Spare Parts For This Outrageous 500-HP Toyota Celica Are Illegal In Owner’s Country

Larry Chen’s striking automotive images have graced numerous enthusiast publications over the years, but his YouTube video brings the unique world of car culture to life. In his latest presentation, Chen travels to Indonesia to check out the scene in Jakarta, the country’s capital and home to 11 million people.


This episode explores a remarkable and highly modified Toyota AE86. This high-powered Trueno GT (sold as the Corolla GT-S in the U.S. in the 1980s) has far exceeded its economy car roots, but keeping it running could run afoul of Indonesian law.

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Outrageous Horsepower From A Toyota Engine Swap

The centerpiece of this reworked vehicle is what’s under the hood. The original engine got swapped for a 3SGTE unit that’s powered the Toyota MR2, all-wheel-drive Celica (Celica All-Trac in the U.S.), and other Toyota models.

Originally, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produced 180 to 255 horsepower (depending on the car and model year). But, substantial modifications, including a water-based injection system, have dialed up output to a tremendous 500 hp at the wheels.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why Every Gearhead Should Own A Toyota MR2

But there’s more to this car than the engine. The elaborate roll cage has a most noticeable presence in the cabin, along with Toyota TRD-branded racing seats. A modernized back end and a midnight blue exterior complete the distinctive look.

The Challenge Of Car Modifications And Repairs In Indonesia

The 500-horsepower engine of an AE86 Toyota Corolla GT-S - Trueno GT
Via YouTube/Larry Chen

Chen points out that while tuning and fixing cars (particularly JDM classics) is hard enough in the U.S., these difficulties are nothing compared to what car modifiers face in Indonesia. It turns out that importing used car parts into Indonesia is illegal.

RELATED: A Detailed Look Back At The Toyota Celica All Trac

At best, that means finding needed components for older cars is expensive. Otherwise, such parts are impossible to locate or require getting smuggled into the country.

A Comparison Of Car Cultures

front view of a blue AE86 Toyota Corolla GT-S - Trueno GT
Via YouTube/Larry Chen

Chen’s insightful comments include his reflections on how the car cultures of Indonesia and the U.S. differ. Both communities appreciate unique and high-performance vehicles, but much of what gets attention in Indonesia is from Japan. That’s unsurprising, given the country’s proximity to the land of the rising sun.

Another separator is wealth. In the U.S., car culture reflects all economic spectrums, but it’s strictly an activity for deep-pocketed car junkies in Indonesia. Chen isn’t dismissive of this situation but is more matter-of-fact about the high cost of mods and parts in the country.

Source: YouTube/Larry Chen, CIA Factbook, xr793.com, drifted.com

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