As I was entering the building, this classic white Corona resting in its crib caught my sight. I would not have spotted it if the hood were not painted black. Apart from the iconic paint job, there was not much to grasp about the car.
On my way out, I noticed someone in the Corona's cockpit. Just as I was about to exit the building, its engine fired off and I could not resist turning my head. Behind its decent looks, there had to be some sort of sturdy powerhouse, it could not just be a Corona fitted with a counterfeit exhaust system.
Being unable to contain my want, I approached the person behind the wheels hoping to peek under the hood. The pilot - Abeerul Abedin - also the owner of the car, stepped out of the car, popped the hood, and blew my mind on the spot!
Abeerul replaced his 1998 Premio Corona's stock 4A-FE, 1600cc engine with a 4th-generation 3SGTE, 2,000cc engine - one of the best motors to have been ever manufactured by the Japanese prodigy Toyota. The 3SGTE engine on this car can deliver a maximum of 253BHP at 6,000RPM. Furthermore, this Corona's engine is powered by an all-wheel drivetrain.
In order to rebuild the car, the engine and the drive train has been taken from a completely knocked down unit of a Caldina ST215W GT-T as both the cars share similar chassis dimensions. To further enhance the performance, the stock exhaust system has been ripped off and replaced with a custom 2.5-inches exhaust piping with Injen Technology muffler.
In regards to performance, Abeerul said, "The performance is very smooth. I did not have to install aftermarket piston or camshaft yet, but I do have plans of enhancing its performance in the future and improve stability by installing struts underneath."
This 1998 Corona is being fed Idemitsu engine oil and a TRD engine oil filter keeps its stomach clean. For faster airflow, Abeerul uses Blitz drop-in air filter. To amplify braking force, the brakes are being fed with Brembo Dot 4 brake fluid. And to keep differential cool, Abeerul uses Red Line differential oil.
In a sense, all the major stock components of this four-wheeler have been pulled out and replaced with better counterparts. The brakes have been taken from Caldina; twin pot brake in the front and single pot brake in the rear. Abeerul uses Project Mu brake pads on his Corona. And for better handling, the car is equipped with KYB New SR Special shocks paired with RS-R lowering springs.
Reflecting on the car's handling, Abeerul mentioned, "Power without control is nothing. Keeping that in mind, I decided to put on 17-inch TE37 Volk rims wrapped up by Zestino 215/45/ZR17 tyres."
Lastly, as the car was converted to an all-wheel drive train, the differential had to be placed beneath the car and hence the fuel tank had to be shifted to the trunk. The new fuel tank has been taken from a Mark 2 GX90. It has the capacity to hold 60 liters of gasoline.
Now, the best part is that with this modified 1998 Corona, Abeerul managed to pull of a top speed of 176kmph.
Why did you choose to modify a 1998 Premio Corona?
"This car has been a part of our family for the past 17 years. I grew up with this car. I have driven many cars but my bonding with this Corona is unique and beyond comparison. My confidence level while driving easily blends in with this car and it feels good to ride this car too. My love for this car led me to presenting it with a new heart."
What sets your heart to drive cars?
"I started driving from a very early age. When I was a kid, I would often sit on my father's lap and steer the car on the streets. Since then, it has been like an addiction to me."
"After a hectic day at work, when I head out on a spirited drive at night, it gives me a certain pleasure that can not be explained in words."