Hey Long Time, No See


Ok, all you Toyota Fans, take a deep breath, put down the Uzis, and stop sending us mail bombs ---Toyota Racing Development’s Corolla is back. Now, we know how much you dislike long, drawn - out project cars. Believe us, we’re no big fans of them either.

As you may or may not know, TRD USA does much more than just sell aftermarket parts.  The company is also responsible for Toyota’s entire American motor sports effort. This includes racing in CART, the Toyota Atlantic series, off-road trucks, and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. So when the ~98 racing season started up, the Corolla time schedule got bumped back a few months.

Things are coming back on-line, however. We recently traveled to TRD’s headquarters to document another installment of its Corolla project. This time TRD installed a set of it’s adjustable cam gears and spark plug wires. It’s pretty strange to be in one room taking pictures of cam gears going on an ~86 Corolla, while in the next room there are 20 white-coated guys assembling a dyno-testing 700np 2.6L turbo V-8 Champ Car engines. Totally joking, we suggested they install one of those engines into the Corolla. The scary thing is that they didn’t laugh and almost seemed to be contemplating it, further advancing the theory that Super Street moto- weenies who drank too much beer in college should not be placed in the same room as engineers.

The TRD adjustable cam gears are made of hard anodized aluminum and will certainly help dial in the smog – legal camshafts that were already installed. The stock wires were looking pretty grubby, so TRD pulled them for a set of low – resistance 7mm wires.

TRD’s Corolla project has appeared in our magazine three times before this issue. In Feb, ~98 suspension parts were added, May ~98 saw the addition of minor engine enhancements ( more powerful but non-smog legal camshafts are also available).

In June, the car was transported to Lanzini Body Works in Huntington Beach, California (714-375-2828), to have its body cleared of rust and dents, painted, and then fitted with new wheels and tires. We have both dyno and dragstrip numbers from  when the Corolla was stock, so once TRD gets the car in top shape we’ll give you the 411.

Hopefully, it won't be too long before the Gyver Corolla shows up again in Super Street.