The unparalleled love for old Toyotas among Bangladeshi petrolheads is something which is
truly unheard of. From saving retro modding the manual Corolla 90 and the 100s putting large
engines on regular Toyotas to even transforming MarkIIs and Chasers, which have spent most
of their lives as daily beaters, to brutal street machines, the project car scene of Bangladesh
have come a long way especially during the last decade.
However, some people have aspired to take things even further. For example, take a look at the KE70 owned by Ataul Gony.
At first glance, this looks like a very well executed restoration job. Lifting the hood, however,
would reveal the heart of a monster which this has been fitted with. A Yamaha tuned 3S-GE
motor- the exact motor which can be found in many cars including some of Toyota’s legendary
cars from the 90s like the MR-2 and the Celica.
The car we’re talking about here, came with a mere 1.2 liter carbureted engine, enough to take
it from point A to point B and never to make it go sideways. However, Gony got his hands on the
car while dreaming to do something different, something never done on a KE70 Corolla before.
This is when he planned on the 3S-GE swap and in this issue of Turbine, we take an insider
view of the KE70’s journey from when Mr. Ataul Gony got his hands on the car till date.
When and how did the project start?
I love old cars. Cars that have a retro style, a kind of antique look. I am just more in tune with
that, more than anything else.
I searched 3 years for a KE70 and found other cars to buy but I stuck to owning a KE70 and
doing a project on this thing. Finally, I bought my KE70 which was full stock and was in a good
condition with up-to-date documents in 2019. In 2020 I planned to do a project on my KE70.
However, due to the ongoing corona pandemic, my project was delayed several times but hey, I
hold my grip tight.!
Tell us more about the beginning of your journey with this car.
When I got my hands on the car, the first thing I did, way before the project started, was install a
straight pipe setup with 14-inch deep-dish 9j rims and rebuilt the stock engine the car came
List some modifications you have done to your car? How long did it take to build?
It took 2 years in total to finish the project as I hoped. Starting from swapping the stock engine
with a 3S-GE beams paired to a manual transmission, I installed TRD coilovers and RSR
springs, did chassis reinforcements, equipped the KE70 with GAB strut bar, Ultra Racing front
sway, rear strut, fender bars, four-point bars, upgraded the differential, installed larger discs for
brake improvement, went for power steering, upgraded brake booster, hydraulic clutch, Techno
Toy tuning full prothane bush kit, shard camber plate, cooling system upgrade, custom 3inch
exhaust piping with trd sango endbox, 15-inch rays wheels with zestino semi-slick tires,
aftermarket fuel pump and many more.
How does it drive? First drive impression?
It drives just the way I wanted! Although I have to sacrifice some ride comfort because of
coilovers, the real potential shows when I drive this on curvy and twisty streets where this thing
holds both speed and grip while I accelerate in a corner. This car is surely amazing with zero
body rolls. Takes me back to my childhood days when I used to Initial D.
Best memory with your car?
By far, my best memory would be my very first and only long drive from Dhaka to Sylhet with
my KE70 after the project was complete.
The biggest challenge with the car?
My single biggest challenge was to fit everything inside the car. The 3sge is a comparatively
large engine to fit inside an early 80s Corolla. Topping that off with making extra room for other
essential things to run the engine properly was surely a challenging task but the end result was
somewhat of a proper execution.
The next biggest challenge I faced was when arranging parts for the car from overseas. Given
the KE70 being almost a 40 year old car and the Covid 19 surely made it very difficult to source
parts for the project and I had to wait a long time before many of my parts were shipped.
Future plans in terms of modifications? do you plan on letting it go in the future?
No plans of letting it go in the future. If you ask about my plans of modification, well, for now, I
don’t know for now but hey we all can make things better than before when we stick to it.