Owner: Orly Tapay – 1970 Toyota Sprinter
If you are reading this article, I am pretty sure you know someone who has owned a Toyota Corolla at some point in time. Maybe they still own it? Was it was you? The Toyota Corolla is still the best selling Toyota of all time according to Forbes Magazine. With current sales reaching 1.02 million cars sold and with nearly 50 plus years of manufacture, many know it as a car that was built to drive with quality and longevity.
Unfortunately, this article is not about the famous Toyota Corolla, it is about the sister Corolla. Some may know it as the Toyota Sprinter. The Sprinter was not as popular and may not have been the dream car young boys dreamed of, but with the right options this car set the stage for aspiring enthusiasts to enjoy.
Here is a little flashback to 1970, almost 44 years ago. To many that was the time where major trends like, Moodrings, Waterbeds, Pet Rocks, The Brady Bunch, even Happy Days took over our lives. The age that did not depend time on Status Updates, Selfies and Instagram to communicate with each other…This was the era in which Toyota launched their second-generation models of the Corolla and the Corolla Sprinter. Every generation of the Corolla had similar versions of the Sprinter. The Corolla Sprinter soon after dropped the Corolla name and started the independent Toyota Sprinter line. Even though the Sprinter and the Corolla were sister cars both sharing the same platform, the styling was very different.
The Toyota offered several models to choose from, the Deluxe, Hi-Deluxe, and SL model grades, with a choice of single or twin-carburetor 4-cylinder OHV. (Overhead Valve) Engine had a displacement of 1,200 cc or 1,400 cc and the transmission was either a 4- or 5-speed manual or a 2-speed automatic.
History Behind the Sprinter…
The original owner Joe Lotts owned this 1970 Toyota Sprinter till his passing in the early 2000’s. His ultimate plan was to take the car apart for a complete restoration like when he purchased it in 1970.
Joe bought all of the Sprinter’s parts from Toyota where he worked as a Service Program Administrator and started the project piece by piece, part by part, bolt by bolt. The car was driven for roughly 40,000 miles and soon after, sat in his garage along with all of the original parts that he had gathered over time. Years after his passing, Joe’s widow let the car go to Rodel Cantillon, then later sold the car to DB Auto Care’s (Racetoys) owner Raymond Gonzaga to finish the project. Raymond is a hard-core Toyota enthusiast with several TE27’s under his belt. Raymond was lucky to had the opportunity to completely restore the Sprinter bottom up.
With a garage full of original parts, some still in boxes all were left behind by Joe. This ground up restoration took roughly 3 years to complete, from a rotisserie orange paint job, to the exhaust with the original part number and lot number wrapper. This car was made to be put in Toyota’s Automobile Museum for such greatness and originality.
The untouched chassis sits on timeless 13″ Hayashi Street Type ST rims, wrapped in 175/50/13 rubber.
The car was sold one last time in April 2012 to Orly Tapay. Orly is an old school Toyota enthusiast with several 1st place wins at JCCS (Japanese Classic Car Show) as well as TORC (Toyota Owners Racing Club) also known as ToyotaFest.
It’s hard not to admire and appreciate the work that went into creating something so special from the ground up. Whatever he plans to do with the car, you can rest assure that the car will not be neglected.
Big thanks to Orly Tapay and Ray Gonzaga (DB Auto Care) for the opportunity to feature this one of a kind machine.
Till next time…Peace!