Usually we don’t feature JDM cars on our Kidney, Anyone? series because that’s a rabbit hole that could easily overwhelm the site. When we do, it has to be a very special car, something worthy of all the kidneys in the world. That being said, today’s Kidney Car is a RHD rarity that is entirely deserving of the title, a 1973 Toyota Corona Mark II Pickup.
These are already roughly as rare as chicken’s teeth in Japan, which means finding one that managed to make it’s way out of the country and across the ocean is akin to finding Bigfoot. The truck is by no means flawless, it has gone through a number of repaints during its life, has a rip in the driver’s seat, and currently needs a water pump. With a car this rare though, it’s not like you can wait to find the next one. I can’t recall ever seeing a Corona Mark II pickup for sale in America.
The ad for the car looks to be fairly honest, stating that the car is a ten-footer. It notes and offers photographic evidence that the only rust is consists of several one-square-inch patches on the hood, along the driver’s door sill, and around some of the pinch welds underneath. For a workhorse such as this, it appears to be in relatively clean condition.
Inside the truck it seems to have worn very well, with only a ripped seat, a missing window crank, some discoloration and scratching to the steering wheel. With a good detail this would come back to life and look decent before you even get to replacing parts. Of course simply finding some small parts will be easier said than done. I’m sure there’s at least one obscure plastic trim piece that will cost $30 to replace after 13 billion hours of searching for it.
The engine bay of this truck is honest, if dirty. You can see some paint peeling to reveal the original red paint underneath. The engine itself appears to be dry from oil leaks. The powerplant is an 12R 1,600cc 4-cylinder that produces 90 horsepower and is mated to a manual transmission. As stated before, the water pump is leaking from it’s weep hole, so that will require replacement. Unfortunately, the water pump is different from the 3R that we received in the late 1960’s Coronas so it will have to come from overseas most likely.
Evening pictures of the truck verify that all of the lights still work. At first glance I thought the tailgate was misaligned but it looks like the photographer was just careful closing it. Regardless, that is something that the buyer should confirm prior to purchase.
Only some minor wear can be seen in the bed, which is shocking at the least. The floor looks very even, rust free and largely devoid of large scratches. Usually the beds in trucks look like someone dropped a piano into them from great heights. And being a unibody, unlike a standard pickup, fixing bed issues would be difficult indeed.
Overall the body of this truck looks really good and, on those RS Watanabe style wheels, it all flows together very well. Some pitting on the rear bumper can be seen and you can also see into the wheel well a bit in this shot and looks to be solid. That aforementioned pinch weld rust can be seen too.
These trucks were driven hard and put away wet as commercial vehicles. After their use as fleet vehicles and work trucks, most then fell into a state of disrepair. To find one in this good of condition is a rare event. While it will take some time to get perfect, it would pay off to do so. The truck also comes with a box of spare parts including wheel cylinders, weatherstripping, and other items which will surely aid in the restoration process.
The next season of JDM Legends would be perfect if someone sent this truck to their shop for a restoration. If this it has you longing to put it in your garage, it is available in Seattle, Washington. I could say with confidence that with a complete restoration, this would we a shoe-in for trophies at shows like JCCS. If you do purchase this truck, be sure to let us know.