Launched in Japan in 1983, the Toyota Corolla GT Coupe needs no introduction. Oft-referred to as "AE86" in reference to its chassis code; it's a drifting legend and a keen driver's delight. But there's one AE86 that's more famous than any other; the white-over-black model that appeared in classic Manga series "Initial D" in 1995, and in the live-action remake of 2005.
Initial D was set in the mountainous Gunma Prefecture of central Japan and told the story of Takumi Fujiwara, a student working at a gas station during the summer holidays. Every morning, Fujiwara delivers tofu hops in his dad's Corolla to locals, but at night, something quite magical happens. When the sun goes down, the AE86 becomes the ultimate racing machine, and Fujiwara drifts the car on the spectacular mountain roads nearby - driving flat-out as he goes.
Roll forward to 2021 and a series of good AE86s had popped up at auction.. Now was the time to scratch that itch. Could the Trueno be as good as the hype?
First car we inspected was incredible. Grade 4 with B interior, completely original and low mileage. We placed our bid but weren't confident that we'd win it. We were a cool 650,000 Yen out.
All was not lost, the following day this saloon was up at USS Nagoya so we sent our inspector down to check it out..
A solid base! It had throttle bodies and a host of other parts that we could work with. Bid was placed and boom, successful.
Seats, strut brace, steering wheel all had to be changed the moment she arrived in the UK. Just this week our Ice Blaster came and gave the engine bay a once over, she now looks 100x cleaner and we have some plans for some restoration over the winter of 2023/2024. Watch this space.
So is the Trueno experience all its cracked up to be? I can only comment based on this modified example. It has a soul, a unique character unlike any other car I've ever driven. Every mile that passes she tells you a story.. She has a unique smell to her, the moment you get in and fire her up you are excited for what the next 30 minutes or so are going to be bring.. and for that Toyota, I am forever grateful..
Engine and Transmission
Tomei 264Deg Poncam Camshafts
Tomei Valve Springs
Toda Throttle Bodies
Cusco Oil Catch Can
Toda 4-2-1 Manifold
Kakimoto Regu06&R Exhaust System
Greddy e-Manage Ultimate
TecArts Rad Cap
TRD Oil Cap
ACRE Front Brake Rotors
ACRE Rear Brake Rotors
Endless MX72 Front Pads
Endless SSM Rear Pads
TRD Suspension with Cusco Springs and Top Mounts
TRD Roll Centre Adjusters
Carbing 3pt Front Strut Brace
Nankang NS2-R Tyres
Bride Euroster Graduation Seats
Bride MO Seat Rails
Works Bell Steering Hub
Personal Steering Wheel
Ultra 9000rpm Tachometer