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 |   |  1982 Toyota Corolla SR5 - Liftback Throwback
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1982 Toyota Corolla SR5 - Liftback Throwback

The Corolla You Tried To Forget About The Corolla You Didn't Want To See

Charles Trieu
Jul 21, 2010
Photographer: Scott Dukes

When you think of the older RWD Corollas, you automatically think about the fifth generation from '84-87, more commonly referred to as the AE86. Hands down, that is the most popular Corolla of all time. Second in line would probably be the second or third generation Corolla. It wasn't until guys like Motor Fix came around that people really started noticing the '79-84 fourth generation Corolla. And like Motor Fix (, or Cesar Fernandez (see '09 September issue of Super Street), people preferred to modify the four-door sedan. The four-door sedan is just one of the eight models of the Corolla offered by Toyota. Crazy to think they offered so many variations but times were good and the Japanese auto industry was blowing up. The Corolla was offered as a four-door sedan, two-door sedan, four-door wagon, two-door wagon, hardtop, convertible, coupe (hatchback) and Liftback (hatchback) like this one before you.

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I'll admit it. I too once thought that the E70 Corolla was the ugliest generation of all Corollas, with the Liftback version being the worst of the E70 bunch. I thought the only reason anyone should build an E70 was because AE86 parts are interchangeable, while the chassis was much cheaper than the AE86. But after seeing some gnarly-ass KE70 builds I wanted more. And as more people get into older cars, I kept searching for less popular and more unique cars. The Liftback Corolla is one of those cars that you hardly see.

Mon Rivera has had several old Toyotas in the past, but two years ago he set out to build one of his best builds yet, a Liftback Corolla.

"Back in the 80's, in the Philippines, Greensville was a creekside parking lot where auto nuts met and showed off their rides," Mon tells us. "The Liftback was one of the 'it' cars. When you say 'old school ride' to Filipinos, the first cars that come to mind are the Mango Corolla, Celica, Starlet or the Liftback."

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A few years back Mon met some fellow old school guys and started attending shows and meets. But the whole time he never saw a Liftback that he was satisfied with. So he decided that a Liftback was going to be his next build. Adding to that Mon says, "I grew up with the car - the body style is not that popular here stateside - and I wanted to represent the Greenhills Filipino style."

We definitely don't get to see many of these Liftbacks fixed up properly here, and even I didn't really care for them until just now. This is now probably my favorite E70 body style just after the hardtop. Mon clearly demonstrates that with older cars you've never known existed, can be really badass and unique. It's shown in a whole new light, with JDM bumpers, old school kicks and the car sitting on the floor.

Tuning menu
1982 Toyota Corolla SR5 Liftback
Owner Mon Rivera
Hometown Northridge, CA
Ccupation Los Angeles County Worker

Engine 2T-GEU Yamaha ported head, 2000cc 3T-C block, HKS metal head gasket, Wiesco 89mm pistons, Eagle rods, Weber 45mm carbs, custom headers, TRD spark plug wires and oil cap, MSD ignition, relocated battery, wrinkle finish valve cover and wire tuck

Drivetrain AE86 GT-S rear end and LSD, shorten shifter

Suspension & Chassis Ground Control front coilovers, KYB AGX struts, Eibach front springs, TRD rear springs, adjustable lateral rod, manual steering rack conversion

Sstp_1008_03_o+1982_toyota_corolla_sr5_liftback+front_view Photo 4/10   |   1982 Toyota Corolla SR5 - Liftback Throwback

Brakes PBR brake booster mounted under dash

Wheels & Tires Southern Ways 13x8.5'' -13et (front), 13x9'' -13et (rear); Sumitomo HTR200 215/50R13

Exterior JDM TE71 front and rear metal bumpers, Foha front lip and rear spoiler, Formuling fender wind splitters, OEM Toyota red paint, custom pulled fenders by PJ Bonifacio Motorcars, brand-new Levin TE71 headlights and front end, JDM taillights, all brand-new weather stripping

Interior Recaro N-Joy seats, custom rails, reupholstered stock rear seats, Nardi Classic Deep Cone steering wheel, brand-new dash, VDO gauges, TRD shift knob

Audio Alpine 3339 11-band equalizer with gooseneck and iPod, Alpine front speakers and amplifier, JBL rear speakers

Thanks You I would like to thank first and foremost my family: Jenny, Justin, Danica, Jian, Ta Z for allowing me the time, money and patience to pursue and enjoy my passion. Marvin David, Kuya Mon and Raymond de la Cruz for their endless effort, hardwork and space for the build. JD Recto and TNT Motorsports for the countless favors. Alan of Rev Hard for fabrication needs. Artesia Garage and Gamma Lubis for hard to find parts. Morro Interiors. PJ Bonifacio Auto Design. JMP Auto - Jerick, Paul, James, Rey, Bo, John, Josh and Jason.,,, and for keeping the old school alive!,,,,,,,,,,,,

By Charles Trieu
161 Articles



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