SP Rides: Dynamic Duo: The Red Mango
BY MICHAEL KITCHENS
Year, Make, Model: 1974 Toyota Corolla
Owner: Billy Ogami
Color: Ford Racing Red
Engine: 3TC built motor, turbo Wideco pistons, big valve heads, cam, BRD Racing EFI intake, computer tuned redline ignition system, Garrett turbo, custom intercooler and piping, BRD Racing turbo manifold, Hi Lux Truck
Transmission/chassis: Transmission and rear diff, custom made frame connectors, rear chrome suspension link bars
Exterior: $8,000 in new chrome, plastic exterior chrome was all triple-dipped same process as steel
Interior: Samurai sapporo shifter, brand new interior
Wheels: 15-inch Weld wheels, Mickey Thompson drag radials
The 1974 Corolla E20 (or the TE27 as it’s known in Japan) is affectionately known as a “mango” thanks to the shape of its rear end. Robby Chipley, also known as “The Frameman,” is a huge fan of them. So much so that he’s been featured in Street Pulse previously for his work. Apparently, he’s quite good at making these fantastic machines into absolute masterpieces. Billy Ogami who just so happens to love mangos, too, goes way back with Chipley. Together, let’s call them the “Dynamic Duo.”
Ogami is a long time drag racer — having dragged all sorts of vehicles down the quarter mile. When it came time to do this former drag racer right, he enlisted the help of who else? Chipley, of course. What they’ve done here is take a dedicated drag Corolla and made it street-able again while keeping a bit of the drag look (as well as the power) intact.
This Corolla is a clone, but man, it’s one heck of a clone. It originally came to their garage with a big hood scoop coming off the left side of the vehicle, through a gaping hole cut through the hood. Of course, that’s a bit much for a street-able TE27, so soon commenced a project of epic proportions.
The entire car was rebuilt from the ground up — a total frame-off chassis reconstruction. The body was straightened, repaired and spot welded in all the right spots for structural rigidity. Then the original two-tone copper paint was taken down to the bare metal in a majority of places — every portion of the body was cleaned up and re-certified fresh for new paint. Altogether, the entire body and chassis was prepped for an incredibly red luster of paint — Ford Racing Red actually (which is a bit of a trip when you think about it).
Even the hood was rebuilt, and the enormous cutout was replaced, rewelded and smoothed to an imperceptible perfect finish. You can’t tell at all and the result is absolutely gorgeous.
Of course, the engine is no joke. The engine bay was gutted with all of the lines replaced and reworked. The engine was placed back in and built to the max with a 3TC fuel injected turbo that when all put together is pushing out 300-plus horsepower easy. With a max tune, 400 horsepower is easily achievable but for now, Ogami liked to keep it sensible — if there is such a thing when you’ve got a fire-breathing Japanese hot rod for a ride.
And to be honest, it didn’t even have a proper interior at the time so a new one was installed to replace the nonexistent one. It features gorgeous red lined seats that look so comfortable and yet racy at the same time. The door panels and rear compartment were matched, and of course, all of the proper running gear is included within — including a snazzy katana shifter for some crazy looks from anyone who happens to peer inside the cockpit.
All of this rides quite nicely on a set of Mickey Thompson drag radials with skinnies on the front and thick meaty sets on the back with Weld Racing wheels for the occasional launch.
Dynamic is certainly the word when it comes to this insane import hot rod. But that’s not all folks — stay tuned for part 2 of the duo in the next issue of Street Pulse.