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The Car


1988 Toyota Corolla GTS (AE92). This is what the car looked like for 20 years. It had the same 14" alloy rims that came on an MR2 of that generation and was the first car I bought out of college. It was a 5 year old lease car that I bought from a Delta flight attendant. I wonder what she would say 25 years later, if she knew I still had it.


I originally bought it as reliable transportation. I had fallen in love first with a 1981 BMW 320i S model when I was in college, then when it was totalled, with a 1980 BMW 323i grey market car. It was a euro model someone brought over to the US with the tucked in metal bumpers and dual exhaust. There weren't many cars like that in America. Both of these cars cost me too much money at a time when I couldn't afford it and I was forced to give up on them. I decided I would not fall in love with cars anymore. I would just get some good solid transportation and get rid of it when it got too old or expensive.


Well that didn't work. This car was so reliable, looked so good and was so much fun to drive, it earned my affection. Now the car has so much sentimental value, the only way I'll get rid of it, is if it gets destroyed.


So after about 20 years, the car was starting to get old. The transmission was making noise, the blower didn't work on one of the settings, the door locks never worked, the interior was getting worn out and the dashboard finally cracked in the Florida sun. But mostly, cars had gotten faster. Engines produced more horsepower with better fuel economy. It got to the point where I was being outrun by minivans. My poor little car was embarrassed.


So I set out to give it new life. That's when I did my first engine swap. I went from the reliable old 4age engine to the mighty 4agze engine. This was a pretty common swap but there was a problem. Information regarding that swap is available on this website, too.


I wanted the car to be new, to feel new. So I had the engine rebuilt before I bought it. I bought it from a place called Toysport. This is a company I will hate until the end of time. They were expensive. They took over a year to get me the parts I ordered. They provided me with the wrong parts. Once, they even boxed up junk and shipped it to me. There were literally CV shafts that had been torched into pieces sent to me in a box! Some parts I just gave up on ever seeing. But the worst thing of all, was when I finished the swap, the motor burned about a quart (0.95 liters) of oil every 600 miles (965 km). I had to do something!


There was one good thing. The car was fast! I had had a limited slip differential installed and when I spun the wheels from a start, the whole front end just slid sideways as both tires went up in smoke. In fact, in 1st gear it was almost hard NOT to spin the wheels.


One day when I was lamenting my problem. I had the hood open on my wife's car. I thought to myself, for the money and time I had spent, I could have put her engine in my car. Like the apple hitting Newton's head, the idea hit me. The next thing I knew I was pulling tape measures out and doing some measuring of engines and engine bays!


That's when the planning started! The planning for the world's first V6 powered AE92 Corolla GTS. Code name: GT6!

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