Our man in Cologne, Joe, shot this rally-prepared Corolla just sitting on a sidestreet in his neighbourhood. It’s a short walk from the Burger King where we met the Carver One guy and got a ride around town; certainly, Joe wouldn’t have minded had he been offered a ride in this Corolla too.
Any old RWD Corolla kept in good condition is sight-worthy these days, but a coupe is doubly cool. Add some motorsport heritage and ex-works provenance, and you have a real head-turner. Especially in Cologne.
Registered in Britain, bearing TEAM TOYOTA GB livery and in right-hand-drive spec, it’s not difficult to tell where the Corolla has come from. A quick sherlocking reveals some of this car’s history: it’s not a replica, but appears to be a real ex-works support car driven originally by Peter Ripley in 1980. His name is also displayed on the Corolla’s plates.
I would wager the car is at least a semi-recent resto, since 30-year-old rally cars tend to look a bit more used up by now.
The Corolla was photographed just across the street from British Motors Cologne, which specialises in restoring Brit cars to a high standard. Next door to it is the Getränke Market, which you just need to know if you want to load your car with good beer.
Just imagine seeing this rear end jettison rocks and exhaust snarl on a gravel stage. The car still partakes in retro rallying, with Charlie Gabb behind the wheel.
[Photos: Joe W]