The Chris Hodgetts Corolla GT Coupe – 30 Years On

I can still vividly remember seeing the original Corolla GT Coupe in British Touring Car Racing. 30 years ago, I was standing at Donington Park, the exit of the hairpin onto the start / finish straight. Each lap, the Corolla exited the hairpin with a touch of oversteer, the high revving 4A engine screaming.

Just as spectacular across the chicane after passing under the Dunlop Bridge, Chris’ flamboyant style using the agility of the car across all of the kerbs. By the end of the race, my right ear was ringing from repeated doses of 4 cylinder noise as he passed on each lap.

Nobody knows what became of the original car. It was allegedly sold overseas, but there the trail goes cold. With the global appetite for the Corolla GT Coupe as a drift car, we can imagine where it ended it’s days.

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So this recreation of the car by Toyota GB brings back fond memories. It may well not be the real thing, but it looks accurate in every detail from my eyes.

The Corolla GT Coupe is the car that introduced me to the concepts of the limited slip differential and oversteer. I owe this car a debt of gratitude that I both survived my initial encounters and went on to enjoy many happy hours behind the wheel of the GT Coupe back in the day.

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Author: Neill Watson

If you love the sound of the Cosworth V8 as much as the V12 Merlin, the smell of Jet A1 as much as Castrol R and admire the late Ray Hanna as much as Sir Stirling, you’ll find you’re both on the same page. Neill's love of art deco buildings means that his ideal home would be a brilliant white, 1930′s control tower in Southern France, with crisply mown grass, biplane parked on the driveway and a Ferrari 288GTO in the garage. This is something that those around him tolerate, though it does concern them from time to time.

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