Here’s a good shot illustrating the differences between the TE27 Toyota Corolla Levin (back) and Sprinter Trueno. You never see the two parked side by side here in the US. The mechanically identical cars have only superficial visual differences, most of them in the nose.
The taillights differ as well. Note that both of these cars are customized and a lot of the brightwork has been blacked out. They’ve certainly got the proper wheelage for old school Yotas: TRD/TOSCOs on the Levin and TOM’S Igetas on the Trueno.
This reminds us of the time when we happened upon this random Trueno in Japan about five years ago. We had taken a train to the Up Garage, a used aftermarket parts store, located in Kawasaki. It was the terminal station on a long line out of downtown Tokyo. There wasn’t an electronic turnstile, or even any humans around to collect your train ticket, just a small wooden box with a slot on top. In New York passengers would have simply kept their tickets and slipped it through an electronic turnstile back closer to Tokyo (charges vary with distance), but every single person on that train dutifully made the deposit.
Anyway, a short stroll later and we were at Up Garage, where this dark green ninana Trueno was sitting in the lot. It must be said that we freaked out a little upon seeing such a nice example “in the wild.”
The owner didn’t speak a syllable of English, but was more than happy to open the doors, hood and trunk and give us the full tour. All the while a steady stream of Japanese was gleefully spewing from his mouth, despite him knowing full well that we couldn’t understand a lick of it. Maybe he was just happy that a gaijin was taking interest in his kyuusha. If you’re out there, Mr. Trueno Owner, thanks for making our day.