May 17, 2022 By Francis G. Pallarco Photos by Joey Yepez

TOM’S VERSION: Check out this ultra-rare TOM’S Corolla Turbo

During the late nineties, a specially prepped, high-performance vehicle was available for anyone who had the budget for it. Brought about by the collaboration between TOM’S Asia and Kilton Motors, it is none other than the limited-edition TOM’S Corolla Turbo. Back then, Kilton motors not only sold surplus automotive parts and race gear, but they were also responsible for race prepping the Corolla cup racecars for the highly competitive Philippine Touring Car Championship. On the other hand, Tachi Oiwa Motor Sport or TOM’S has been catering to the aftermarket needs of hardcore Toyota enthusiasts since its inception in 1974. With a huge parts selection ranging from superchargers to body kits, it remains popular to this day. I imagine that if such a car of the same quality were to be similarly developed again and sold through local Toyota dealers, I’m pretty sure it would do good. But hard as it is to believe, the TOM’S Corolla Turbo didn’t sell that many, ultimately causing it to become discontinued even before it could gain notoriety among enthusiasts. I guess not everyone knew about it or wasn’t aware of its huge potential as a future collectible car.

Unlike the Corolla Cup racecars that were gutted-down streetcars geared for track use, the TOM’S Corolla Turbo was a road going version equipped with a mix of go-fast and look good accessories. A complete TOM’S turbo kit with matching TOM’S Engine Control System (TECS) can be found under the hood that significantly bumped up the power level of the 1.6-liter engine to around 150 whp. As for the aesthetics department, a multi-piece body kit adorned the body, complete with a fiberglass hood that integrated a gaping scoop to draw in more air for the top mount intercooler. It also had TOM’S strut bars, exhaust, suspension and even a set of 15-inch wheels. After considering all the TOM’S stuff that it has, it was truly a groundbreaking feat in our local automotive scene. Looking back, it also gave Toyota the edge to compete against the Honda Civic SiR and the Mazdaspeed 323. The practice of offering specially equipped cars isn’t something new, but I believe this is still the proper way of marketing a car to make it more appealing and help develop its own “Street Cred” among enthusiasts.

Given its low production figures, finding a TOM’S Corolla Turbo for sale has become wishful thinking. But anything is still possible in this day and age, given the right situation with a bit of luck and fate. Elements that explains how Christopher Delgado a.k.a. Topeng Delgado stumbled upon this TOM’S Corolla Turbo. Something that combines two elements that he is most passionate about. That is nothing but Corolla’s and anything TOM’S. “I’m an avid fan and collector of the Tachi Oiwa Motor Sport (TOM’S) performance parts and accessories. From wheels, steering wheels, shift knobs, foot pedals, Lug nuts, key chain, apparels you name it. It’s the thrill of hunting them and the spirit of competition. It never fails to give me a bizarre feeling of happiness whenever I get hold of something TOM’S, although my better half would feel otherwise.” He started out in the hobby by modding a nineties-era AE92 Corolla that he sold to progress to an 8th-Gen AE111 Corolla, locally dubbed as “Love Life”.

His constant search for anything TOM’S paid off when he found a brand new old stock (BNOS) TOM’S turbo kit for his Corolla. A significant find which caught the attention of his dad as he explains, “My father (being a former estimator to an Insurance and Car Shop in Quezon Avenue) got excited when he learned that the TOM’S turbo kit was a dealer upgrade option made specially for Corolla’s. A week later he told me that he knew someone who had a real TOM’S Corolla Turbo.” Good news alright, unfortunately the owner was always abroad. After a year of waiting and despite fending off other offers, a deal was finally made. Years of neglect took its toll on the car, but it was mostly intact as Christopher explains,“Since it had a broken rear quarter glass, I replaced all the glass panels with a complete set of factory brown tinted ones. For the engine, I only added an HKS air filter and some hoses, as I plan to maintain the turbo engine in its original/mint condition as long as I can.”  The body and paint was done by Pathrick Bautista of Tatangworks HQ and detailed by Vannie Aranador and Frank Arevalo of KKK Auto detailing. “As much as I wanted to make it a straight catalog build, I cannot resist having something out of the ordinary.” Instead of using the 15-inch, TOM’S five-spoke wheel he opted for a 16-inch, TOM’S NA-R wheels with the iconic TOM’S-style, double-cross pattern. Inside, the interior houses a pair or Recaro SR3 Seats with TOM’S safety harness, HKS gauges, AE111 GT panels, together with its carpet and rare climate control.

After all the time spent sourcing for TOM’S parts and the amount of work put into this build,  it really paid off big time in the end. This is because he has successfully brought back the former glory of this limited edition TOM’S version Corolla. All the while adding his own style by adding a dash of unique parts from TOM’S no less. With his passion for Corolla’s and TOM’S, this particular Corolla seems to have been destined for him as if seemingly brought together by fate. Wouldn’t you agree?

SPECIFICATIONS

1999 TOM’S Turbo Corolla (AE111)

Christopher Delgado a.k.a. Topeng Delgado

KKK Car Wash and Auto Detailing

 Engine:                   

4AFE with TOM’S Turbo Kit

Engine Type :

1.6-Liter, Inline-4, DOHC, 16 Valve,

Turbocharged and intercooled,

Engine Mods:         

TOM’S Turbo Kit, TOM’S Full Exhaust, TOM’S Oil Cap,

TOM’S Radiator Cap, HKS Air Filter, NGK Plug Wires,

Engine Management:       

TOM’S Engine Control System (T.E.C.S.)

Transmission:         

5-Speed manual

Horsepower:            

150 WHP

Suspension Mods:   

BC (8/6) Coil overs

Brake Mods:                       

2-pot Caliper front disk brakes, Rear disk brakes,

APP braided hoses, Toyota Double Diaphragm Hydrovac

Rollers:                     

TOM’S NA-R Wheels (16×7, et35), Federal Evo RSR Tires (205/45R16)

Volk Rays TE16 Wheels (16×7 et33), Nankang AR1 Tires (205/45R26)

Interior Mods:        

TOM’S Strada Steering Wheel with TOM’S Horn Button, TOM’S Pedals,

TOM’S Matting, TOM’S Shift  knob, TOM’S 4-pt Harness with TOM’s Pads,

Recaro SR3 Leman’s Confetti Semi-bucket Seats, AK-Spec Harness Bar,  Arospeed Quick Release, Arospeed slim hub, AE111 GT Climate Control,

AE111 GT Shift boot, Center Console, panels, carpet, HKS Boost Gauge,

HKS Turbo Timer, Key Ring

 Exterior Mods:

TOM’S Version Body Kit: Front & Rear Bumper, Side Skirts, Hood with scoop,

Rear spoiler with brake light, Wrap-around Brown Glass,

Kudos To:                   

Vannie Aranador, Frank Valencia, Geron Bonita KKK Carwash & Auto detailing, Delbros, Tatang Pathrick Bautista of Tatangworks HQ, Koya Sherwin Bargos of  SBSalon, Christian Prieto of Japan Auto Parts (J.A.P.), Michael Angelo Las Turing of TJR Autohub, To my friends and mentors – Alex Constantino, Ron Presley, John Michael Luna, Dan Lester Contreras, Ariel Diaz, Noel Sarmiento, Grupo Toyota, JDMUndergroundPH, E11 Virus, To my loved ones for the understanding, patience, support & immeasurable love Thank you all

KKK Car Wash & Auto Detailing

Rodriguez Ave, Brgy. San Andres, Cainta Rizal.

Waze pin location: KKK Carwash and Auto Detailing

09175262508 / 09155504424

© C! 2003-2022. All Rights Reserved. Designed by