Random Snap>> Te72 Liftback

One of the more overlooked cars in the Toyota Corolla lineage is the TE72 liftback. This car came out in the USA from 1980 to 1983 (technically, it started in 1979.5 and ran a little into 1984) , and was the predecessor to the beloved AE86. This month, we've been featuring some pretty cool TE71/AE71 sedans, but I wanted to draw a little more attention to the TE72 liftback/hatchback version. If you look at the three rear windows, the roofline, and front fenders (well, you can't see the fender detail exactly on this particular car because it has big fiberglass fender flares that have been molded/bondoed onto the original body steel), then you can see that this car has some very similar lines to the AE86 hatchback. I suppose you could say that this is the "father" (or uncle?) of the AE86.

In fact, AE86 front suspension and brake components swap right in, and in the past, I've known a lot of people who have swapped out their AE86 power steering racks for AE71 manual steering racks, which are said to have a quicker steering ratio – meaning, you can go from lock to lock in less turns of the steering wheel. Nowadays though, there are many available modifications for AE86 steering racks, and it isn't necessary to hunt down one of these AE71 racks. (People I know were doing this AE71 rack swap like 10 years ago.)

Another nice thing about the TE71/72 series Corollas, they also use a T50 5-speed transmission (just like an AE86), but the engine has bigger power potential than a 4AGE! In North America, the TE71/72 comes with a 3TC (carbureted 1.8 liter hemi pushrod engine), which is capable of doing 7 or 8 second quarter mile times if it's in the hands of the right Puerto Ricans with turbos. In Japan, these cars were more commonly found with a 2TG engine, which is a twin-carbed 1.6 liter twincam engine. While the 2TG engine might not produce as much power as a turbocharged 3TC, the 2TG was more popular for circuit racing in Japan because of its high rpm performance and response. A lesser known fact is that JUN Auto's legendary car builder, Koyama, built JUN to what it is today, based on his success in building 2TG engines for TRD and Toyota Team Tom's in the 1970s. Even though the 2TC and 3TC engines came as standard equipment in North American market Corollas, they were only available in Japan as equipped in the lower end Corollas. (Good looking out, Toyota, for always giving us the good stuff, sheesh.) I bet the engineers in Japan who designed the 2TC and 3TC engines would never have dreamed that those engines would actually become popular for high power output in old school Toyotas. This only happened because of a few handfuls of resourceful and dedicated Puerto Ricans and Filipinos who knew enough about building and tuning engines to make it happen.

Oh what a feeling…

-Antonio Alvendia



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hey I used to have one of these.... cool!


This car is awesome! I thought it was a Celica Supra at first.

By the way, I MUST see more like this this month:



That is sharp looking! Got any more pics of TE72s? My likey!


Hum... Being an european... The back kinda reminds of the VW Corrado... Also a damn nice car, though you don't see many of those around...

I'm sticking to AE86's though ^_^


my dad bought one of these when we first got to the states. i think we were able to fit like 3 adults and 4 kids into this sucker. ha! very cool car.


Off the hook car !

BUT, Antonio, you as usual killed it with your not-necessary comments. KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET. I garantee you I'm not the only one that doesn't read your comments.....post pics and a little description (most of the pics tell already what's going on).


What you got in that Corolla?

Oh this old thing? Well its got a hemi.


I respect Alex's comment, but disagree entirely. I appreciate Antonio's prose and feel like I get a richer taste of what he's got goin' on! Go words!


I believe this is actually a TE71, the 72 has a longer roof and looks more like a 3-door wagon. I might be mistaken though.


My favorite corolla! *drooools~~~~~


I like reading Antonio's comments, makes reading much more interesting at times, and ain't boring.


So money.... Any chace of getting some sweet Celica-supra action at some point?


lol, what a douchebag. "I don't read your words so no one else does, therefore you shouldn't post them." Generalize much? To be honest, this is one of your more interesting posts, Antonio--I think they're getting better. Keep it up.


I like Antonio comments. For example, I didn't know which car was that. Antonio's post explained everything *_____*


Naga_Ten said:

Hum... Being an european... The back kinda reminds of the VW Corrado... Also a damn nice car, though you don't see many of those around...

I'm sticking to AE86's though ^_^

More like Scirocco II...

Anyway, great car, shame no company builds that kind of lightweight cars anymore.


Excellent to draw some more attention to the older Toyotas! :)

"In fact, AE86 front suspension and brake components swap right in"

Not entirely true: only the kouki version has the same front struts. The zenki version has much smaller struts and only fits components from its predecessors. Of course you can adjust the holes in the towers to make them able to fit the AE86 front struts. ;)


I think leongsoon is right. I have a TE72 out front of my house and it is definetly more wagon like.

TE72 has a bigger "middle" window on the side where that little strip is. It rolls down too!


amazing looking car!


Banpei: Actually, what I was referring to was this - you can swap the complete strut assembly from the AE86 to this car. Once you remove the brake calipers with the 12 or 14mm bolts that hold them in place, you can just unbolt the two bolts (17mm?) that hold the strut assembly to the lower control arm. Then unbolt the three 12mm bolts for the strut top. Then the whole suspension slides right out, and then you can replace it with an entire AE86 coilover kit or something (any brand), including spindles and brakes. The TE71/72 brake lines can be fit right up to the AE86 brake calipers, it's pretty easy. Then you just need to get a set of Cusco camber plates for TE71/72 and you're in business. People do this with TE71s, MA60s, MX Cressidas, TE27s, KP61s, etc all day long. For years.


Alex, you're an idiot. You're so annoying and you think you know it all. I think this was one of the more interesting posts on here. I like seeing behind the scenes stories and I learned some things I didn't know about these cars. The technical detail is cool! Keep it up Speedhunters! Great story.


Hey! I remember this car from 2007 JCCS. I took a pic of it, too.


My dad bought one of these new. I just don't know which model either the TE71 or TE72. It came in brown and had those wheels/hubcaps that are like 4 spoke split spoke design in brown as well. I wish I could find a pic of it somewhere around here. Anyway, good post!


Guys, I just double checked with two friends from TRD USA and Toyota Motor Sales... (these guys are Corolla guys too). They say that this particular car is a TE72.

Jackc and leonsoon: I know exactly the type of Corolla you guys are talking about, which is why I felt the need to double check my info with the TRD guys. The longer roof Corolla hatchback from these years is plentiful, but I don't think it looks anywhere close to as nice as the Corolla shape above. Don't you think that long hatchback shape looks cool? I certainly do. They're kind of hard to find here in Cali though... =( (the long roof ones are easier to find unfortunately)


looked @ ash's pic of the te71 i think it looks alittle better than the ae86....Don'tKillMe!!!


I just clicked the link right now! Thanks Ash! You're right, worker bee! Damn, the car looks AWESOME especially with those steel bumpers and the super clean Foha front lip! Sick!


Bravo, Boriqua.  A very impressed fellow Hispanic.  http://1985ae86hatchback.blogspot.com   Hello, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA