Er are countless people who have memories of their first own car. Or their parents' car. More than today, Mum and Dad's car was also the pride of the children. We received a short, but very nice memory from Wim Janssens from Herenthout, Belgium. The 52-year-old self-employed roofer still gets warm feelings when thoughts of his parents' first car, a Toyota Corolla KE20. "Very special. My sister and I even got to pick out the color. The car made an impression and so much that I bought one myself, from 1976. It is the car we used to have at home when I was little. ”
So the Toyota Corolla E20. That was the second generation of Toyota's bestseller with the type name that still sounds so strong today that Toyota renamed its latest asset in the smaller middle class Corolla. At the same time, entire tribes will not be able to imagine anything at the E20. Yet that was a very serious player in the XNUMXs, which made it impossible to imagine Europe without the Corolla.
De Toyota Corolla was immediately successful
Introduced in 1970, the two-door coach stood out thanks to a rather slanted C-pillar and styling that had strong coke bottle shape traits. A striking and carefully finished car, which already became the world's best sellers in the first years. The chassis of the rear-wheel drive Corolla was different from the first generation, except that the E20, for example, McPhersons and a stabilizer at the front and mounted. The E20 was available (market dependent) coach and sedan, as a combi (3 and 5 door), van and coupé. Several generations of the Toyota Corolla were the basis for the cosmetically slightly different Sprinter for the Japanese market. The Sprinter based on the E20 was available with a two-door, four-door and coupé body.
The second generation of the Corolla and the Sprinter was available with 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 liter engines. Special were the twin-cam 1.588 cc engines with double carburettors, which had capacities of more than 100 HP. The fastest versions were called Sprinter Trueno and Corolla Levin. Domestic market Japan had the most engine and power variants, the export markets were less fortunate in that sense. In the Netherlands and Belgium, the Corolla E20 was available with the 1.2 engine, which could be combined with various body styles. This generation was also built from 1970 to 1978, and that was remarkable at Toyota, because the successor to the Toyota Corolla E20 was first seen in 1974. Various sources also report that the E20 already left the field in 1974. That is true to some extent, but the two- and four-door versions were built through May 1978. In the Netherlands, the two-door variant was available until May 1978 during the last four years. Incidentally, the four-door version was also built until May 1978, which, for example, could still be ordered in Belgium until the end.
Toyota Corolla KE20 from late year of manufacture
Wim Janssens' classic Toyota also dates from the second half of the 1976s. Janssen's car was registered in 20 and is a two-door 1.166 Grand Luxe. The Toyota has a 55 cc engine with 20 HP. This configuration means that this variant has the internal code name KE20 (this coding strongly depends on bodywork and engine type). It was not for nothing that he came on Wim's path: his parents' car was the source of inspiration in the search for the classic that Janssens owns. The Toyota Corolla KEXNUMX looks fine from the pictures. And not only that: there is also a far-reaching degree of originality.
Memories of the past, classic of today
The Belgian owner is married and has three children. That also brings him back to then. “I still have wonderful memories of the many journeys we used to make in this car with our parents. We sat in the back seat with three children, quite normal then, but you can hardly imagine it anymore. ” As it is also hard to imagine that this Toyota Corolla KE20 regularly appeared in the traffic image. That is why we are pleased that Wim Janssens cherishes his copy. Because the sales success of yesteryear has become a rarity today.
Thanks to Wim Janssens and Ron Moës (technical info)