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A Beast of a Corolla

Friday, June 20, 2014    

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FOR the past 13 years, Andrew Morris's soul has been inextricably is linked to his 1988 Corolla. His fervor has seen it being transformed from a sedate Toyota family sedan into a beast of beauty and garnering numerous awards.

His creation took Best Rims at Hot Rides in Portmore, St Catherine, recently, as well as Best Old School Ride at Heelz and Wheel held on the grounds of the National Stadium in St Andrew earlier this year.

"I bought it as a bare shell for 10K," Morris told Auto.

Morris, a Spanish Town resident, is better known as Speed Demon for his ability to make Toyota's go fast. He applied his skills to the car starting with a full ground-up rebuild. Using the theory known in the Volkswagen tuning circles as OEM+, Morris never strayed far from factory parts. He initially upgraded the original carbureted 4A motor to the high performance 1600cc 16-valve 4A-GE.

"I thought the car was fast until I got beaten by a newer 20-valve 4A-GE," he said.

The defeat threw Morris into full modification mode causing him to build the holy grail of Toyota engines, a 20-valve 7A-GE. Using the engine block of the 1800cc 7A-FE and the head of the second-generation 20-valve 4A-GE, his car became a formidable machine.

The Corolla began life in 2007 when he retired to his garage upon purchasing a newer car. It emerged a year ago after another comprehensive rebuild. It was returned to bare shell, and then painted in its original blue colour. The interior followed a similar OEM-theme using elements from the Japanese Corolla GT. Even the entertainment system is all Toyota pieces.

Where he did deviate a bit was with the third motor. It's a potpourri of OEM parts. Using a base 16-valve 4A-GE, he added pistons from the supercharged version of the 4A-GE, the 4A-GZE, and used the 20-valve head. The end result is a motor that has been turbocharged to 250hp.

With horsepower now over three times what the Corolla had from factory, Morris modified the rest of the car to cope with the extra speed.

"I used Toyota Racing Development Waydo suspension. Converted the car to four-wheel discs brakes using the set-up from the Levin BZ-R. I also used the Levin's limited slip differential in my gearbox, which uses custom ratios from various other Toyotas," he explained.

- Rory Daley

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