Scott Lear
Scott Lear
11/6/08 9:17 a.m.

During the early part of the 1980s, many compared Toyota to General Motors, the accolades coming thanks to the Japanese brand’s ability to release a dozen different flavors of the same basic model. Toyota’s noble goal was to build a car for everyone.

A fine example of this thought process is the Corolla econobox, which at the time could be had as a sedan, wagon, hardtop coupe, sport coupe or liftback, many in either standard, luxury or sport trim levels. There were even two possible engines; the big T covered as many bases as was practical in their attempt to fill as many garages as possible.

It was a solid effort by an automotive juggernaut, but ultimately Toyota was unable to build the 1980 Corolla that Rick Disbrow wanted. Granted, Rick’s tastes are a bit more extreme than your average consumer’s.

A high-powered monster of the sort Rick craved doesn’t exactly have mass appeal. In fact, it probably would have scared small children right out of the showroom. To make matters more complicated, the impossibility of time travel would have made sourcing a late-1990s Lexus V8 powerplant a real hassle for Toyota a decade and a half earlier. Lexus didn’t even exist yet.

With no hope of getting his car directly from Toyota, Rick decided to undertake the construction of a V8-powered Corolla on his own. Fortunately, waiting a decade or two before ordering parts allowed Rick to save lots of money on his creation. Best of all, there’s now an SCCA Solo class for an unusual hybrid such as this.

Read the rest of the story

malibuguy
malibuguy Reader
11/5/18 6:12 p.m.

Hells yeah.  Uzis are my favorite motors.

Thats why I have one in my Malibu.  Hope to have it done no later then next fall.

rehoward
rehoward New Reader
11/5/18 6:17 p.m.

What year is the Corolla?  Article doesn't seem to say.  Would a 4AGE 5 speed trans hold up to the V8 power do you suppose?  Would it be a bolt-on to the Lexus V8?

Randy

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
11/5/18 7:24 p.m.

In reply to rehoward :

What trans is that? And there's no manual trans that just bolts up to the 1uz.

te72
te72 Reader
11/5/18 8:48 p.m.
rehoward said:

What year is the Corolla?  Article doesn't seem to say.  Would a 4AGE 5 speed trans hold up to the V8 power do you suppose?  Would it be a bolt-on to the Lexus V8?

Randy

Not sure of the specific year, but it's an E7x chassis. Wanna guess where my username came from? Yeah, I had one of that vintage. Early 80's, if I remember my generations correctly, this is a fourth generation Corolla. They're a lot of fun! Although... looking at this car here, it looks a bit different than mine did, I had square headlamps, perhaps this one is a bit earlier than the 1980 I had.

 

The rwd transmissions that you're thinking of are the T50, and uh... I have my doubts that it would live long behind a 1uz, but I have no experience with how far that transmission can be pushed. A W58 is a common Toyota transmission that would be suitable for a 1uz in such a light car, and they're still reasonable to obtain. If you really wanted to go nuts, and R154 could be used if you really wanted to make sure it was gonna survive. Unfortunately (well, fortunately for a guy like me who has a couple of them anyway), they've gotten a bit expensive as of late.

 

Adapters can be had to mate a 1uz to R154 and W58 setups. So, while it takes a bit of extra expense, you have options. Having had all of these things (80's Corolla, W58 and R154 transmissions, as well as a couple LS400's with the 1uz), I can fully get behind a project like this. =)

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
11/5/18 8:59 p.m.

In reply to te72 :

There's also adapters for Nissan 240sx transmissions and 350z transmissions. Lots of options. 

buzzboy
buzzboy Reader
11/5/18 8:59 p.m.

There is a UZ to ZF320 adapter. Holds 700ft*lbs, shifts well and is very common. Slap em together in a fun little car like this and it would be dreamy. Or use the kit to UZ your BMW.

stroker
stroker UltraDork
11/6/18 8:50 a.m.
buzzboy said:

There is a UZ to ZF320 adapter. Holds 700ft*lbs, shifts well and is very common. Slap em together in a fun little car like this and it would be dreamy. Or use the kit to UZ your BMW.

Who makes said adapter, please...?

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
11/6/18 10:59 a.m.
te72
te72 Reader
11/6/18 9:26 p.m.

This is a dangerous thread for me to be viewing... I have a spare R154 out of the Supra, UZ's are reasonably cheap, and I have a Miata that is practically begging me for a V8. I'm gonna go now. =P

malibuguy
malibuguy Reader
11/7/18 6:56 a.m.

In reply to te72 :

its been done before and they look especially tidy in a Miooter.  Give into your desires :)

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
11/7/18 7:39 a.m.
rehoward said:

What year is the Corolla?  Article doesn't seem to say.  

Randy

Third paragrph says 

...unable to build the 1980 Corolla that Rick Disbrow wanted

 

So...1980? BUt I agree that doesn't match the headlights. roundlights were 78-79, square were 80-82. My first cat was an automatic '82 Sedan. I always wanted to find a roundlight, 5 speed wagon or 2dr to play with. Mine was a fun little car for a clapped out piece of crap. 

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
11/7/18 9:26 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde :

That is indeed a 1980 Corolla.  The twin circular headlights was a one-year design, the body-style was new for 1980.  They went to the square headlights in 1981---- although it may have been mid-1981, as I've seen the circular headlights on 1981 cars.   

I know, as I had a 1980 in H.S and college......until I rolled it 5 or 6 times.  Hard to be sure how many times it went over, as I was thrown from the wreckage.   From that point on, I've always worn a seatbelt! 

I'd love to have another, but the rotary drag-race boys seem to have snatched all the decent ones up.....and jacked prices to absurd levels.  

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
11/7/18 10:55 a.m.

anybody notice the original post was ten years ago ?

te72
te72 Reader
11/7/18 10:25 p.m.
malibuguy said:

In reply to te72 :

its been done before and they look especially tidy in a Miooter.  Give into your desires :)

I like that it's been done before, takes a lot of the guesswork out of it for me. But... you're not helping! =P

te72
te72 Reader
11/7/18 10:29 p.m.
ultraclyde said:
rehoward said:

What year is the Corolla?  Article doesn't seem to say.  

Randy

Third paragrph says 

...unable to build the 1980 Corolla that Rick Disbrow wanted

 

So...1980? BUt I agree that doesn't match the headlights. roundlights were 78-79, square were 80-82. My first cat was an automatic '82 Sedan. I always wanted to find a roundlight, 5 speed wagon or 2dr to play with. Mine was a fun little car for a clapped out piece of crap. 

To highlight, this is exactly what mine was, and I loved it. When I first bought it, it didn't have a driver side window, and 2005 was a coooooold winter in Wyoming, especially for a kid who had been living in Arizona for the prior decade. Replaced the door with one from a junkyard, which in itself was an odd thing, considering how few old Toyotas there are in yards around here...

te72
te72 Reader
11/7/18 10:33 p.m.
Joe Gearin said:

In reply to ultraclyde :

That is indeed a 1980 Corolla.  The twin circular headlights was a one-year design, the body-style was new for 1980.  They went to the square headlights in 1981---- although it may have been mid-1981, as I've seen the circular headlights on 1981 cars.   

I'd love to have another, but the rotary drag-race boys seem to have snatched all the decent ones up.....and jacked prices to absurd levels.  

Joe, my Corolla was a 1980 model year, and I had square lights. I'm wondering if it wasn't a trim / body style specific design, the difference between lights. Granted, my car had over 325k on it, one wheel that didn't match the rest, and a small pool of water from the large water jug in the back seat, so... hard to say what that car had done to it by the time I came along.

 

As far as drag racing with these cars go, they do make a pretty good platform for it, nice and light, solid axle, reasonably large engine bays... buddy of mine has a 1980 notchback with a turbo 6M. It's stupid quick, to put it politely, to the point that he only runs 1/8 mile these days so as to avoid needing to cage it to run 9's in the quarter. Plus, it apparently gets a bit spooky at 140+, who would have thought they weren't really designed with that in mind?

te72
te72 Reader
11/7/18 10:37 p.m.
iceracer said:

anybody notice the original post was ten years ago ?

Yep. Is that a problem around here? I just came here because it was a featured article in the newsletter. Figure it's about a cool car with a cool build, and I have plenty of experience with old Toyotas, lots of fond memories. =)

Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
mlsC6UsTD8FdR0l5Q5Gqv5Jg2Yke1mlIObqPAX1qx4jrsB96te1rSzxameCPsH76