Log onto any classifieds site and look for a particular car: the AE100 Corolla. One of the most successful models ever sold by Toyota, it offers exceptional resale value, associated with a parts availability which is still unmatched to this day, more than 20 years on.
A Corolla 100 in good condition with an average level of spec will cost you from 5.5 to 7 lakh taka, which is good news for both the buyer and the seller. It might even be turned into a popular saying, that “You never make a loss on a Corolla 100”. Maintain your early 90's Corolla with proper, loving care and you can run it for decades without any major trouble, and maintenance is surprisingly affordable for such an old car.
Our feature car today is a base model Corolla DX. Imran Masud Ov, the owner, is a doctor by profession, and uses the 100 as a daily driver. Now, what's so surprising about a Corolla 100 being daily driven? Imran's Corolla is a bit special. It started life as the cheapest, most basic Corolla in the range, without power options like windows and mirrors. To open a window you reach for the wind-down knobs on each door, while the doorcards themselves are basic and spartan, a theme reflected around the interior. It didn't have an RPM meter, and was powered by a small 1.3 liter 4EFE engine.
It was a fuel efficient, reliable little car, faithfully performing all the duties asked of it with a rabid enthusiasm and fervour usually attributed to a tireless pet. Imran, following in the footsteps of Shahid Arman, his dear friend and doctor colleague (owner of the sublime, stanced EE90 Corolla featured in this issue), he set about making the 100 nicer to look at and drive.
Last year in mid-2013, the humble Corolla DX received a heart transplant. The 1.3 4EFE was thrown out in favour of the ultimate go-to engine for Bangladeshi performance upgrades: a blacktop 4AGE. Twin cam, 20 valves, quad throttles, and a high compression ratio extract around 160 horsepower from a relatively small 1.6 liter 4 cylinder block, giving a great compromise between power, engine response, and relative fuel efficiency.
An Aerospeed crank pulley lightens up the pulley system, offering better engine response and higher load capability, while an aftermarket air intake frees up the engine's breathing. Since the car was always going to be for daily driving, the transmission choice was obvious: an automatic.
Next up was the stance. Again, daily driving could not be sacrificed, so with that in mind, a set of ZerOne springs was used to lower the car just enough to get the wheels to sit almost flush with the fenders. The wheel choice goes perfectly with the overall appearance of the car. The white body and black bumpers contrast brilliantly with the black wheels and polished lips, and the amber signal lights with blacked out headlight housings give it a distinctive OEM+ look, a style of car customization extremely popular in Europe and parts of Japan.
Whether you want to liven up the performance and appearance of a Corolla or just want a car that is extremely reliable, cheap to maintain and fuel efficient to boot, its hard to ignore the Corolla 100. In recent years prices have begun falling as the later model 110 and 111 Corollas flood the used car market, but that's good news. While everyone else is looking for a newer, more expensive car, why not go for an older car with so many plus points?
Scroll down for gallery of more photos of the 100 and the 90
You may also like: