The 86 is a good start, but this 1976 Corolla still has more character.
We all know Toyota is more than able to design and engineer cool cars with character, it’s just that it hasn’t done so in quite some time. Right, sure, the 86 (formerly Scion FR-S) is a great driver’s car, but some would argue it’s lacking some soul. Some everlasting charm. We’re huge fans of the 86’s ancestor, the legendary Corolla-based AE86, but some even earlier Corollas are still worth the attention. One example is this 1976 Corolla KE35 SR, owned by Frenchman Romain Saraiva.
At first it may not look like that much, styling wise, but a closer examination reveals the little Corolla’s charms. Saraiva’s attention to detail, such as the new wheels and flawless interior and racing-style steering wheel, are added bonuses.
Petrolicious caught up with Saraiva in his native France and his ’76 Corolla, which he bought online sight unseen. Ballsy. A two-year, father-and-son restoration job followed and now this old Corolla is just dripping with coolness and character. If Toyota was capable of doing something like this more than 40 years ago, stands to reason it can do it again. Here's hoping the reborn Supra lives up to the hype.