Roger Moore Gets 10,000 Pounds of Turbo Boost In His '82 Corona GT

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

American car ads of the early 1980s came up short in several departments: Burning rubber, jet-engine-grade turbocharger sound, and blatantly sped-up film that made the cars appear to be going 300 MPH. Oh, and they also lacked James Bond!


Since my very first set of wheels was a 50-buck ’69 Corona sedan, I have a soft spot for the not-so-sporty rear-drive Toyota sedans. Not-so-sporty in North America, that is; 1982 car shoppers could still buy a new Corona— in theory, though almost never in practice— but the versions we got were hopelessly stodgy, more suited for the regional sales manager of a faltering plumbing-supply company than, say, a Yakuza enforcer in a $10,000 Italian suit. Not so in Japan, where you could buy a mean-looking Corona GT coupe with “TWIN CAM TURBO” in bright orange letters on the steering wheel and ten billion whistling horsepower under the hood. Well, maybe not quite ten billion horsepower; with the 3T-GTE, Roger Moore was getting 160 PS (about 157 HP) when he leadfooted it out of the TWIN CAM TURBO 18-wheeler in search of baddies. That’s still plenty of power for the time, especially in a 2,500-pound car.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • KixStart KixStart on Feb 15, 2011

    Is tthat car the father of the Supra?

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    • Zas Zas on Feb 16, 2011

      I'd call it the red-headed step-child... my friend's mom had the last RWD Corolla sold here in the USA, and I remember doing him doing donuts in the winter while I did donuts in my family's beater, a Ford LTD RWD Station Wagon. Ah, those were fun days.

  • Twin Cam Turdo Twin Cam Turdo on Feb 16, 2011

    Murilee, Interesting timing! I just bought (last weekend) one of these in Carina form. Let me know if you are looking for more info. I also have a few brochures, tech write-ups and road tests. Assuming that I read things correctly, the 0-400 m time is about 15.7 to 15.8 seconds.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.
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