EVENTS: Club TE27 Meeting

04DI_Toyota Corolla Levin Sprinter Trueno TE27

Japanese owners of the TE27 Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno recently gathered for their annual meeting, held at the Toyota Automobile Museum in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan. Ninety-six cars in total came from all over the country, forming a sea of moss green and orange. 

02DI_Toyota Corolla Levin Sprinter Trueno TE2708DI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE27

Born in 1972 as a more sporting offshoot of the Corolla and Sprinter twins, Toyota believed they were different enough from their parent models to give them separate names. Levin is an old English word for “lightning,” while Trueno is Spanish for “thunder.”

20DI_Toyota Sprinter Trueno TE2718DI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE27

Each was sold through a different Toyota dealer network, but aside from slight differences in lights, grilles, and badging, they were otherwise identical. Officially, however, the Sprinter Trueno weighed about 10 kg more than the Corolla Levin.

12dDI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE27 28DI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE2714DI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE27

Denoted by factory over-fenders — initially offered in steel, or FRP if you went with an aftermarket TOSCO rally setup — common on touring cars of the day, there was no question that they were meant for a good street fight. Toyota dropped in the twin-cam hemi-head 2T-G from the larger Celica 16000GT. With some 400 fewer pounds to haul, the TE27 was a bullet on the streets, the rally stages, and the tarmac.

15DI_Toyota Sprinter Trueno TE27

At ¥813,000 when new it wasn’t cheap, but its motorsports prowess soon garnered it a devoted following. It became an icon of the golden age, right up there with Skylines, Belletts and Galant GTOs. The Club TE27 gathering is proof that a loyal following has carried over nearly half a century and still holds strong to this day.

Bonus images:

24DI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE27 20DI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE2726DI_Toyota Corolla Levin TE2729DI_Toyota Sprinter Trueno TE2706DI_Toyota Corolla Levin Sprinter Trueno TE27

Correction: This article originally said FRP flares were offered from the factory. In fact all factory flares for the TE27 were steel; FRP was offered as an official TOSCO (Toyota Sports Corner) aftermarket part.

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21 Responses to EVENTS: Club TE27 Meeting

  1. Mark Newton-John said:

    TE-27 Levins NEVER had FRP “over fenders”, they were steel. Fake Levins and Truenos have replicas made from FRP. The fenders are slightly different on real cars; they have a lip that mates to the flare.

  2. Brett said:

    Love em!

    How I wish I could own one.

  3. Socarboy said:

    The TE-27 was essentially the precursor to the iconic AE-86. Great seeing these cars in such original condition. I always enjoy seeing vintage Japanese iron on JNC.

    • Punto8 said:

      The TE72 was the true precursor to the AE86. From the rear suspension to the 4A block, the TE was essential the father to the AE. The the TE-27 was more like the great-grandfather to the AE 🙂

  4. Kuroneko said:

    More than the sum of parts for sure here! Corolla says ‘shopping trolley’, Trueno says ‘race car’.

  5. Scotty G said:


  6. Jason Carpp said:

    While I’ve seen plenty of Corolla Levins here in the USA, I’ve never seen a Sprinter, let alone a Sprinter Trueno. They seem to share the same body appearance and the same taillamps, the thing that seems to differentiate the two is the front end appearance.

  7. Ant said:

    That first orange Levin is just about perfect for me, minus the stripe. Great colour, and the proportions of these cars are just about perfect. Having driven a couple of theoretical rivals from the era – mid-seventies examples of the Ford Escort and Mitsubishi Lancer, I’d love to see what a TE27 is like.

  8. Raymond said:

    Because I learned to drive 44 years ago in a beautiful 2 door 1972 KE20, I have great memories of these models, for that reason I´m fascinated with the rarity ( For us in this side of the Planet ) of the TE27 Truenos and Sprinters.

  9. Oracles said:

    Just love seeing all these beautiful cars make me want to pull my TE27 Sprinter Trueno and go for a long drive.

  10. Tally said:

    Long time and one of the biggest fans of these cars. I have owned countless KE25’s and recently bought a 2TG and will be building a JDM replica at some stage.
    Love TE27s <3

  11. Russ said:

    It will be nice if we can have our own Club te27 here in the US.

    • Laureano "Larry" Belen said:

      Russ, Larry here. I am hoping you are the same Russ, I just met at Toyota Fest, 2016 and I stopped by your house–to check out your mango.

    • Big Mike Muniz said:

      Hey Russ, We can definitely start a US chapter of the TE27 Club. We have more than enough guys that would be willing to join. It would Be great to have meets like this at the Torrance Toyota museum or have a canyon run up Angeles Crest Hwy, then have lunch at Newcombs Ranch Restaurant. If I did not spend most of my waking hour at work, I would start the club myself.

  12. Danny Nickerson said:

    Each one of them worth about $50000 and over now. So much care and restoration.

    Even a rotting corpse of one here in Japan costs $10000.

  13. Gary said:

    I often wonder what would have happened if Toyota Australia entered TE27 into the Bathurst 1000. I’m not suggesting line honours…but the ‘legend/brand strength’ that would have been developed. By the time a TE corolla unit was punishing the mountain (driven by UK PM Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark) we had RA celica power.

  14. Laureano "Larry" Belen said:

    Russ/Mike, would be a great thing. For your consideration—My nephew is a website designer. If we need someone to maintain d site–we can employ him to build and maintain it. He works in the Philippines for a company here in the states. Larry

  15. Filipe said:

    Does any one know the Greenpeace colorido code for the te27

  16. Sid Sia said:

    When and where will the 2019 Te27 meet be at? If budget and time permits, will travel to japan. Also, it there a swap meet during the event?

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