Earlier this year I had a job that required me to commute by car every day. Even though it was normally only a 17-minute drive, it meant I was stuck in a traffic jam every day. One day I noticed an interesting car in my rearview mirror and I immediately took my phone out of my pocket. As it passed by in the other lane, I could enjoy this fusion 1992 Toyota Carina II AT171 very much!
What’s the (con)fusion?
If you’re wondering why I call it a fusion car, that’s simply because it is half-JDM inspired and half-German inspired. In my rearview mirror, I could see the headlights were replaced by yellow bulbs. The yellow headlamps are actually a French thing and I did a video about yellow headlights that a long time ago. Lately, the VW and BMW scenes adopted the yellow headlamps as well as a cool retro thing. So if this Carina has yellow headlamps, it’s definitely not JDM but French.
Another fusion element is the wheels. These are BBS-inspired wheels (I can’t confirm they are real) and I must say they do suit the Carina II very well!
Finally, the JDM element is this second-generation Carina II: the license plate holder. It reads トヨタ JDM Toyota implicating this is a JDM car. Actually, there isn’t anything JDM on this car as it features European tail lights with its fog lights. The Carina II is a Corona in the Japanese domestic market. If the owner would have swapped its badges, there would definitely have been a JDM element to this. In retrospect, that would have been a bad thing to do as when I shot this photo we were only six months out of the last and final Corona lockdown.
As it is a 1992 model, it’s also a facelift model. This means the tail lights are divided into two separate rows of lights, while the pre-facelift model has vertical separation. The Carina is a 1.6 XLi, making this a 4A-FE powered car. A 4A-GE swap would be relatively easy and maybe even the AE101 super struts will even fit. So many possibilities with this car!