In 1970, the Corolla became the second best selling car in the world. Now, 37 years later, it’s the best selling car of all time – no doubt courtesy of the reputation of the Corollas of the 70s. So let’s head back to that classic time, and check out Arnel Ilog’s TE27 Corolla – popularly referred to as a “Mango”!
So, Arnel, give us the basics!
This is a 1973 Corolla, running the 2TG engine with twin 44 Mikuni, TRD header, Custom exhaust, 1 1/8” ADDCO front sway bar, Celica rear end, Koni front strut, Tokico rear shocks, MSD ignition.
Damn, that’s no slouch. Have you done much to the body?
I got the car painted two years ago; I love the original orange and black color scheme so I had the car painted the same way. The original black stripe was vinyl and no longer available anywhere that I know of, so I went ahead and had the stripe painted directly onto the body. Looks a lot better than the vinyl if you ask me! Since my car is a deluxe model and not an SR5 model, it lacks the over the fender flares. Thanks to my bro Jerry though, it’s now sporting sr5 metal flares.
I’ve always been a big fan of the flares, you made a good choice! How’s the interior?
I haven’t really done much inside, although I’ve replaced the front seat with a much better Corbeau GT-II seat. The door panels and the rear seat have been re-done and the stock steering wheel was replaced with a much better looking aftermarket one with a TRD horn button.
A TRD horn button! It’s all about the details eh? I love it. Let’s talk wheels, what’s she running there?
They are 13×7.5 Work O1 wrap with Sumitomo tires.
Well they’re definitely the business! They really play the part. So, any future plans for your Corolla? I don’t think anyone would disagree if you decided that it’s perfect as it is right now!
Well yeah, as of right now I have no plans, but I have always wanted to turbo charge the 2TG. Several months ago I thought I had found that illusive HKS blow-through setup for the 2TG on a Yahoo! Japan auction, only to be disappointed when I was eventually outbid. Oh well, maybe next time!
Ah, that sucks. Stick with it though, it sounds like a tasty project to me. How often do you drive it?
I rarely drive this car – maybe twice a month or so, as well as any time there’s a car show. Oh and each time I need to dig up something in the garage I take it out.
Well I guess when you’ve got three great classic JDM rides, it’s no surprise you don’t have time to drive them regularly! For our readers, I might point out at this point that Arnel also owns a C10 Skyline GT-R and an RX-3. Busy guy.
Do you ever race your Corolla?
No, I’m too afraid to put a scratch on it!
Understandable! If someone pulled out their cheque book, what number would they need to put down for you to sell this car?
Well I have to tell you that a close family member has offered me $11k for this car. I said no because he wanted to put a rotary in it.
Sell him your RX3 instead, haha. What got you interested in old skool JDM?
I have always been a fan of the Japanese cars. But the car that really got me started is the Mazda Rx4. (Yes you heard me right! Rotary. not a lot of people knows I started out with rotary). My brothers-in-law and their cousin all happen to be rotary heads; I was driving a Honda at the time when I was first introduce to the rotaries. After being bit by the rotary bug I was hooked! So I purchased a second rotary, the Rx3sp and then the rotary pickup.
All this was short lived once my wife and I decided to buy a house of our own. We didn’t have much saved at the time and we needed extra money for the down payment, so I didn’t have any other choice but to sell the car. Years later after we settled down, I’ve decided to get back in the game. I couldn’t find the Rx3 I wanted but came across this Toyota Te27; yeah this is the car that I wasn’t suppose to buy, but I ended buying it any way. I was going to turn around and sell the car, but I’d spent too much time modifying it and adding parts to it, so I ended up keeping it. I’m glad I did!
Well I gotta agree mate, I think you made the right choice – this is far too sweet a car to let go of. What other old skool JDM cars do you love?
I also like the Celica, the Rx4, and the Datsun 120.
What is your funniest memory about this car?
Hmm, can’t seem to think of any!
Probably because you don’t drive it enough! Haha. What about a saddest memory?
None yet, thankfully, but I’m sure it will have to be when I finally decide to sell the car.
What is the best thing about this model car?
It’s light weight, and easy to modify the 2TC/3TC. Parts are still readily available.
For the restorer body parts are difficult to find and can be very costly.
I guess that’s true of many classic cars these days, especially those from Japan. Thanks for letting us feature your beautiful Corolla, Arnel, it’s been a treat!
No worries, thanks.