Car Spotlight>>the Twisted Corona

If you've ever read Hot Rod Magazine in recent years, you'll know there aren't too many Toyotas to be found in its pages. However, a few years ago Hot Rod featured this wild Toyota Corona as part of its "Dare to be Different" theme. For the magazine to feature a Toyota means it must be something special, and indeed this car is.

Built by Mitch Allread of Newhall, California, what was once a basic '68 Corona sedan is now a street-going circle track racer that also happens to stay true to its Toyota roots.

I remember looking at the car for myself at the Motoring J-Style show back in 2007, but since then I can't recall seeing it anywhere.

Since Mitch's career path is a race car fabricator, he had the skills and the resources necessary to transform the old Toyota into the creation you see here.The car is built around a tube-frame chassis and features trick bits like race shocks and springs, one-off suspension arms, and a quick-change rear differential.

The interior looks to be complete race-spec, but amazingly the car is registered for street use.

Admittedly, the tube frame chassis doesn't share a lot with the original Corona, but the interesting part is that Mitch went with a Toyota drivetrain. I'm sure you'll recognize the motor as a Toyota 1UZFE sourced from a Lexus SC400, along with it's automatic transmission. Mounted in a plush Lexus, the four-cam V8 is known as a smooth and quiet runner, but here it takes on its own exotic nature.

The Toyota theme continues on to the car's wheels, which are OEM pieces from an IS300, covering race-spec Wilwood brakes.

There's no doubt that this car would be an absolute thrill to take out for a canyon run, or even just cruising it down the street watching people try to figure out what the hell they just saw.

Yep, there's no better example of a maverick or misfit than this Toyota.

For more, check out the Hot Rod feature on the car.

-Mike Garrett



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That's an insane build! Really liking this.


Wild stuff. I'm lovin it


I love this! All he need is a dogbox for that 1UZ and some dirt tires!


Love it, so sick.

Only thing i dont like is the auto tranny.

But everything else is totally rad, esp.the quick change rear end.

Best iteration of the corona EVER!!!!


Manual box and throttle bodies would finish it for me.


I'm digging that rock-crawler looking anti-sway bar. I bet theres some Yota tube buggy creeping around inside this head.


I remember this car when I was looking information for information on Coronas. It's pretty crazy, although at this point with that tube chassis there isn't much Corona left. Hey Speedhunters, here's a challenge! Try to find anything about the T130, the last gen. Corona sold in the US before it was replaced by the Camry. This summer, I'm going to start a drifting project with one I've obtained from family (lucky me?) and other than it's basically a collection of AE71/86, A60, & MX63 parts I've got nothing except a few clips of people messing in them on YouTube.


Totally funky car! Way cool!


Really? They couldn't have done a Supra manual gearbox swap?

Other than that, this is an awesome project!


I like this a lot, really nice piece of engineering. I wonder what it weighs? Shame about the slushbox.


Nice Lexus touches...Legit


nice Lexus touches...Legit


Nice fabrication, but an auto?!


Apart form the steering wheel, the car is just brilliant!


holy crap this is an awesome machine! you can tell the builder has a love for automotive art and spent a lot of time on the details and making this unique. I cant tell you how much I'm surprised and in awe of the whole thing, what a wild concept and its so visually striking. thanks for the article, this is what I come to Speedhunters for, the unexpected but high quality project car!


Being a former owner of an sc400, i absolutely love this machine.


Incredibly retro indeed


This car is over 8 years old, and was not built be the current owner... I am confused, it was built for Rod Millan, by Rod a long time back, heck those pictures are even from the C&D or R/T shoot of the car from way back at least 8 years ago.


I saw this car at the JGTC event in Fontana years ago. I must have stared at the thing for an hour and enjoyed talking to the proud builder and original owner. What a fantastic mesh of old and new. When I daydream about projects masterpieces like this corona are an inspiration.


wow i remember seeing this car on a different site a couple years ago trying to figure out what type of toyota it is. now i know!


I'm glad i got to see this up close and personal at the motoring j style warehouse last year when i bought a race car from them.


Cool article, thanks for recognizing the car!

Some clarifications: This car was not built by Rod Millen and to my knowledge has no Millen connection. This car was built by and for Mitch Allread as stated in the original Hot Rod Magazine article. It weighs 2170 lbs and the motor is essentially stock SC400 in the interest of reliability. Therefore, it is not the fastest car in the world but it is plenty fast to get your attention. Especially when you need to come to a stop quickly (no power assisted anything).

The owner was a professional race car fabricator and spent many more hours on the car than he did dollars. The drivetrain was sourced from a junkyard SC400. He wanted the V8 and in the interest of simplicity and budget kept the stock 4-speed automatic. It would be cool with a manual, though! Logistically speaking, the way the steering column is set up would make it virtually impossible to put in a third pedal. As it is you have to drive it with 2 feet, you CANNOT get your accelerator foot over to the brake (steering column in the way). Maybe one day....

This car does get driven on the street and is surprisingly usable, even in traffic. This is not just a show car. I have driven it about 1500 miles on the street, including a 400+ mile road trip with no problems (except ringing eardrums)

It will always be "Mitch's car".


Sure this isn't built on a Lexus? It has a Lexus engine, and the brakes from an IS300 (that's a Lexus).
This is a cool car, but it barely looks anything like the original. Still, it must be fun to drive.
Btw, to see what I mean by it barely looks anything like the original, compare it with this normal 1968 Corona