Boring. Dull. White Goods. All things levelled at the Toyota Corolla (including by us), and all true. Except when they’re not.
Whilst there have been millions of tedious white boxes produced with the ‘Corolla’ name, there have also been some that really aren’t tedious at all. The AE86, Championship-winning rally cars, and even the current twelfth generation Corolla, which is both more interesting technologically and to look at than a Golf, a Focus or an Astra.
So the Corolla is boring, except when it isn’t, and this one ‘isn’t’; the lovely 1970-’78 ‘E20’ Coupe.
The second generation of Corolla, the ‘E20’ was available in sedan, coupe, station wagon and van variants (plus as a Daihatsu), with engines between 1.2 and 1.6 litres, and became the second best-selling car globally.
Built by Dicky Laban, this neat Technic recreation of the ‘E20’ Corolla coupe is interesting too, being equipped with LEGO’s Powered-Up system for remote control drive and steering cleverly packaged inside.
Hoping to score said loot, two entrants previously featured here have recently maximised the mundanity of their creations to increase their scores, after we said “this could only be more boring if…”.
That ‘if’ for 1saac W., who had built the default for motoring mundanity (and his own car), involved recreating the tedium of interpreting parking restrictions. In a white Toyota Corolla. Now that really is mundane.
Another builder on the hunt for more mundane points is iBrickedItUp, whose Cozy Coupe manages to span both our Vehicular category and our partner BrickNerd‘s Object category. It was pictured in a rather delightful garden scene, but outside, in the rain, next to the bins… that’s a whole heap more mundane.
IBrickedItUp has also recreated the sea of dull that is a rental car lot, with a choice of ‘white, off-white, pale-beige‘, BHBricks has built a Scion xB – a car that tried so hard not to be mundane it’s the very thing it became – and the tedium of loading a box truck, whilst Sergio Batista has built the Fiat Multipla, which is a quandary for us, as it wasn’t mundane at all, but its purpose absolutely was.
There’s still half the competition to go, and we’d love to see your boring vehicles, built in any scale, whether Town, Creator, Technic or anything in-between. BrickNerd are after your mundane objects; a few of the fantastic entries received so far are pictured above!
Aaaand here it is; the pinnacle of mundane motoring. It’s the plain white rice of cars. It’s anything by Will.I.Am since ‘Where is the Love?’. If it were a country it would be Belgium. TLCB’s fridge has more character than this. Yes, it’s the mid-2000s Toyota Corolla Sedan. In white.
There are interesting iterations of the Corolla of course, and the current one is actually a rather funky looking thing (even more so when the Gazoo Racing version arrives), but this one… er, no.
Which means it’s exactly the sort of thing we’re’ looking for in the Festival of Mundanity Competition we’re co-hosting with BrickNerd.
Flickr’s 1saac W. is the lucky duck who owns one of these in real life, and has recreated the world’s best selling car in brick form in the hope of winning some most excellent prizes.
He’s scored some decent mundane points, but there’s a long way to go, with a load of new entries appearing in the Flickr group over the last few days. You can check out these and 1saac’s brilliantly boring build via the links above, and if you’re inspired to build you own entry (we haven’t had any large scale cars yet) you check out the competition details here or over on BrickNerd, where mundane objects are the order of the day.
Delivering tofu in a Japanese economy car doesn’t sound like the type of story to create an automotive legend, but then stranger things have happened. The Toyota Corolla AE86 Trueno did indeed become an automotive all-star thanks to a cartoon tofu delivery driver, and they’re now worth approximately a $billion.
This wonderfully accurate 8-wide Speed Champions version by Jerry Builds Bricks captures the famous two-tone Trueno superbly, and there’s more to see of his Initial D legend on Flickr. Click the link above to place your order. What even is tofu anyway?
We love the unexceptional here at The Lego Car Blog. McLarens, Lamborghinis and Porsches are all very exciting, but we sometimes prefer to celebrate the ordinary. (Maybe we’ll run a building competition to that end one day…)
Ironically, due their uninterestingness, ordinary cars are rarely built by the online Lego Community, which understandably prefers to build things of a more exciting nature. More ironically, ageing every-day cars are probably now rarer in the real world than the aforementioned exotica, which in our eyes makes them much more interesting. We’d certainly pay a 1980s Toyota Corolla station wagon (if ever we saw one) more attention than we would a modern Aston Martin.
And so it is on these pages today, where we’re eschewing brick-built exotica for said 1980s family estate car, with its 1.6 litre engine and well under 100bhp.
This wonderful Technic recreation of the TE70-series Toyota Corolla comes from Danifill of Eurobricks, who has captured the mundane exterior brilliantly in brick-form. Underneath is brilliant too, as a LEGO Buggy Motor, Servo Motor, and third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery provide the model with remote control drive and steering, and a surprising turn of speed.
There’s lots more to see of Danifill’s celebration of the unexceptional at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, plus you can watch the model in action via the video below. Take a look whilst we ponder a possible building contest…
This pleasingly-coloured classic tow truck was found by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and the only thing detracting from its perfection is that it’s pictured here towing what looks like a Toyota AE86, an impossibility because – as we all know – Corollas never break down.
Otherwise TLCB regular de-marco has nailed it, and you can recreate his ‘Old Tow Truck’ for yourself as instructions are available. Head to de-marco’s photostream via the link above for more.
It’s election night here in TLCB’s home nation, and here is a Toyota Corolla Trueno AE86 pictured in a full ‘Initial D’ drift. Is it swinging from right to left, heading perilously close to the cliff-edge, crashing-out, or gaining a conservative majority? OK, that last analogy didn’t work, but we’re quite proud of the first three! Previous bloggee Simon Przepiorka, now known as SP_LINEUP, is the builder behind this most excellent scene and you can cast your ballot, er… we mean see more of his brilliant drifting Initial D AE86 on Flickr via the link above.
Just like people, some cars are born into greatness. They might have limited talent and have achieved little, but a family name goes a long way (we’re looking at you Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce Cullinan). Others have become great, either through their own endeavour or through blind luck and a random affiliation. This is the story of the latter.
The Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno was a good car in the same way that most Japanese cars of the 1980s were; well priced, fuel efficient, and far more reliable than its American or European counterparts.
And that is where the story should have ended, with the AE86 just another Japanese compact quietly getting on with not breaking down or falling apart. But in 1995 the AE86 got a shot at fame. At ten years old it became the star of a Japanese comic called ‘Initial D’, in which 18-year old Takumi Fujiwara slid sideways up mountain passes delivering food behind the wheel of his father’s AE86 Sprinter Trueno.
By 1999 ‘Initial D’ had become an anime production, viewed not just in Japan but around the world, and Toyota’s humble hatchback – now long out of production – had become a megastar. The popularity of drifting has continued unabated, leading to the AE86 becoming one of the most sought-after and iconic Japanese cars in history.
This superb recreation of the Toyota Corolla AE86 as it appeared in ‘Initial D’ comes from Peter Blackert (aka lego911) of Flickr, who has captured the world-famous car brilliantly in Lego. His design appears in the new book ‘How to Build Brick TV and Movie Cars’, which includes building instructions for the Sprinter Trueno pictured here (along with many other iconic cars) so that you can create your own version at home for drifting around your desk.
Peter’s Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno model is available to view at his photostream via the link above, and you can find the book in which the instructions for this model features by clicking here.
Once every so often a car comes along that, for reasons mysterious and illogical, becomes more than just another metal box, a car that captures the imagination, and that becomes more than the sum of its parts. This is one such car, the legendary 1980s Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 / Sprinter Trueno.
If you’re a Japanese drift fan though, you might want to skip this next bit…
The Toyota AE86 was not a special car.
It was in fact a humdrum hatchback designed to take people from point A to point B reliably and at a reasonable cost. Just like every other humdrum hatchback at the time.
But it’s a manual with rear wheel drive we here you cry! It was indeed, but so was pretty much everything else on sale in Europe and Japan back then. So far so ordinary.
But then something strange happened. Moderately successful motorcycle racer / moderately unsuccessful car racer Kunimitsu Takahashi had started to throw cars sideways on track in Japan a few years earlier. Rookie racer Keiichi Tsuchiya liked what he saw, and applied the technique to the illegal street races that he was participating in, becoming a legend in the process.
Keiichi went on to forge a successful professional racing career following his antics on the street, and the car from his illegal racing days, his humble Corolla Levin AE86, became a legend as big as the man that drove it.
Japan’s illegal drift scene exploded, and the arrival of the Initial D manga cartoon in the mid ’90s, featuring a hero driver at the wheel of a Toyota AE86, did nothing to lessen the legend of both the man and the car credited with creating it.
The result is that the little Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 has become one of the most iconic and sought after cars of the ’80s, and as such prices have gone stratospheric. Pretty good for a humble hatchback designed to go to the shops.
If, like us, you don’t quite have the loose change to get your hands on a real AE86, Technic builder RM8 might have just the answer. This is his beautifully engineered AE86 model, and it captures the details of the real ’80s Corolla Levin brilliantly in Technic form. It’s also as fun to drive as drifting a real AE86 up a Japanese mountain pass (probably), with a Power Functions L Motor driving the rear wheels, a Servo Motor powering the steering, and a third-party SBrick bluetooth receiver controlling the signals to both.
There’s lots more to see of RM8’s Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 / Sprinter Trueno at MOCpages and the Eurobricks discussion forum, but much like the real car RM8’s model is something more than the sum of its parts. Take a look at RM8’s enthralling video below to see why…
The world’s best selling car, the Toyota Corolla, sometimes gets a bit of stick from car enthusiasts. You don’t sell something in the tens of millions unless it’s kinda inoffensive and a bit… boring. But that doesn’t mean Toyota’s most popular model can’t be special. Senator Chinchilla shows that even a humble Japanese box can look very very cool with the addition of a few choice modifications. See more of his superb modified Corolla KE70 on Flickr at the link above.