Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Potential New Project - 1987 Corolla FX16

I'm seriously considering purchasing a front wheel drive Corolla.  I haven't lost it, I promise.

Normal commuter-spec AE82 Corollas are rare enough in North America, even here in sunny SoCal - FX16s are near-mythical.  The FX version was equipped with the legendary and lovely little 1.6 liter, twin cam, 16 valve 4AGE, a sweet shifting close-ratio five speed, sports-tuned suspension and four wheel discs.  Think of a Toyota Civic Si or Golf GTi and you've got a clear picture of what the car is all about.

I found one on Craigslist located about 100 miles north of my home in San Diego, and I'm going to take a look at it this coming Thursday.  The car is said to be in fine mechanical condition, with a pristine interior and normal exterior wear and tear for a 25 year old car.  The owner is well-written and clearly an enthusiast, so thus far all signs are good.  He's asking for a little less money than what a decent new 50" HDTV or approximately 3 tanks of gas in my LS400 would cost, so I'd be silly not to take it home if it's happy and healthy.  Superb handling, great gas mileage, cool 80's Star Trek: The Next Generation space capsule style and guaranteed entry to Cars & Coffee and JCCS are among the potential ownership benefits - wish me luck!


Sadly, it wasn't in the cards.  The universe is telling me to wait for the right RX-8.


  1. Wonder why this car wasn't more popular. Or perhaps it's that Toyota didn't give its successor any real attention. The subsequent Corolla debuted with one fewer body style, lost its higher trim level and 10 horsepower.

    I've driven an AE82 sedan and it had shockingly poor handling. They would've had to substantially stiffen this car's suspension for it to have gotten such good reviews.

  2. It's still very popular in South Africa where it's known as the Toyota Conquest TwinCam Rsi both in E80 and E90 bodies. The AE92 has a 4-door sedan brother called the Corolla Gli TwinCam.

    Toyota won the local Group N championships on tarmac and on the rally stages with the Conquest in the late 80's hence the popularity.

    Toyota SA only stopped production of the E90, as the Toyota Tazz (yes the WB character) in 2006 though without the 4A-GE since 1992. A popular mod has been to put the later 20v 4A-GE from the e100 and e110 into those relatively new shells.

    Here is a short write up if you are interested: http://www.carmagblog.co.za/uncategorized/from-the-archives-toyota-corolla-conquest-rsi/.