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A quick introduction to Corolla mod culture

Nov 01, 2017

Modified Toyota Corolla

You already scour DIY blogs for home decor inspiration, custom-order your clothing, and meticulously curate your social media feeds. So why not personalize your car?

From the hot rods of the 1930s, to the lowriders of 1980s and 90s West Coast hip-hop scene, car modification has long been popular with creative car fans around the world. Today, shows like Pimp My Ride and Fast N’ Loud continue to spread interest in “modding” culture, while fans around the world congregate in online forums to swap pictures of their projects and discuss techniques.

Modifications can be superficial, like with the additions of decals or spoilers, or they could be done to enhance performance, like with an engine turbo kit or a larger back exhaust. But no matter the scale, modifications allow car owners to design their perfect driving experience.

Even Toyota has experimented with mod culture. In 2016, the company teamed up with Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs to turn the classic 4-door Corolla into a slick 2-door sports coupe.

Corolla’s place in the modification community

The Toyota Corolla is the bestselling car of all time — over 40 million have been sold around the world — so it’s no surprise the model has occupied an important space within global modification culture.

The quickest way to connect with this active community of Corolla owners is online: Popular sites like Toyota Nation, Corolla Forum, Corolland, and the Toyota Owners Club bring together thousands of Corolla lovers who offer support and share the results of their latest modding projects.

If you’d prefer to appreciate their creativity first hand, take a road trip to Quebec for Toyotafest, or cross the border for California’s All Toyotafest. And if you can score a great deal on a flight, there's also a massive Corolla fan base in New Zealand. Every year, the country hosts the Toyota Festival — complete with races, giveaways and displays of old-school Toyotas like the AE86, FX-GT, Celica, and Levin. This year, the festival celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Corolla’s arrival in New Zealand with Corolla-only track and drifting sessions, and a designated area for Corolla owners to show off their vehicles.

Mechanic Working

Popular Corolla mods

When it comes to car modification, Corolla lovers can get a little intense — just take a look at this bubblegum pink Corolla Trueno, or the Youtube series documenting Pat Cyr’s modern restoration of an original Toyota AE86. But the vast majority of Corolla modders stick to the classics: adjusting the suspension, installing brake kits, and optimizing the engine through cold air intakes or turbo kits.

Looking for the perfect part for your beloved ride? Many Corolla owners choose to go straight from the source. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) is Toyota’s in-house mod shop. Here, you’ll find a wide range of parts that are specifically designed for Toyota vehicle.