“I just about walked past it… It was the most unremarkable, rusted car and all I’d seen was the roof, followed by the most intriguing special edition decal that forced me to down tools and be sure I wasn’t missing anything”.
For some time I had been trying to source a set of early CSX / Twincam door cards that were a three month production run fabric to suit my Twincam. Reason being, I’d decided to remove all of the electrical gear installed such as the electric windows and cruise control to make the whole cabin basic and analogue like it should be. With the grace of the internet, I managed to find an early CSX lift back up in Melbourne that was hinting it could be the right car inside to match what I had, but with no pictures of the inside and a chance it was brown in there rather than the nicer Grey / Blue it was a calculated risk, as the yard where this car was sitting was well and truly out of the way!
Upon approach this car was absolutely cooked on the exterior, she had rust from fuel filler to breakfast and in general gave me no hope that the door cars were going to be salvageable… But with just shy of 450,000kms on the clock, the whole thing was factory issue down to the radio in the cabin, and although super grubby, showed loads of potential. I removed the cards and took the glovebox also, as I mentioned this interior was such a short production span that even the plastics are tough to find in the correct colours and my glovebox in particular was very ordinary.
The rear regulators and sleeves were good enough to see a clean up to go in my car, but the fronts were stuffed and that was the reason I sourced the new replacements – see here: AE82 Twincam Window Regulator Replacement – Brand New Non-Genuine Parts!
Once I was finished up with the lift back I was keen to get out of there, carting four door cards and the other stuff around with my tools was a bit much, but out of the corner of my eye I spotted a red corolla that wasn’t listed online, instantly I always hope it’s a twincam and that it might even have some fruit left over.. But it wasn’t, it was just a CS. I just about walked past it… It was the most unremarkable, rusted car and all I’d seen was the roof, followed by the most intriguing special edition decal that forced me to down tools and be sure I wasn’t missing anything…
It was an automatic, the bonnet was up so I started there and worked my way towards to interior and just about put my head through the driver’s side window… What the hell is that dash cluster? I’d never seen one, I confirmed it was factory, established that the car itself had nothing else of interest, it was more of a “awesome dash with a car attached”. The cluster wasn’t really something I was interested in, but based on not knowing what I might need from it to fit the awesome JDM cluster lid into my car, I bought the lot… For $20! From what I’ve researched the cluster is very similar to a Ce80 Diesel unit, I never knew they made diesel AE82’s!
I’d never seen one of these in Australia before, let alone it being complete and in super solid condition. I also took the right hand side vent plastic as it was a better quality moulding and a different plastic to the flimsy Australian material served up.
I spent a good amount of time on the cluster cover, cutting down and modifying a spare factory cluster cover to just the plexi cover that sits over the instrument panel itself. This was a really sensitive process and required a heap of patience and quite a bit of sanding to really neaten it all up and make it sit properly without all of its usual support.
The rear wiper and demister buttons are totally different to look at, but are the same wiring and plug connectors as the factory issue switches.
This was a great visit to the yard, I scored the trims I wanted and also left with other fruit I never anticipated finding… I’ll be back up to the wreckers soon and will be certain to document any cool stuff I come across!