This car was something of a rumour, not a whole lot spoken about it amongst the forums or between people, the owner Jason wanted to unveil the car at the right time when he felt it was ready. The car is just another one of these reasons why Ireland can be awesome, sure it rains quite a lot and everyone is miserable, but aside from all this Jason went and built one of the coolest two door KE70′s I’ve ever come across on both the internet and in the real world. I took a trip with a friend to see this car, we drove for miles along tiny little back roads and I wasn’t really expecting anything, which was a good thing. In Ireland you never really know what to expect when someone tells you about a car, as we rolled up to Jason’s house which is pretty much on the side of a mountain, my jaw dropped, I was truly speechless, I hope you can share the same feeling by checking out this feature on one of the coolest well executed Corolla builds this country has ever seen.
Almost 20 years ago, a KE70 would probably have parked outside this old shop, most of these cars are long and truly gone in this country, due to rust and other stories, which is a real shame, as over the last few years people have looked at other Rear wheel drive platforms like the KE70 and realised the potential. Owner Jason took over 2 years to complete his masterpiece, after owning his share of AE86′s he decided to do something different. The best part is the face that not only did he fully restore the car, but he did it his way. With the rise of the internet and finding out all that is great in the car world of Japan, Jason decided to give his own input on building an oldschool Toyota.
The car is the perfect blend of styles, very subtle on the outside but oozing with character. Jason very carefully selected the parts which would achieve his look, creating a very subtle outside which only added to the overall character of the car. The 2 door KE70′s is almost extinct in Ireland, probably less than ten of these still exist. This is why I loved the fact that Jason chose this model to work magic on.
The Irish styling meets Japan with a hint of across the pond, a perfect recipe. The car was fully restored to a pristine condition, but with a difference, Fiberglass front flared wings were added with the addition of custom rear flared arches, very subtle but very effective. The original humble front end was retained with the addition of Japanese Raybrig headlights. A genuine Mad House front chin spoiler adds to the overall shape of the car flowing from the front arches, it really changes the front end on any of the older square chassis from Toyota.
With the fresh restoration a fresh on of almost impossible to find parts were to follow, like Toyota rear lights, side lights and bumper lights. Toyota front and rear chrome bumpers and end caps. Toyota rear boot door lock with fresh Toyota boot door badges. Brand new front grill and light surrounds with brand new Toyota boot and door seals. Some period fitting Solex were added to the doors for extra safety. The car looks fresher than the day it rolled out of the factory.
Under the bonnet lays a work of art, as subtle as the outside may look to the average passer-by, this car has plenty of power to keep Jason entertained. This AE111 20valve 4A-GE was fully rebuilt. The Head was machined with standard throttle bodies. An incredibly tasty spec list includes Supertech Valve springs and retainers, Toda 272 duration .9.5 lift cams, Toda adjustable pullies, a Toda timing belt and Toda mm high compression pistons, H beam conrods and ACL race rod and main bearings. The engine spec doesn’t stop there, how about T3 aluminium crank, waterpump and alternator pullies, an RS Chita water line relocation kit, brand new Toyota water pump, Samco rad hoses and heater hoses with a Koyo racing radiator and electric fan. A Sard fuel pressure regulator and fuel rail adapter, TRD oil and radiator caps,
A Cusco oil catch can and some very attractive T3 trumpets are some of the incredible aesthetics to this engine bay. The engine was fully mapped on and engine Dyno at Tom Casey Race engines and is powered by an OMex600 ECU @ 185bhp with 145fbt. A Powercraft Tornado spec manifold is mated to a Cashiew racing catback exhaust giving this 20 valve one of the most enjoyable sounds I’ve ever heard. The engine is mated to a fully reconditioned t50 gearbox, with the addition of a TRD quick shift, an ORC racing clutch and flywheel kit and an AE86 rear axle with a 4:7 Crown wheel and pinion mated to a TRD 2way differential. Everything about this car is amazing, the engine spec is out of this world as Jason wanted this to be special, he spared no expense in achieving his dream setup. Even down to how the wiring loom was fitted, everything was well thought out. The bay looks stunning and has all been re-sprayed to look better then original.
The inside has been carefully planned out; the original seats have been retained as the interior itself was almost like new. Jason explained about how he wanted to keep the original feel to the car. For a better driving feel he decided to swap out the rather horrible original wheel for a timeless Nardi 330mm fitted to a works bell snap off kit. Some necessary gauges were purchased like an Omori 10k tachometer to keep an eye on the engine as well as a Defi din cluster set, the gauges themselves look very fitting with the original interior and the choice to keep the interior almost standard really gives the car such a subtle appearance which many people would overlook when undertaking this type of project.
Under the arches is one of the best wheels to ever come out of Japan. Jason’s idea of mixing Japanese styling with what was given to use in Ireland really helps this car stand out, a set of SSR MKII rims up front in 14 x 7.5j -6 and 14x8j -12 on the rear finish the overall look of the car on the outside. For stopping power Jason had a custom peddle box made with gurling cylinders, the car was fully redone with stainless braided hosing from front to back with all Goodridge fittings. Combrake 4 pot front calipers and discs replace the original while on the rear an AE86 rear disc setup with Mintex Pads are certainly an enjoyable upgrade from the original. The car touches the road through a set of Potenza RE-01 tyres.
Handling wise a set of BC coilovers were fitted with BC adjustable top mounts. T3 rear traction brackets and rose jointed adjustable lower arms, Qualife quick rack, Battle version NCRCA’s, adjustable tension rods, rosejointed solid outer tie rods, an RSR adjustable panhard rod, Ueo style extra lock inner tie rods with a Battle version #2xtra lock kit and a Whiteline adjustable anti-roll bar. The car is pretty much the perfect AE86 inside an equally desirable 2door KE70. Both cars are so similar that im sure this corolla is an absolute animal to both drive and handle and could easily rival a well built 86.
The car is another reason why this site exists, people like Jason, who push the boundaries of what should be done to a car, setting the bar once again for others to follow in this country. As I sat back and we got some food and conversed about the car, it was clear how much love and dedication has gone into this build, it shows on every inch of this corolla. This is a proper build, patience, time and effort to find the rarest parts from all over the world using the power of the web and influences from East to West, Jason spared no expensive to build his vision, Even on the dullest day of the year this car just shines… it truly is one of the nicest cars roaming around the Irish countryside, Jason’s vision to restore this car in his own way and passion for Toyota ended up churning out one of the best cars in this country, a flawless creation, a Hot rod of our generation.
Powered by Facebook Comments