Paul Harrison knows his way around old Corollas. He found his first TE27 in an alley not to far from his house. It came equipped with a cage and side draft carbs, Paul and his brother thought it was their ticket to get into rally driving. Fast forward to 2004 and Paul acquired his 3rd Corolla, a 1972 TE27, the one you see here. He stripped it the day he got and started on rust repair and adding some custom touches right away.
Paul had a variety of other cars while he was building the Corolla, a few 86s, an old focus SVT, and an old escort. All his cars were lightly modified but his TE27, more commonly referred to as “The Mango”, has been the real project.
Originally, the Mango was ripping up local gravel roads and the occasional Auto-X, but one day on a trip to the local junkyard would change that. He ran into a fellow named Chris who turned him towards a local forum and a drift event. The rest was history.
Autocross was already feeling a little constricting for his style, and to properly go rallying was out of his budget. Paul quickly became a regular of various local industrial parks and began to perfect a new style of driving for the Mango.
There was no easy start, the unique suspension of the Mango meant that it was a tough car to figure out. This was right around the time that he picked up his first 86, which with a few light mods had seemed like the perfect drift car. The 86 solidified his love of drifting and after driving a properly set up car, Paul knew he had room to grow.
The Mango went back to the drawing board. He changed the geometry and added a Panhard bar to the rear. Paul said there was a night and day different. He started competing in local drift events with the Mango in '07, with his best showing coming in '09. After that season, he bought a house with a nice new garage and tore into the Mango. The previous season had taken almost all the life out of the engine, and a swap was needed. Swapping in a Beams 3sge on ITB's seemed like a good bet!
He’s back again competing all while still constantly modifying and re-engineering the car. Here is a bit of a “spec” list that Paul was kind enough to send me. Note the frequent use of “custom”, you don’t exactly grab off-the-shelf parts for this car!
- Jake Miller (Photos by Jake Miller)
Mod list: AE86 GTS rear axle Welded kouki diff Kouki axles 86 calipers and mkI supra rear discs Custom leaf springs 2" blocks added to axle mounts and additional thin plates to fine tune ride height Camaro rear KYB agx shocks Custom panhard and mount (TE27 had no pan hard bar), Custom upper links from gts axle also custom mounted to body Beams 3SGE 16v 2L dual vvti, AW111 4age ITBs Custom ITB to manifold adapter T3 velocity stacks, Uni filters Custom high rise 4-1 header Cromo flywheel from Japan 6 puck copper sprung hub clutch Adaptronic 420d basic selec ECU custom wiring harness Altezza rs200 fuel pump and regulator mounted in surge tank Very large Griffin aluminum dual pass radiator Steering has been swapped to rack and pinion from steering box Modified AW11 Rack Custom steering arms and custom tie rods TRD te27 trunk spoiler(copy) Fiberglass front flare molded to fiberglass fenders Rear flares are Dodge Omni front flares that have been reshaped and welded to the rear Old beat up hood with holes cut in it And much more to come this winter!