This is my 1995 silver Corolla hatchback. Not really an AE101, because it is a the 2.0 liter naturally aspirated diesel (Toyota 2C engine), which means it is a CE100, and not very fast, but thanks to the low-rpm torque, she climbs mountains with ease!
This was a few days after my acquisition:
This is the 2-seater van version. It is known as a "Star Van", with small stickers on the quarter panel that say exactly that. I don't know for sure the background of this variant, if it was a market specific thing, only sold here in Portugal or if it was also available on other countries.
The story I was told (not sure if it is true) was that, since van versions of hatchbacks are very popular in my country, with the E90 generation the main Toyota importer began converting basic diesel 3 door Corollas into vans, by removing rear seats thus extending the boot, and installing a wooden floor, a big rubber mat and cargo separator behind the front seats:
These vans were then called "Corolla Star Van", name that lasted until the E120 generation, when the name changed to "Corolla Bizz".
During the E100 generation, it was marketed in two trim levels, the base (which I have), and XL. The base has power steering... and that's about it! Thankfully, most of the outside is shared with the regular 3-door, so it already looks great and can be made to look like an FX or SI.
Focusing back to mine, I got it with 305000 km (around 189k miles), and it has now 312 thousand Km. In good health mechanically, and excluding the trunk, the interior is in great condition. She needed some love on small details, normal for such an old car:
-some panels (hood, left fender and spoiler) had the clear coat quite burned (if you look to the first pic you can see the left wing is not very shiny)
-a small dent and scuff on the driver's door
-cracked driver's mirror housing
-cargo (boot) cover was incomplete
-broken headlight tabs
-most of the dash illumination was out or quite dim
-dome light did not work
and so on... I don't intend on doing big mods, first a mild restoration first, she will be the shiniest and happiest Corolla round my area, and let's see where this leads to...
First I replaced the old cassette Grundig radio with a generic MP3 unit I had laying around, and the factory door speakers with a pair of Sony Xplod. Unfortunately, they are tiny (only 10cm / 4") due to the low clearance provided by the base door cards and brackets. So the audio is just temporary.
Meanwhile, the paint was fixed, here is how she looks now:
Installed white LED's on the interior (where possible), including dome light:
At some point I even had blue:
Changed front bulbs to Philips Racing Vision, which provide a whiter (and more powerful) illumination, even with the standard headlights - and even look cooler!
License plate LED's
Painted the drum brakes - blaaack, + 5 hp!
And got some goodies from an XL (actually from an XLI; petrol):
Sun visor with mirror:
Boot light... which seems that there is no wiring for
- I may need some help with that.
As I'm writing, she is out for replacing the windscreen, because last week it got hit by small rock on the motorway and it developed an enormous crack! Sadly, the guys at the shop found some rust after removing the glass, so that needs to be repaired first... Nothing serious, it is pretty much the only spot with rust on the entire body, but it's still a bummer.
What do you think? Still very far from many of your cool cars around here, but tell me what you think. If you have any suggestions, speak your mind