A whole new adventure begins ever since I started owning AE86. Driving it out visiting events or simply for a short dinner was never the same. I became more cautious on little things like where I park my car, how my gear changes and whatnot which I believe is part and parcel of the learning process.
Making new friends is also one of the best ways to learn. Recently, I met up with two AE86 owners Yang and Azam, and they both have very interesting stories to share.
The Three Handsome Musketeers.
That is Yang’s car on the right, Azam’s Black Limited replica in the middle and my precious hachi on the left. The Sprinter Trueno hatchback is the more common model available locally than the Levin or rare coupe variants. Not sure why that happens but according to many seasoned owners, there are plenty of Levins being converted into Truenos, thanks to Initial D.
I became fond of Yang's car ever since I saw it for the first time at RWB KL. His is a zenki 1983 Trueno GT-Apex spec which he bought a year ago. I've never heard anyone who search high and low for a car he blindly saw on the internet, until Yang told me his story.
One day Yang came across a photo of a nice looking Trueno parked in an undisclosed location in Klang Valley. Like every car enthusiasts, he wanted to find the car and have a closer look at it. Fortunately he dont have to search for long as the location of the car in the photo was familiar to Yang. And so he headed to that exact spot where the car was parked but the car wasn't there anymore.
Many would have given up by now, but Yang persisted by approaching nearby shops to ask if they know the whereabouts of the car and the owner. With lady luck on his side, Yang successfully locate the owner. The owner kindly obliged when asked to see his car.
Yang was amazed by what he saw. Not only the panda exterior is well maintained with minimal rust, the red/maroon interior too was almost like new.
From the very first glance, Yang knew that the owner put in enormous effort in taking care of the 30-year-old car. When he noticed that very cool digital cluster (that looks pretty much similar to his favourite S2000 dream car), he was hooked and was very keen to own one...
... and so, he directly asked if he could actually buy it. The owner hesitated at first but after seeing Yang's strong affection for the car and the fact that he has three AE86 (Yes, you heard me right), he decided to let it go. Yang couldn't thank him enough and promised to keep it factory original for as long as he can.
Yang shared with me the final words from the owner when he received the key was "You're one lucky man". :)
Till today nothing has been done to the car (aside from Nakai-san's signature on the bonnet) but Yang has plans to tidy up the engine bay and resolve some common leaking issue in the trunk, after the completion of his new workshop dubbed Euro Asia Auto Work.
Yang also shared to me that there was this once a guy he knew offered him a lump sum of RM 117,000 to acquire his rare Initial D tofu car. Despite the attractive figure, Yang rejected the offer because he knew the effort he went through to own it. Plus, he wants to keep it for his son to cherish.
Azam's story of his AE86 acquisition is entirely different from Yang's. His kouki 1985 Trueno GT-Apex was bought in Japan when he was there for whole 2 years with his beloved wife who was pursuing her studies. Before that, he had to sell off his reliable Civic EG-6 to accumulate enough funds to support his whole family in the extremely high living cost of Japan.
Like myself I knew the existence of hachiroku after watching the anime Initial D, but Azam was the opposite. He came to know about the car first from his friend who actually owns one, and fell in love with it right away. To him, the 86 is a sexy looking car which he wished he could enjoy driving it someday.
The moment finally came for Azam during his wife's final year study in the foreign land. With sufficient funds he collected, he was determined to own that sexy car before returning back to Malaysia.
He found an AE86 selling cheap at one of the used car sites. It was a full black Trueno and upon viewing with the physical car, he realised it wasn't the rare Black Limited edition which he hoped for so badly. Apart from the worn bucket seats, cracked dash and missing radio unit, the interior condition was nice and decent.
The Japanese owner even packed some performance parts into the 86 like custom aluminium radiator, Apexi full set piping system, Spats front and Cusco rear strut bar, N1 exhaust kit, ported and polished 4A-GE head and Impul Hoshino 15" mesh wheels. Since the price and condition is good, Azam needed to look no further and went ahead with the purchase.
Azam's journey with the 'new' car was entertaining and unbelievable. Not only he got to travel around Japan conveniently with his family, he got to do what Initial D and AE86 fans dream of doing, which is to drive on Mount Haruna (Akina in anime) and visit the annual AE86 Festival at Okayama Circuit! Azam has proudly done both. :D
What's next for Azam after bringing his hachiroku back to Malaysia? His plan is to convert it into a Black Limited replica that no one in Malaysia has ever done it yet. From what you see above, he's already half way there with the Black Limited gold decals, tail lights with Black Limited mid section, golden Trueno emblem, ...
... orange gauge cluster and orange gear knob. These Black Limited parts didn't come around easy for him (and he's still hunting for parts), but his dedication and patience will drive him to gradually achieve his Black Limited conversion dream. I wish him the very best and look forward to his completion. :)
Every AE86 on the road has its own beautiful story and I am always eager to find out despite finally being a real hachiroku owner now. It never bores me and its part of hayashi86's life to experience and share their unheard stories with their cars.
Thanks Yang and Azam for bringing your precious 86s out. :D