The No Style Corolla is an exercise in home-built brilliance


Browsing, I happened upon a rather interesting post. This story featured an insane looking 1975 Toyota Corolla with wide fender flares and a supercharger sticking out of the hood. I remember seeing this car in person at the JCCS (Japanese Classic Car Show) back in 2009, and I just had to see it again now that it looked to be a lot more complete. I send a message to the owner of the car and it turned out that he was a local. Numbers were exchanged and started trying to coordinate a time for us to meet so I could check out the car and snap a few shots, heck maybe even get a ride.

Well, a few weeks ago I finally got a chance to check out the car. Mark, the owner and builder, sent me a text to inform me that he was available to show me his machine. I quickly got out of bed, after just a little over an hour of sleep, and rushed to Mark’s place. I had been awake for over 24hrs, but it didn’t matter I was about to see something awesome.

When I arrived, Mark was fiddling a bit with the Corolla, but as soon as I got there he very enthusiastically started telling me the story of the build. The car started out as a rusty hulk with lots of work needed just to get the body back in shape. He freely admits that he could have probably started with a cleaner shell, but not everything ever goes easy. When he started off the project he had to convince the lady of the house that he could pull off the project without destroying their finances, so he set a budget for the build and has done his best to stick to it. Every aspect of the build has had a pre-set budget, the body work, the engine, the chassis, etc.

Mark has built most of the car on his own and fabricated many of its components from scratch, from the chassis to its custom 180-degree headers. The car features a 4.0-liter Lexus V8 engine with an Eaton M112 Supercharger from an 2003-2004 Mustang Cobra perched on top. He had to fabricate a custom intake manifold for this, but with his skill it wasn’t too big of a task. The car features a T56 transmission out of a Camaro, and a custom-made bell housing in order to mate to the engine. Out back, power is transferred through a Lexus SC400 rear end with a Supra Turbo Torsen differential. The front suspension is also from a Lexus SC400 with custom QA1 coil-overs. Stopping power comes via stock Lexus SC400 calipers mated to a Tilton master-cylinder, which should be plenty to stop this very light car. Out front it sports 17×9 wheels while out back are a pair of 18x10s.

The interior is all business with a simple Nascar-style dash featuring only the necessary gauges. The racing buckets have been mounted on sliders so that anyone can drive or ride in the car. Oh, and what a ride it was! The car fires up with a very distinct sound courtesy of its 180-degree headers. It doesn’t sound like the V8 you’d expect to hear, instead it has a much higher-pitched wail. Mark has done all the tuning on the car himself, and has been learning the ins and outs of fuel injection as he goes. He’s done a pretty good job as the car pulls hard off the line and then just keeps going. He plans on attending several track and autocross events with it once he is done, and rest assured this car should and can perform.

One last thing, I’m sure all of you are wondering “Why the name? Why ‘No Style’?” Well that comes down to Mark not setting out to emulate any build style with his car. He didn’t set out to build a ‘JDM YO!’ car, or a ‘custom’, or ‘street mod’, or anything. He wanted to do his own thing from the get go and from the looks of it he has done well.

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