Built For Fun: The Hi-Fence Corolla

There is one final car I want to share with you from Mooneyes’ recent Hot Rod & Custom Show in Yokohama, and it’s something that ticks so many boxes when attempting to define what is right with the current Japanese custom car scene.

First up, the base. It doesn’t matter what car you choose to personalise in Japan, because you never have your choice criticised or ridiculed. With an overall sentiment like this shared across car culture, it pushes people to try out new things, new ideas, and new styles with no fear of messing up. Even if that car is an E10 Toyota Corolla 1100DX, the very first sedan sporting the famed Corolla name, as released in Japan in the mid-’60s.


Back then, the E10 was the people’s car; it replaced the Publica and brought affordable motoring to the masses. It wasn’t sporty by any means, but it was as compact and light as most similar cars of the period were, so the potential was always there. The owner of this car and member of the Hi-Fence Car Club took that potential and perfectly tapped into it, executing a series of upgrades and changes that have turned the tiny little four-door sedan into something so cool that it stopped many people in their tracks at the Pacifico Yokohama events center.


Visually, there are only a few changes to speak of; the removal of the chrome bumpers to give that feel of a stripped-out period racer, plus the addition of a must-have bucktooth front lip spoiler.


As the saying goes, the wheels make the car, and that is very much the point of this build. The vintage 4-spoke race rims topped off with white lettering on the tyre sidewalls inject an American stock car racing feel to the classic JDM Corolla.


And there are a bunch of other details that carry this motif all the way through, like this cool period correct, open-faced helmet painted in the same colour as the car and running the same lettering and numbering.


I like how the inside has been kept period too, with a half cage fitted to the rear of the cabin…


And a pair of low-back race seats up front. The dash has been joined by an aftermarket tachometer and a little additional instrument panel with three auxiliary gauges to keep an eye on the engine’s vitals.


It was sitting next to another creation by Hi-Fence – a very cool Datsun Sunny. Between the Porsche 356 we’ve already seen, these two vintage Japanese rides and the Porsche 914 in the background, Hi-Fence Car Club easily had one of the coolest displays at this year’s show.

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you just concentrate on having fun without the fear of being judged!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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"SCCA" sticker on the window?  Is this car from the States?


half of the pics are dead for me


It's also got the FP class decal on the left rear quarter panel, by the door. Would love to see photos of it on the track.


anonym0u53 Half the pictures are dead for me to. I thought it might be the No-script I run in FF, but maybe not.


robro its probably just a period correct touch.


Please a detailed feature on the sunny


Why only half foto work? I need mo foto to work fo betta see car. I no see car very good


Same here on the phone using chrome


robro That car definitely has a lot of American T/A race car influence.  The helmet script, the engine turned panel for the 3-gauge cluster and the (probably) Mooneyes tach are all period 60's performance touches.  That car is a great blend of Japanese/American culture...is that hot rodding Japanese style, or and American-styled Japanese race car??

HA!  Just messing with you Dino...


Love it!


waiting on that awesome datsun b210 120y coverage....


Roman64 robro In a way it's a very period correct touch, too, because outside of the Sports Corner type shops, the USA was the go-to for performance mods and knowhow around small Japanese cars from the mid 60s through the mid 70s, at least so far as grassroots motorsport efforts go. Think the Datsun tuning book, companies like Racing Beat, BRE and so on.


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