The Alley: Enrique Perez’s LS-1 powered TE72 Toyota Corolla

The Alley: Enrique Perez's LS-1 powered TE72 Toyota Corolla

by Mike Kojima

In keeping with our new tradition of using our secret photoshoot location behind the palatal MotoIQ Mega Shop, our next Alley feature is a very special car. Enrique Perez's 1980 TE72 Toyota Corolla. The TE70 series Corolla produced from 1978 to 1983, is one of our favorites as it is a classical Corolla with a front engine and rear wheel drive.  Much of our youth was spent modding these cars.  With their near bulletproof 3TC engine they could take a lot of hard use and we spent a lot of time boring them to 2 liters, strapping on dual sidedraft carburetors and hosing them with Nitrous Oxide. 

Those of us that were adventurous got an imported T2G twincam engine which was a standard engine in the Japanese model RA20 as well as the TE70 Series Sprinter/Trueno. The 2TG put out something like 115 hp which was pretty good compared to the 90 hp produced by the stock 3T.  By the time we got done with it, porting the head with bigger valves, TRD cams, 3T crank, boring to 90mm and installing 48mm sidedrafts we probably made something like 200 crank hp.  This would probably be something like 160 whp on today's chassis dynos. Although this sounds pitiful, these cars only weighed something like 2300 lbs with us in them and were able to hit mid to high 14's in the quarter mile, maybe a little faster than a bone stock FR-S.  If this seems slow remember that a Z28, Firedbird or even Corvette from this era turned a low 15 in the quarter mile in stock form.  The good old days really were not that good!

Fast forward 34 years and let us look at Enrique Prerez's TE72, it has an engine swap but unlike ours, it doesn't have a JDM 4 cylinder but 5.7 liters of angry Chevy power!


After going through a few Hondas and a WRX wagon, Enrique bought the 1980 Corolla for $300 bucks from a friend to drive as a daily beater.  It is a beater no more. The TE72 appears like it stepped out of a time machine looking like a tastefully modded Toyota from the 80's.  The car has its original paint and being a California car, it's in great shape with a nice all original patina to it. 
The car features smaller and lighter JDM spec front and rear bumpers.  The air dam is off of a VW Golf!  Externally their is very little evidence of the monster within!
Nothing like a good sense of humor. The well patinated original paint is in great shape after 34 years.
The car has a nice stance, not too low, all business.  It is a total sleeper with the only hint of anything from the outside being the huge aluminum radiator which might be mistaken for an intercooler. We really like the car's visual restraint. 

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