1969 Toyota Corolla KE10 - Reader Ride

By: Lou Olsen, Photography by: Guy Allen

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Lou Olsen's '69 Toyota Corolla, dubbed 'Peppi'

I bought the Corolla new in 1969 for my mum. She had an FX Holden at the time and with her age getting on she wanted a smaller car and an automatic.

We had a look around at what was available which was basically Hillmans and Morrises and after driving them all the Toyota Corolla was her choice. Mum drove it right up until two weeks before her passing in 1999.

So I inherited the car and originally started driving it as my shopping car, but each time we came back to it, people were asking if I wanted to sell it and that became a bit annoying. These days we just drive it to shows.

It has only done 82,000 miles and I have looked after it and kept it original. How you see it is how the car was except that mum dinged the front a couple of times so it has had a little bit of panel work, but apart from that the upholstery is original and most of the paint is also original.


It had another engine fitted as the original one developed a water problem. The original was 1100cc and the one we fitted from a Japanese importer was known as a 4K motor which is nearly 1400cc’s. After driving it for the first time she said it’s really peppy now, so that I how it got its nickname.

Mum’s right though, it is a beaut little car to drive and so easy with the auto transmission. It’s still on its original tyres, with original Toyoglide two-speed auto gearbox and diff! I can easily sit on 100km/h and the drum brakes aren’t too bad either, you just push harder and it takes a bit longer to stop as they are not power-assisted.


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