86 Day & The twelfth Annual Retro Toyota Gathering

I’ve professed my affinity for the AE86 chassis quite a few occasions on Speedhunters, and over time 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Right here’s the TLDR; they’re outdated, they’re costly, they’re enjoyable, and so they require dedication.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 folks purchase an AE86 based mostly on movies and imagery of automobiles being flung into corners at excessive pace, solely to be disenchanted after they realise {that a} lack of expertise and 130hp (on an excellent day) doesn’t get you very far. Others purchase one as a result of they’re on the lookout for a automobile that pulls extra consideration at automobile reveals 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.


Those who had been lucky sufficient to purchase into AE86 possession years in the past, achieved it at a far decrease entry charge. Many automobiles (not simply AE86s) have been priced out of the realm of lovers and into the arms of speculators and traders. Which means if you’d like a style of AE86 expertise now, checking the again of the couch for some unfastened change received’t lower it anymore.

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Regardless of the rise in value, AE86s are surprisingly nonetheless one of many extra reasonably priced 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 most costly, doesn’t make them reasonably priced. And but, the recognition of this automobile 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, moderately 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 challenge 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 house owners return 12 months on 12 months supplies a chance to see their automobiles evolve and visions coming to fruition. Whereas there are extra travelled paths with regards to how folks modify their AE86s, house owners are nonetheless discovering methods to personalise and customise their automobiles in several methods.

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There is no such thing as a proper or fallacious option 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 hooked up 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 frequent, however equally as cool.


Adam’s automobile particularly was of nice curiosity to me. I beforehand owned this AE86, though again then it appeared vastly completely different. The automobile went from my possession, via two house owners in France, again to a good friend within the UK after which ultimately into Adam’s arms. It’s spent many a 12 months underneath the knife because it was restored and remodeled into what we see as we speak – a automobile 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 out there with a 4A-GE engine as nicely, nevertheless it additionally got here with unbiased rear suspension. The 4A-GE is lengthy gone on this automobile, changed by a BEAMS 3S-GE engine from an Altezza, with throttle our bodies for further response and noise.

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

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Every part from reasonably priced 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 automobile, with the kyusha styling evident all through. If 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 anyplace on this planet.


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


The engine bay seems to be 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 model of a UK highway tax disc, with all proceeds going in 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.


12 months on 12 months, I anticipate to see a decline in attendance on the Retro Toyota Gathering, nevertheless it stays on the very least constant. I genuinely consider that automobiles are one of the best catalyst for forming friendships and having that shared curiosity retains them robust.

So possibly 86 Day isn’t concerning the automobiles in any respect, however concerning the folks? If somebody can put up with the foibles and challenges of retaining a retro Toyota on the highway, they’ll make an excellent good friend. They’ll doubtless be broke more often than not, however they’ll make an excellent good friend.

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore

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