The twin cam dreams
Toyota Corolla is a popular name known for guaranteed comfort, fuel economy, and an overall hassle-free experience for years of ownership. Bangladesh has had a great relationship with the car and its various models, starting with the AE80 chassis with the more popular AE90 chassis.
AE90 cars have histories of mods among local car enthusiasts, including ones with the street-swamping E120 chassis, which is widely known as the X/G Corolla. Amongst the plethora of AE90 Corollas that roam the street, today we take a look at one of the most well-done 90s that we have laid our eyes upon. Tanjimul Hasan, a workshop owner in Chittagong, had this car passed on to him by his father - which he has been working on to make as good as new.
The car started as a humble SE Saloon with a 1.3L 2E inline four-carbureted engine paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox, meant to run the daily commute and get groceries. After years of service, the brakes gave out one day, which caused an unlucky crash that, fortunately, did not get the car totalled. Soon after, the owner went to service the brakes, which is where the idea of a project on the car started to take shape. After many trials and errors and pushing the car to the limit over the years, we see the car as it stands today.
As of now, the car has been swapped with a 4AGE Blacktop, Toyota's top-of-the-line Twin-Cam 20-valve engine at the time, paired with a C160 6-speed gearbox, with the optional helical limited-slip differential. When it comes to the handling department, the car sits on Zerone three-way adjustable coil-overs which can be adjusted from soft to stiff, 13-way Ultra Racing bars for chassis rigidity and 13-inch brakes from an ST203 Celica, which have been converted from a five-hole to a four-hole setup for an extra OEM point. As far as the exhaust goes, the car has got a full Fujitsubo cat back setup from the manifold to the end box, which makes the engine sound fantastic, highlighting the top notes with some added resonance on lower RPMs.
The exterior on the other hand is kept fairly stock, apart from the Zenki tail lights from the late AE90s, a grille with a beautiful twin cam badge, and a Corolla Sprinter bumper with OEM square fog lamps. The car also sports a set of genuine Rays GTR-06 monoblock wheels, with a staggered setup, where the dish on the rear wheels is more pronounced than the front wheels. The interior department has the same deal going on, mostly stock, with an addition of two Recaro Alcantara bucket seats for extra cushioning.
All in all, when we got a ride in the car, it is safe to say not a single rattle could be heard from the inside, which is a rare sight for a car which is nearly thirty years old, and the comfort levels inside make the car feel like riding a brand new vehicle. Being around many AE90s, the one built by Hasan's own hands—and not just under another supervised mechanic—is truly a 'petrolicious' piece of work, where nothing similar is rarely ever seen.
Throwing bare money on a car can make it fast, but standing up to the quality of the work is something only time, research and dedication can achieve.