bidding in the dying minutes confirmed the demand for a car that is now rightly cast as a legend in its homeland.”