INQUIRE ABOUT THIS VEHICLE
Mileage: 251,152 Miles
Engine: 1.6-Liter 16 Valve DOHC 4AGE Engine
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission
Exterior color: Red Exterior (3E6)
Interior: Blue Cloth Interior
3-Spoke Steering Wheel
Cloth Sport Seats
Fold-Down Rear Seats
Recent Engine Rebuild
13-Inch Enkei Formula Mesh Wheels
General Altimax Arctic Tires
15-Inch Enkei Performance Compe Wheels
Extensive Recent Maintenance
The Corolla FX16 was the hot-hatch version of Toyota’s fifth generation Corolla. At the FX16’s heart was the 108-horsepower dual-overhead cam 4AGE engine, which traced its origins to a reverse-engineered Cosworth racing engine. The 4AGE was also used in the AW11 Toyota MR2 and the rear-wheel drive Corolla GT-S. The three-door FX16 hatchback was the lightest application of the 4AGE and arguably the most fun. In a 1986 review, Car and Driver called it a “pocket rocket.” The 4AGE screams to its 7,500 RPM redline, and is the definition of a factory built sleeper. The FX16 was properly fast by late-1980’s standards, and is spry enough to hold its own in the modern world. The austere interior is wonderfully 1980’s Corolla, but is augmented by a three-spoke steering wheel and bolstered cloth sport seats. The fold down rear seats and rear hatch add utility. Suffering the typical fate of practical entry-level hot-hatches many Corolla FX16s were used and enjoyed making surviving examples extremely rare. Those examples that do have benefited from Toyota’s robust reliability capable of reaching comically high odometer readings.
This 1987 Toyota FX16 came to us on partial trade for an E30 BMW 3 Series in 2016, and it was so fun to drive that Alex kept it! It has proudly lived in Glen Shelly stable ever since, rubbing shoulders with all of the Porsches and BMWs that have made their way through the hangar and being touted as: The Most Fun Car to Drive at Glen Shelly! During our time with it, we spent thousands of dollars improving it over the years including some rust mitigation and repainting it in the original Toyota Red. The paint job is good, but certainly not great—fitting for the shop car role that the FX16 has played. While we were at it, we went through the 4AGE engine including resealing it with a fresh head gasket, rear main seal, oil pan gasket, and valve cover gasket. We also replaced the clutch and resurfaced the flywheel, and replaced all tune-up items including the spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor, and drive belts. The suspension was refreshed with all bushings, struts and springs, and the brake system was overhauled with fresh calipers, rotors, and pads on each corner. The only modifications are a Magnaflow exhaust and two sets of wheels. The first are 15-inch Enkei Performance Compe wheels (basically Panasport reps) with all season tires. The second are an ultra rare set of genuine 1980s vintage Enkei Formula Mesh wheels wearing winter tires. The latter were sourced as part of a Jaguar E-Type barn find and fit the FX16 perfectly. The Carfax is clean and there are records dating through the previous owner’s tenure back to 1999. As it sits, this is a fantastic example of a Toyota FX16. The cosmetic condition isn’t perfect (as described below), but it is sorted mechanically and comes with excellent ownership history and documentation.
The Toyota Red paint is in good condition, but certainly not perfect. Close inspection reveals lots of fisheyes and several runs. Prior to it being repainted the front fenders were replaced due to rust, while rust areas in the rear fenders and rockers were repaired. There are no areas that need immediate attention, but as with any 1980s Toyota, potential rust trouble spots should always be monitored. The original paint on the front and rear bumpers is wearing through, and the factory fender flares are not installed. Several were damaged beyond repair during disassembly, but the remaining flares are included in the sale. All light lenses are intact. The windshield was replaced, but the lower windshield cowling was not repainted and could use it, and the one of the windshield trim pieces is missing (we’ve been hunting for one for years). It does not affect the windshield sealing and it does not leak. The side and rear windows are tinted. Both sets of wheels are in excellent shape, but the Formula Mesh wheels are missing one center cap.
Overall the blue cloth interior is in excellent shape considering its age and mileage. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpets are clean and are protected Honda Civic SI floor mats. The headliner does not sag. The front sport seats are very good, with no tears or stains and only minor wear. The headrest trim plastics have disintegrated. The back seats are in very good condition, they fold down nearly flat. The carpet on the back of the seats, and the trunk carpet is in poor condition, but is easily covered by all-weather carpet. The steering wheel has some wear, but it is presentable. The dashboard is crack-free. The factory stereo was replaced long ago and is not available; a modern stereo with Bluetooth resides in its place. The instrument cluster functions all work, but the tachometer can take some time to “come alive” when its cold. Once the ambient temperature warms up. The HVAC panel functions correctly and the heat blows warm. It was originally delivered without air conditioning. The center console and shift knob have minor wear. All interior lights, gauges, buttons, switches, and accessories work. The driver’s door lock cylinder can be finicky with the key, and the rear hatch lock was not installed after painting. The pull cable is accessible and is the preferred method of unlocking the car.
The 4AGE engine starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls comically strong to its 7,500 RPM redline. Rowing through the gears to redline with your hair on fire is giggle-inducing and is what makes the FX16 so fun to drive. Triple digit speeds are attainable, which feel like the fastest 100 mph you’ve ever gone in a car! The mix of intake and exhaust noise is intoxicating and one of the best sounding cars we’ve ever had at Glen Shelly. There are no codes or warning lights. It does not leak or spot, and does not consume oil or coolant. The clutch take up is correct. The gearbox shifts smoothly with the exception of 5th gear, which will pop out occasionally at around 50 mph. Once you learn the car, it isn’t an issue. The driveline is quiet and vibration free. The suspension is firm, yet compliant for Colorado’s poor roads. The brakes are strong and have plenty of life left in them. It passes emissions in the State of Colorado.