30 October 2020

Historic classic rides #4: Toyota Mark II


I know that it has been a long time since I wrote about classics based off old pictures, so what better time to restart this with this 1971 Toyota Corona Mark II that I found from the archives!

The Corona Mark II, first introduced in 1968, was intended to fill the gap between the high-end Crown and the pedestrian Corolla. This was instrumental in allowing Toyota to establish itself as a mainstream international automaker and pursue new market opportunities. It was sold at Toyopet Store dealerships, alongside the Corona itself. The name "Mark II" indicated that it was a secondary model to the original Corona, and also created a connotation to the 'more classy' nature of the Jaguar Mark II. However, the Mark II still shared the same emblem as its less luxurious brother up till the end of production.

Initially available in a 4-door sedan (RT60) and 2-door hardtop form (RT70), station wagons (RT78/79) and coupe utility (RT69) forms were introduced some time later. The Mark II could be had in a myriad of engine types, based on the market and specific body styles. A facelift was carried out in 1970 along with the introduction of a 1.7 litre engine, and the 1971 facelift gave rise to the above unit known as the 'eagle mask'. This was powered by a 1707 cc 6R SOHC inline-4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 160 km/h. It was 4295 mm long, 170 mm longer than the Corona and weighed 1000 kg.

Production of the T60 Mark II ended in 1972, where it was succeeded by the X10 series. Mark IIs were first sold here in 1969 by Borneo Motors, but none are known to exist here today. As with Japanese cars of the late 60s, they were vulnerable to rust and were not seen as valuable enough to maintain and keep on the roads. Strangely, even with the recent glut of imported classics, no one has brought in any of them. On the other hand, these are quite rare to find nowadays and even when they appear on the market, they are not going for cheap (around S$15,000). I hope this has been informative to show the cars that used to be here, and possibly owned by your parents/grandparents back then!

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