Reader Sighting: Toyota Corolla “Boss 302” – There’s More Here Than First Meets The Eye

CC reader Dave B. sent me these two shots of “a neat little hot rod. Any idea what it is?”  Yes, it’s a Corolla, from about 1976-77 or so (E30/50). But there’s several things that are unlike the typical old Corolla beater here in Eugene. Starting with the bumpers; these are not US-grade 5-mile bumpers. Nor is the exhaust. But the mystery is only starting.

Yowza! That’s quite the hood scoop. The delicate front bumper and the steering wheel on the right side confirm that this is almost certainly originally a JDM car. But was the hood scoop added there or here?

I was intrigued by the lettering on its side stripe. A crop reveals it to say “Boss 302”. Ok. I’m not too convinced there’s actually a Boss 302 engine under the hood, as that would both have run afoul of the Japanese testing authorities and almost certainly there would be more tell-tales from the outside of such an engine swap. It’s sitting in a normal stance, doesn’t have very big wheels and tires, and there’s that single exhaust in the back.

My guess is it’s a classic case of wishful thinking, having a little fun with the idea of a Boss 302 under the hood. But I could be wrong.