by Michael Kitchens
I’m sure many of you have heard the idiom, “So clean you can eat off it.” Well, let me tell you about this 1986 Toyota Corolla GT-S — it is absolutely the cleanest car I have ever seen! There isn’t one iota of dirt anywhere on this chromed-out, dropped and fully modified tribute to JDM perfection. The owner, Lance Harano, seems to have a serious case of OCD when it comes to doing things right. The result is absolutely mind-blowing.
I first saw this car at the recent SPOCOM event and probably spent a good 15 minutes just staring at this beauty. It is, without a doubt, a splendid example of the blood, sweat and tears that automotive enthusiasts pour into their vehicles. Lance admits he has a love for Toyotas, and this car is one of many he’s put his mark on since the age of 15. His stable has included everything from a 1972 suicide door wagon to a 1975 Toyota Corolla. He’s also the proud owner of a right-hand drive 1973 “Mango” Corolla shipped directly from Japan.
Originally black in color and purchased more than 10 years ago, this GT-S was involved in a minor collision — an accident that spurred Lance to kick into high gear. Being a self-taught mechanic, he stripped the car down to the bare metal and then proceeded to stitch-weld the chassis.
“I’d rather do it,” he says of his reluctance to rely on shop work. “If I can do the repair, then why take it to someone else?”
Built in his garage, the car features many self-fabricated components, and the attention to detail is impeccable.
After sending the body off to get painted, Lance moved to the engine. The jeweled heart of this car is a fully chromed, rebuilt and balanced AE92 Red Top that is practically blinding. Seriously, the engine in this car should be in a rap video. It’s pure bling. While at the body shop, a Glacier Frost paint job by Hiroshi Performance was applied to the newly added body components, including a Runfree Levin Type II Aero kit with a J-Blood FRP Hood. A Seibon carbon fiber hood, rolled fender flares and Cashiew Aero mirrors add the accents that make this GT-S really pop.
The interior is just as clean as the exterior and features svelte BRIDE Low Max Carbon Kevlar reclinables and a carbon fiber dash. One of the cooler additions is the very rare (in the U.S.) JDM digital cluster. (Michael Knight, eat your heart out!)
Continuing the overhaul, this Corolla features more unseen customization, including a TRD T-50 transmission, a one-piece driveshaft and a Cusco LSD that mates to SSR XR-4s, with 15×9- 27 fronts covered with 175-50 Nexens. The rears are 15×10-28 with 195-50 Falkens and make the drop look good. Greddy &Tanabe suspension components are a win and a Battle Version Panhard bar rounds out the exceptional features.
Although Lance is a very soft-spoken, humble guy, it’s obvious that he demands perfection — of himself and the work he puts into his rides. As a fellow enthusiast, I can really appreciate his work ethic. He has to do everything right — from the bare sheet metal all the way down to the bolts that hold it all together.
As Lance says, “You can’t build something half-way.”