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86 Day & The twelfth Annual Retro Toyota Gathering


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

Right here’s the TLDR; they’re previous, they’re costly, they’re enjoyable, they usually require dedication.


11 years on from the First Annual Retro Toyota Gathering, I’ve seen faces come and go. Some folks purchase an AE86 based mostly on movies and imagery of automobiles being flung into corners at excessive pace, solely to be disillusioned once they realise {that a} lack of expertise and 130hp (on a very good day) doesn’t get you very far. Others purchase one as a result of they’re searching for a automotive that pulls extra consideration at automotive exhibits than the norm. Neither of those consumers often 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 automobiles (not simply AE86s) have been priced out of the realm of fans and into the fingers of speculators and buyers. Because of this if you would like a style of AE86 expertise now, checking the again of the couch for some free change gained’t reduce it anymore.

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

However simply because AE86s aren’t the costliest, doesn’t make them inexpensive. And but, the recognition of this automotive doesn’t appear to fade with a relentless stream of automobiles 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 costliest undertaking 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 automobiles are in bits being labored on, mine included.


Seeing homeowners return 12 months on 12 months offers a chance to see their automobiles evolve and visions coming to fruition. Whereas there are extra travelled paths in terms of how folks modify their AE86s, homeowners are nonetheless discovering methods to personalise and customise their automobiles in several methods.

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There isn’t any proper or incorrect solution to ’86’, however normal consensus is {that a} wholesome diploma of reducing and a few wider wheels will do the trick. Add in some particular person throttle our bodies both picked from, or nonetheless hooked up to a 20-valve 4A-GE engine, and also you’ve just about nailed it. There are outliers to this method too that are much less frequent, however equally as cool.


Adam’s automotive particularly was of nice curiosity to me. I beforehand owned this AE86, though back then it looked vastly different. The automotive went from my possession, via two homeowners in France, again to a pal within the UK after which ultimately into Adam’s fingers. It’s spent many a 12 months beneath the knife because it was restored and remodeled into what we see in the present day – a automotive that wouldn’t be misplaced in a grainy VHS copy of the famed AE86 Membership movies. When 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 out there 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 automobiles 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 automobiles 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. Once you look deeper, influences from different genres seem too.

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The wheels and steering wheel have fastidiously 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 this planet.


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 various years was the occasion sticker, made within the fashion of a UK street tax disc, with all proceeds going in the direction of charity. Two charities had been nominated this 12 months – Race Towards Dementia and the UNICEF Ukraine effort. Every acquired half of the £206 raised.


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

So possibly 86 Day isn’t in regards to the automobiles in any respect, however in regards to the folks? If somebody can put up with the foibles and challenges of maintaining a retro Toyota on the street, they’ll make a very good pal. They’ll doubtless be broke more often than not, however they’ll make a very good pal.

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore

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