NY Rollaz Old School Import Car Meet
Updated: Sep 8
Summer is almost over, and for many, that means putting away your fun car if you have one or preparing for rough weather conditions over the next few months. Winter in the northeast is like hibernation for classic Toyotas, beyond that it can be the most oportune time to make repairs or upgrades you've been clamoring for all year. That's why I'm celebrating these photos from the middle of spring that was taken by my good friend Johnny (former AE86 owner) when he attended NY Rollaz's Old School Import Car Meet. This event took place in New York City under the Throgs Neck Bridge, old stomping grounds for myself and a few of my buddies back when part of my tool list was an ice scraper. I was glad to see some familiar cars rolling around like Justin's AE71 Toyota Corolla Hardtop coupe, and plenty of new cars from faces I haven't seen in a while. It would've been great to attend in person but hopefully, I'll make a trip back to my hometown sometime soon to capture a part of the culture that inspired my love for everything automotive. For now, please enjoy the photos.
The TE37 Toyota Corolla SR5 coupe is probably the most beautiful body style of this generation of Corolla. What is basically a TE37 Levin with a 2T-C engine instead of a 2TG, the SR5 model has sleek lines that end in a notchback trunk with faux vents on each quarter panel. The rear taillights mimic that of the Ford Mustang from the same era and lend to its' sporty look. The owner here decided to add some JDM flare by installing a set of OEM fender mirrors from Japan, as well as a set of period-correct Hayashi Street Type CR wheels that sit under the beautiful original orange wheel arches.
Speaking of orange, check out this TE72 Toyota Corolla 1.8 that's sitting on VMS Typhoon drag racing wheels. The TE72 chassis is a staple of the northeast classic Toyota scene, so many people grew up in families where this was the everything car and eventually was passed down to become something else. With a large Puerto Rican population in NYC, the influence is surely sticking on these cars so many years after they were sold, it's the chassis that brought the drag racing scene from the island to prominence.
As I said, the TE72 is coveted by many, it's a humble car but it doesn't stop some owners from adding some shine to the engine bay and bumper.
As an event for all classic imports, plenty of cool cars from other brands like Mazda were in attendance.
This is Justin's AE71, he's owned it now for at least a couple of decades. The hardtop body style makes this particular model stand out from other Corolla models of its time along with the striped interior pictured above. This special car has mods that include a 4AGZE conversion under the hood and a set of Volk TE37V wheels finished in bronze at each corner which do a great job of contrasting with the dark black paint. I'm amazed to still see this very car on the road attending meets and piling on the smiles per hour.
The GS131 Toyota Crown Royal Saloon features a 1G-GZE supercharged inline six-cylinder underneath the long bonnet of this large sedan. The Crown is Toyota's longest-running model with a return to the United States coming soon with the latest announcement of the Crown Crossover. The S130 series featured 16 different engines and three different transmission options throughout its' production around the world, it's a versatile luxury-spec vehicle with the Royal Saloon designation being the most attractive.
The first generation Toyota Hilux was pivotal in creating a lasting brand for Toyota in the North American market. A small pickup truck that was capable of handling light duty in a major way, the Hilux model ended up spawning generations that have trickled down to the most robust vehicle you can buy. The deep green paint on this Hilux brings back some serious vintage vibes while the lowered stance, and polished mag wheels tell you that it's living a better life than the typical workhorse.
A mix of Toyota, Mazda, and BMW, but what stands out is the persistent popularity of the TE72.
Another Toyota Crown was in attendance, this time a JZS171 Athlete V. This model comes with a 1JZ-GTE mated to a smooth shifting automatic, the owner here has added a serious suspension drop and white wheels to contrast the silver paint. The Crown from this era is just another great sedan with a powertrain we didn't get here; I'm sure we will see plenty of these modified to their limits as the versatility of Toyota's larger cars are unmatched.
Not many people would expect a 1JZ-GTE under the hood of a Toyota Corolla SR5. The AE86 is known for it's underdog nature but this car is taking it to another level as a sleeper that performs most activities like a normal car. I enjoy seeing builds like this since if you're not paying attention it will literally pass by you in a blink of the eye.
Events like this help build the community, less music and sideshows and more catching up with old friends or making new ones.
The KZJ78 Toyota Landcruiser Prado is a sleeper in the off-road world, originally created as a light-duty variant to the slightly larger FJ70, this vehicle has similar rugged looks and potential. Luckily we can import these beautiful, indestructible vehicles, and enjoy them on our roads as this owner did. Fitted with blue Volk TE37XT wheels and a slight lift, this KZJ78 is ready to cruise the harsh roads of New York City and beyond...in style. Remember, it's not just about owning these cool Toyota-made cars, it's about enjoying them, sharing the sight of them with others, and keeping the spirit of car culture alive.