1983 Toyota Carina Coupe 1600 GT (TA60)

Up till January 2013, I was driving these 2 wonderful cars - Chery A520 and Porsche Boxster; 

 This Chery A520 model year 2008 from the biggest Chinese car manufacturer Chery Autombile with 2.0 L (about 140 hp) engine power and wonderful fuel efficiency and equally great interior and all those EFI, airbag, ABS, EBD technology in it (which is standard anyway in this modern era) this is indeed a fun sedan/saloon car and certainly quite juicy when you need the speed - I nicknamed this car as my "Blue Dragon". I use this car for works and for other general purpose. The maximum speed I ever reached with this car is just 190 km/h for long distance highway while 160 km/h is my standard speed for medium distance highway.

And then there is this Porsche Boxster model year 2007 from Porsche of course with 2.7 L (about 240 hp) Boxer engine power and certainly an impressive roadster in which I only use during the weekend or certain alternate days if and when I feel like want to use it. It is indeed a fun roadster - love it a lot - but the maintenance cost is quite high - typical for such cars from the big brand name like Porsche. A farmer like me can't really afford to spend so much on cars. By the way I nicknamed this car as my "Red Dragon".

Anyway, both cars are gone now - long story short - sold them both.

I want a car that have 4 seats but also have the sporty looks and features and if possible something reliable like those from the big Toyota of Japan and if possible I want it to be red - thus at the end, we found this car.

Since February 2013, this is now the official car of Shewsbury Land - a real "downgrade" in a way but somehow, the more I use this car, the more I love it... ladies and gentlemen, introducing the new "Red Dragon of Shewsbury Land" - the rare "Toyota Carina Coupe 1600 GT' :

Bought this car for SGD 6,000 (about USD 4,800 / EUR 3,680 / 450,000 Yen) in great condition (for an old school car) and ready to drive as it is;

This is the interior;

The previous owner put quite a good effort to restore and refurnished the interior though in the future I planned to change the whole side and floor carpets with a newer material in black color - but I still need to wait for the money.... sigh

The dashboard - this car is a "high-rev" type and I like it a lot;

This is the exhaust pipe which the previous owner put - I personally dislike it and will change it surely....

And this is the 2T-EU engine - carburetor powered - come to think of it, this is really the first time I owned and drive a carburetor powered car;

The previous owner did installed "oil catch tank" and also some sort of "engine oil cooling unit" - see the picture below;

So yeah, first thing first, we changed the exhaust pipe;

This is the previous exhaust pipe;

Work in progress;

And this is it now the new exhaust pipe;

We also get some stickers and put them around the body to improved the exterior marking;

The logo "CARINA" on this side here are made using sticker;

And the same on the rear here  - "Toyota" and "Carina Coupe" name are made of stickers;

I also put the name "Toyota" at the front - it suppose to be on somewhere on the middle there but since there is no suitable place to put the sticker, at the end we have to settle down with the top position... sigh

The wheels are actually from Toyota Celica Supra Mark II (also known as Toyota Celica XX) model 1985. I dislike the tires because it is some old expired tires, the previous owner choose them simply because of that brand name and emblem in white which make them looks cool specially for an old school car like this. On the other hand for normal driving speed at below 100 km/h this tires still can perform reasonable well - so at the moment I just use them till they worn out but I do want to change them as soon as I can...

That's the new exhaust pipe again - the engine response is much better now with this exhaust pipe;

Apart from the exhaust pipe, I also installed this K&N High-Flow Air Filter to replaced the basic factory air filter to further improved the engine performance - I want better and quicker engine response;

Some information about "airflow" as stated in the box;

So this is how the engine look like now with the K&N air filter installed;

A close up on the K&N air filter;

This Carina (or rather Red Dragon) is an old car - about 30 years old now - is quite heavy - full of solid metal - really feel like a 1980's car. The weight of this car can be quite "a pain in the ass" especially during uphill climbing - pressing the throttle hard and it still feel like eternity. With the new exhaust pipe and high performance air filter, at least the car move a little bit faster than before - and thus in a way it "feels" like it's a little lighter. 

Believe it or not, in order to shave some weight this car now don't have any spare wheels/tires, I leave the spare at home. Anyway, not much we can do with this old lady, can't really push him up to the limit all the time, perseverance is important when driving this kind of cars nowadays.

Overall, this is indeed an old car but the more I drive it,  the more I learn about it, the more I love it. With this car now, I can drive safely just within the 100 km/h speed limit on the highway as I can't push hard on this car. As a cruiser, this car is not bad at all - some people may not notice it - just treat it like an old junkyard car but some people do appreciate the fact that this car is rare now. Apparently, only 6 units of this car entering our country here and only 2 units now still running on the road - 1 of them is this Red Dragon and the other one is in blue color but the engine have been upgraded to the "4A-GE" version (the default engine on the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86). So in a way now, this Carina Red Dragon of Shewsbury (Coupe Version) is the one and only in the country that still running with the original 1600cc "2T-EU" engine (1.6 L).

In terms of high speed and acceleration performance, even with all the upgrades that I did now, this car may not be able to compete with the latest modern car like Toyota Vios, KIA Coupe, Hyundai Tiburon (Hyundai Coupe), Hyundai Veloster and maybe even a Suzuki Swift Sports can kick the ass of this car easily simply because of the heavy weight but even so, the cornering performance of this car is quite admirable and I'm sure this can be improved a little with better tires in the futures.

Maybe most younger people or those who are not into cars so much can't really appreciate the coolness of this car but once a while, there are some young people who would said "Is that the Initial D car?" - LOL of course is not - look a like maybe but totally different - and then some older people who saw this car said "Wow this is a rare car!!!" - that is the time when I feel so proud of my Red Dragon :-)

This lady might be a little older but she is rare and she cruise very well....



  1. HOHOHO... this is a bit too much for me !!! i mean, i think i will not publish something like this in my blog, i don’t have a real car yet and i’m planning to get first a motorbike (much more practical in a crowded city like mine)... by the way, i’m the kind of people that appreciate a car like this, being a compact still looks good and sporty, with a great potential for customization (in a real scale)... i would love this car for sure, it’s my kind !!! =)

  2. I just love old restored cars. It just spell out the word PASSION!


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