NZ Performance Car

LEVIN LA MALA VIDA

As a holistic ‘car scene’, we’ve become so wrapped up in slapping labels on everything: it’s a sleeper; it’s a restomod; it’s stanced; and so on it goes. There’s a box to fit every taste, every style.

There is one train of thought, however, that transcends any tag clipped onto a build in an attempt to explain it. Coolness. It’s inexplicable, totally subjective, and invites further scrutiny, with an endgame aimed at enriching one’s own automotive experience. ‘Coolness’ encourages, it inspires, and it’s the fuel that keeps what we do, as a car community, ticking.

Cars like Marcus Lord’s 1978 TE37 Corolla Levin replica epitomize coolness in its absolute form. This is a build that bellows subtlety from the outside, but oozes careful consideration and dedication to a task. Inwardly, it exudes an eye for pinpoint detail and thoroughness. To simply put it in a box and stroll on would be doing both the car and an onlooker a disservice. The Corolla not only warrants further inspection, it also demands it.

This Corolla’s story begins off the back of a string of ’90s Japan’s greatest hits. Marcus hit the streets spinning all four, hunkered down in the driver’s bucket of an E39A Galant VR-4, eventually graduating to an FD RX7, before a silhouette a little more sedate caught his eye, by chance more than anything else.

“I just

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