Top Gear Philippines

We now move on to a very rare Toyota Corolla that also sees plenty of action in the car show circuit. Having been born in 1980 I don't ever recall seeing a Corolla like this. The story of how this car came to be is an interesting one--with plenty of hassles. But the outcome is worth it. Don Savet (remember the Celica a few posts back?) tells us more: cartistics-part-6-image-01 CAR: 1969 Toyota Corolla Coupe (Special Edition) cartistics-part-6-image-02 According to Don, this is the first edition of the Corolla that was poised to do battle with the Datsun 1000. The more common version of this car is the fastback, while this example is a notchback. Notice how the shape closely mimics the BMW 2002. (My apologies for the poor framing of the photo!) Don first laid eyes on this car in 1994 and chased the original owner. "Pinagalitan nga ako ng may-ari," he laughs. Then in 2006 the owner knocked on Don's door, selling the car. "Tumaas 'yung balahibo ko kasi bumalik 'yung oto." The owner offered it to them because he knew that Cartistics garage can bring the car back to its original state. cartistics-part-6-image-03 The original owner of this car called it 'Balat'. "Puro tagpi nung nakuha namin," adds Don. They had to fabricate a lot of the body panels. The fenders took one month to rebuild. You shouldn't be in a hurry if you want to get the lines just right. The grille had to be repaired because finding a new one was hard. The newest parts to arrive are the original foglights. Notice the original badges and how straight and clean everything is. cartistics-part-6-image-04 The taillights came with the car originally, but the Savet brothers bought whatever spares that they could find. Parts for a 1969 Corolla are hard to come by. cartistics-part-6-image-05 The engine is the first generation K. 1100cc, mated to automatic tranny. cartistics-part-6-image-06 That's still the original, glass-encased fuel filter. cartistics-part-6-image-07 Here's the original oil cooler for the automatic tranny mounted behind the grille. I've never seen anything like this before. cartistics-part-6-image-08 Don wanted a set of vintage Campagnolo wheels, but these Silver Star copies are from the same time period and look good. cartistics-part-6-image-09 cartistics-part-6-image-10 The craftsmanship outside is something, but it is the interior of this car that really makes jaws drop. Everything is complete, including the stereo. This is a top-level restoration, inside and out! Notice the ignition located to the left of the steering wheel. There is a story to why this was done back in the day that I will save for a later post. There is a cool feature that you don't see very often in new cars. Check out that OEM clock! Stay tuned for more eye candy!

Paulo Rafael Subido
Editor in Chief
Top Gear Philippines' editor in chief is a driving addict, but with a taste for old-school metal. He loves spending the day in the talyer, working on his cars as a form of relaxation.
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