Hoonage Classics – 1983 Toyota Corolla DX

I’ve been eager to document the Finnish car culture here. It’s not just about well-preserved older cars, or oddities, though. Quite the contrary; if you were to imagine the absolute nucleus of Finnish spirited driving, you would have the KE70 Toyota Corolla. Cheap, durable, light, frugal, rear wheel drive, that’s all the Corolla is about, and for more than 30 years the block-shaped Corolla has been a Finnish streetview staple. After the first few years of their lives the cars have been sideways at all times when not stationary.

Unsurprisingly, many Corollas have succumbed to either rust or trees or both. This bright red DX is one of the better-surviving ones, but it too shows the ravages of time.

I first saw the Corolla in the parking garage in relatively challenging lighting conditions and covered in ice. I figured I’d wait it out, for the ice to melt; it took a few months but the car surfaced again clean. This time, I was even armed with a proper camera.

Not every Corolla came with a front lip spoiler as adamant as this. It’s like a jutting jaw in the face of elements.

The Corolla looks dismantled and reassembled, with the detailing somewhat off here and there. It matters absolutely none. The car appears to be resprayed at some point, but there’s some bubbling happening again as well. But as long as it passes inspection and the rust remains cosmetical, it’s not the first issue on the to-do list, I presume.

The Toyota wears studded Dayton rubber on original black steelies. Some of the studs are coming off, some have worn down. As you’d expect.

The DX moniker gave the car one of its latter nicknames, the “Dexter”. They didn’t air Michael C. Hall’s show back when I first heard the name, so it shouldn’t be taken as to mean the Corolla as a serial killer.

This one, originally from the region, is saddled with the base-spec 1300cc 65-horse pushrod engine dubbed the 4K. Of course, there have been countless engine swaps performed within the Corollisti and the 4A-GE is a good idea.

Proper rally steering wheel with an extremely grippable perforated rubbery pleather cover taping. Serious stuff.

Come at me bro.


[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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