In this episode of Dude I Love (or Hate) My Ride, we take a look at a Toyota Starlet from New Zealand.
This tiny Toyota Starlet has a 1.3-liter gas engine that makes about 60 horsepower. That’s not a ton of horsepower, but weighing in at 700 kilograms (under 1,600 lbs) that’s plenty to make this little ride pretty quick.
Lots of people converted these vehicles into rally cars and autocross racers. They were deceptively maneuverable. Even in the United States, these cars garnered a bit of an underground following. As a matter of fact, lots of older Toyotas (even unpopular ones) are beginning to become collectible.
American versions did have carbureted engines back in the day, but they were rare. The owner converted his to fuel injection. After investigating a leak, he opted to completely rebuild the whole engine.
It comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive with a TRD limited slip rear differential and few frills. There is no air conditioning, no power steering, no power windows or power locks.
One cool thing people forget about these older cars is their robust capacity. The old Toyota Starlets didn’t have much in the way of safety features or electronics weighing it down. As such, it was rated with a half-ton carrying capacity, which is extreme. That is for the overseas model, mind you.
The owner takes on a insightful tour of this slick little ride and demonstrates it’s fun party trick: its TRD limited-slip diff in action. This tour includes a comprehensive look at the tool-box, brochures, tech info and more. It’s a fun video for a sweet little ride!