Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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86 Day & The twelfth Annual Retro Toyota Gathering

I’ve professed my affinity for the AE86 chassis quite a few occasions on Speedhunters, and through the years there have been many extra posts debating their deserves and shortcomings.

Right here’s the TLDR; they’re outdated, they’re costly, they’re enjoyable, and so they require dedication.


11 years on from the First Annual Retro Toyota Gathering, I’ve seen faces come and go. Some individuals purchase an AE86 primarily based on movies and imagery of vehicles being flung into corners at excessive velocity, solely to be upset once they realise {that a} lack of expertise and 130hp (on a great day) doesn’t get you very far. Others purchase one as a result of they’re in search of a automotive that pulls extra consideration at automotive exhibits than the norm. Neither of those patrons normally personal their AE86s for a very long time.

However the ones that purchase an AE86 due to the sense of event, for the underdog facet and the neighborhood, they persevere.


People who had been lucky sufficient to purchase into AE86 possession years in the past, achieved it at a far decrease entry price. Many vehicles (not simply AE86s) have been priced out of the realm of lovers and into the palms of speculators and traders. Which means in order for you a style of AE86 expertise now, checking the again of the couch for some unfastened change received’t reduce it anymore.

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Regardless of the rise in value, AE86s are surprisingly nonetheless one of many extra inexpensive Japanese vehicles which have a level of provenance. Simply have a look at the current public sale outcomes for vehicles just like the BNR34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, Honda NSX and the Mk4 Toyota Supra…

However simply because AE86s aren’t the most costly, doesn’t make them inexpensive. And but, the recognition of this automotive doesn’t appear to fade with a continuing stream of vehicles being imported to the UK every month.

The twelfth Annual Retro Toyota Gathering was held final month, slightly selfishly on my half. The precise celebrated date – tomorrow, the sixth of August (8/6) – bordered perilously near the due date of the most costly venture I’ll ever embark on: parenthood.

Regardless of the introduced ahead date, the occasion constructed on the identical format it all the time has. Numbers have by no means been a precedence and striving for a personable expertise has all the time been the first focus. It’s all the time a given {that a} proportion of vehicles are in bits being labored on, mine included.


Seeing house owners return 12 months on 12 months supplies a chance to see their vehicles evolve and visions coming to fruition. Whereas there are extra travelled paths with regards to how individuals modify their AE86s, house owners are nonetheless discovering methods to personalise and customise their vehicles in several methods.

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There is no such thing as a proper or mistaken technique to ’86’, however basic consensus is {that a} wholesome diploma of decreasing and a few wider wheels will do the trick. Add in some particular person throttle our bodies both picked from, or nonetheless connected to a 20-valve 4A-GE engine, and also you’ve just about nailed it. There are outliers to this strategy too that are much less widespread, however equally as cool.


Adam’s automotive particularly was of nice curiosity to me. I beforehand owned this AE86, though again then it appeared vastly totally different. The automotive went from my possession, by means of two house owners in France, again to a buddy within the UK after which finally into Adam’s palms. It’s spent many a 12 months underneath the knife because it was restored and reworked into what we see right now – a automotive that wouldn’t be misplaced in a grainy VHS copy of the famed AE86 Membership movies. If in case you have not watched these, search them out. The 9 volumes are important viewing for any self-respecting Corolla fanatic.

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The lesser-known Carina was accessible with a 4A-GE engine as effectively, but it surely additionally got here with impartial rear suspension. The 4A-GE is lengthy gone on this automotive, changed by a BEAMS 3S-GE engine from an Altezza, with throttle our bodies for additional response and noise.

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Whereas AE86s will all the time outnumber different retro and traditional Toyotas on this day, an inexpensive number of vehicles had been nonetheless in attendance.

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All the things from inexpensive front-wheel drive Corolla estates to luxurious coupes and even a uncommon right-hand drive Toyota Surf.


The 2 standout vehicles on the day for me had been surprisingly not AE86s. The primary was Cameron Palmer’s MX41 Mark II.

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Fastidiously curated equipment complement the automotive, with the kyusha styling evident all through. While you look deeper, influences from different genres seem too.

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The wheels and steering wheel have rigorously been engraved, paying homage to the lowrider tradition that Cameron has drawn inspiration from.

The SSR FL2 wheel on the again seat has been adorned with roughly 4,000 stones.

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It’s a daring assertion, however this EP82 Starlet GT Turbo is probably going one of many best-condition examples wherever on the earth.


With a scant 19,314km (or 12,001mi) on the odometer, the inside seems barely sat in.


The engine bay seems simply as new, devoid of any corroded bolts or perished rubbers.

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Even the unique hubcap and metal wheels are current.


The venue aligned a retro Japanese-themed weekend with the occasion, which meant interspersed amongst Toyotas different marques and fashions had been discovered all through the parking space.

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Persevering with the theme for plenty of years was the occasion sticker, made within the type of a UK highway tax disc, with all proceeds going in the direction of charity. Two charities had been nominated this 12 months – Race In opposition to Dementia and the UNICEF Ukraine effort. Every acquired half of the £206 raised.


Yr on 12 months, I count on to see a decline in attendance on the Retro Toyota Gathering, but it surely stays on the very least constant. I genuinely imagine that vehicles are the most effective catalyst for forming friendships and having that shared curiosity retains them sturdy.

So perhaps 86 Day isn’t in regards to the vehicles in any respect, however in regards to the individuals? If somebody can put up with the foibles and challenges of protecting a retro Toyota on the highway, they’ll make a great buddy. They’ll doubtless be broke more often than not, however they’ll make a great buddy.

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore

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