To most car enthusiasts, a car is much more than a simple means of transportation. The relationship between man and machine goes a little deeper than that. Some people pick a certain platform because it’s their favorite car, or maybe their favorite race-car driver has one. For some though, it might be even deeper than that. Usually the family hand-me-down isn’t exactly the “car you fall in love with”, but for our friend Nukung, his AE100 Corolla is just that.
Usually when a Corolla gets the spotlight, people expect to see either an AE86 Trueno or Levin, or an even older generation. Let’s face it, the Corolla of the 90s, and today, is pretty much a very sensible and affordable commuter car, much like a Honda Civic, but the Corolla doesn’t have the aftermarket following like the Honda. We have a feeling though that after looking at Nukung’s Corolla here, there might be a change in that. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see this when these images showed up in my inbox. The car is definitely impressive with a stance and fitment that is definitely on point, and most certainly never seen before on AE100 chassis. But, this car is much more than a nice mod-list. This car has a story, a rather long one at that with Nukung, and that’s where we’ll begin this feature.
Despite Nukung owning the car for the last 6 years, his Corolla has been around his life much longer than that. Before he owned it, it was in his family, being used as a taxi to shuffle people around and make a living. For many years the car was driven all over, carrying customers to various destinations, and probably not receiving the best automotive care. After the car’s license permit expired, it was left in the street for a few years without any attention or care whatsoever Nukung recalls. That’s when our man stepped in and took on the car as his own. He felt a special connection with the car and wanted to show everyone what it could become. This is the result of his work, and he’s not quite done yet.
Even though the aftermarket may be a little smaller for the Corolla, that didn’t mean the parts supply was small, on the contrary in fact. Also, a lot of parts from the sportier and better supported Ae101 Levin are interchangeable with the Ae100. Combine this with Nukung’s “if I can think it, I can do it” attitude, and well, the possibilities are seemingly endless for our friend here. He has certainly done a lot, and not just turning wrenches either. We’re talking figuring out suspension geometry and making his own coilovers to fitting Integra DC2 hubs so he can run 5×114.3 wheels. This is some big-boy stuff here. The custom coilovers are based on Ae101 Levin shocks and struts and certainly get this car low and sitting just right over those Deerfield wheels. If you were scratching your head on the wheels don’t worry as I was too. After a little digging though I found out they are quite popular if 4×4 off-roading world. How our man tracked down a set of 5-lug Deerfields is beyond me, but they look right at home on this Corolla. They come in at 16×9 -13 all around, and with -7 degrees of camber up front and -9 out back, they tuck up under the fenders nicely.
With the suspension, brakes, and wheels addressed, Nukung focused his attention under the hood. With the car sitting for a few years, the stock motor needed a lot of work to get back up to par. Rather than refresh the current engine, Nukung swapped in a black-top 4AGE 20v from the more powerful Ae101 Levin. Not only does the 20v 4AGE have more power than the old motor, the aftermarket support is significantly larger for the rev-happy 1.6-liter. The interior also received a fair amount of attention. Dominating the inside is a 6-point roll-bar and a Miracle cross-bar. Nukung and passenger are held in place with a pair of Recaro SPG bucket seats and Sabelt harnesses. The rear seats received a re-trim in matching fabric and Recaro stitching. The most stand-out feature of the interior is the tiger-stripping for the door cards, pillars, and head-liner though adding some flair to the inside.
The exterior also features plenty of custom work as well, however because of the obvious language barrier, I don’t know much other than the color of the car and the completely custom aero bits designed by his friends at “REAL LOW”. Oh well, sometimes that’s how things go. I will say that I definitely like the custom rear diffuser on the car. Actually, what Nukung has done to the exterior of the car I really like because he did a great job of making a rather bland car not so bland. The Margaret Brown (at least that’s what the owner called it) paint really looks great in these photos and pops when the light hits it, and those custom blue faces of the wheels work surprisingly good as well.
This Ae100 Corolla has certainly come a long ways from its humble beginnings as a taxi. What I’m sure was a well used and abused commuter car has certainly been transformed into one of the wildest Corollas I’ve seen of this generation, and Nukung still isn’t quite finished. He told us that his next project is to completely overhaul the suspension again to make the car even lower. A lot of people will probably scoff at that and say that the car isn’t worth it, but our man here doesn’t care what the naysayers have to say. This car is a true labor of love. Beaten and left on the street to rot away, Nukung saved it because this car meant more to him than a mode of transportation. His story is great example of the bond that can occur between a person and his or her machine, and we’re happy to share his story here at StanceNation. Enjoy a few more photos and as always, feel free to share your comments below.
Cusco Lower Arm Bar
Toyota Levin brake calipers
Toyota Levin shocks strut
Deerfield 5 wheels 16×9 (-13)
All custom Toyota Corolla AE101 parts designed by REAL LOW
Sabelt 4-Point Autocross Belt and Harness Set
6 point roll bar
Tiger interior design
APEXi RSM Rev Speed Meter
E spec Steering column
Miracle cross bar
d.i.y steering wheel
bucket seat recaro spg
20v 4age blacktop 5speed
trust muffler 3″