If you could build a car to the exact specifications of your brake fluid-soaked dreams, what would it be? Besides those of us afflicted with Volvo 1800ES-itis, most would pick something topless and lightweight, with a free-revving and highly responsive powerplant in a package a little different than the average Mustang. Find this 1962 (titled) CMC/Brunton/AE86 Corolla Lotus Seven replica for $11,000 in Philadelphia, PA. Words and tip from DT commenter & contributor slowcarSLOW-MPGlol.
If you're curious about this car's origins, open up a few Google tabs and block off your afternoon. Here's a summary: It's a Toyota AE86-based kit car mashup with extraneous parts coming from big-name suppliers like Megasquirt, Autometer, and Kirkey in a beguiling Dodge Viper blue. Ignore the "purist" snobs; brand-name potpourri makes this the ultimate homage to a car marquee made famous by employing parts from multiple sources to reduce costs and add lightness.
The JDM-only 20-valve 4AGE 1.6L is a fantastic choice in this application: Velocity stacks. 162 horsepower. 8,500 RPM. 10.5:1 compression ratio. And VVT, Toyota's VTEC. This screamer is rare and sought-after in the States, so don't let the word out that you have one if you ever want to park it outside and turn your back on it, ever. The lightweight Diamond Racing wheels aren't shown but probably look like this.
The seller is listing it presumably because he hasn't found any good roads in northeast Philly on which to exploit this street-legal racer. Its individual throttle bodies have probably spent more time sucking air on the New Jersey Turnpike than any car with a roll bar has a right to (by the way, if someone from Philadelphia says "rides nicely on bumps," take their word for it. They have seen hell). Priced at half the going rate of a used Caterham, this could very well be the car of your daily driver dreams.
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slowcarSLOW-MPGlol knows how many licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop, and he's not telling. As someone with a B+ blood type, he considers himself an optimist. Unless it has structural rust.