Everyone's car dream started the moment when they acquired their first miniature car. My story was never different. With influence from my fellow car passionate schoolmates and racing games on PC (NFS 3), I started collecting miniature cars one at a time using the little savings I kept during my high school days. Thanks to Initial D, I noticed about the world of JDM.
I remember that I cycled around my neighbourhood spotting NSX, Supra, Evo, etc but one day I came upon a familiar car from the Japanese anime. An orange Trueno was the first AE86 I’ve ever encountered. Even though, it was nothing like the one from Initial D, I loved its humble features and wished to own it someday.
Over the years, my AE86 collections grew bigger (in size) and that 'someday' finally came after 13 years of patience and perseverance. Hayashi's 86 a dream come true! :D
To be honest, it wasn't easy to look for an 86 on the used car list, not to mention one in good working condition. Some track cars are selling cheap but pointless without grant since I wanted to drive it on the road. Anyway, my story on acquiring this tofu car was pretty interesting.
Before this there was a black Trueno on sale, a converted AE86. The price was attractive and the condition was alright, but what gave me pause was the fact that it’s an AE85 chassis. I'd much rather hold fast and slowly scout for an original AE86 instead as I didn't fancy the phrase 'AE85 converted into AE86'
When I was verifying the grant of 'AE86', I noticed a familiar name Charles whom I met in Malaysia AE86 Gathering last year. I texted him right away to ask about his ex-car. After we exchanged few words, he shared to me that his brother's AE86 is looking for a new owner, and ... the rest was history.
This Keiichi Tsuchiya inspired hachiroku was formerly a red colour Corolla Levin from the year 1984. It was then converted into 'kouki' Trueno by Charles, the first owner. Although the car switched owners a few times, the car was well taken care and not being driven under harsh conditions (no drifting!). :)
The 86 came with a couple of significant upgrades like the front adjustable coilovers, rear TRD adjustable soft-hard damper with lowered springs, and a larger caliper on the front brakes.
The mismatched classic 14" wheels wrapped in 185/60 sized tyres are SSR Formula Mesh (F) and Hoshino Impul Pro Mesh (R). At the moment, I'm happy with it but would opt for 7J Watanabe wheels if there's anyone selling in the marketplace.
The view under the bonnet isn't that good-looking. The engine bay is dusty, extractor is rusty, cables are messy, strut bar is missing, valve cover paint is faded and many imperfections here and there. However, the 16v blue-top 4A-GE engine is still functional and running fine without any leaking.
Well, it's not possible to expect the 30-year-old car to remain showroom condition after all these years. A proper rebuild on the engine bay would be carried out at a later date after I've successfully collected enough funds. Any sponsors, please let me know. Haha :D
It has been more than a week since I've gotten the key, and I already fall in love with how the AE86 responds. However, I find the noise it produced quite deafening. Not only that, the huge FGK rear muffler is humongous and mounted too low. I understand that smaller exhaust reduces its power output but since I'm a polite weekend driver, I prefer quieter and more decent exhaust system like this.
Besides the exterior body, the next feature of the car that catches my heart is the cockpit. Its classic 80's style interior design are filled with all non-high tech instruments around the dashboard, a huge departure from your everyday modern car. There's also few modern touches to it like the Nardi Gara steering wheel, ...
... and the original BRIDE semi bucket seat on the driver side. The seats are pretty worn down and I thought of sending it over to car cushion specialist for wrapping would be a good idea, but should I also reupholster the original AE86 passenger and rear seats? Hmm, decisions.
I'm glad that everything inside is left untouched especially the 180km/h analog cluster gauge and the original Trueno floor mat, but I'd like to replace the faded air conditioner panel and the chrome gear knob with brand-new ones.
Since Charles has converted it from a 'zenki' to a 'kouki' (if you're not sure of the terms, check here), the car has an automatic power windows. How convenient! I know it's missing few buttons but they work just fine.
Let's pop open the rear hatch and see what's inside. By the way, the pair of hatch trunk shocks supporting the rear hatch is faulty. Therefore, it's better to hold it to avoid any injuries.
The rear trunk still has the original trunk mat and spare tyre but is lacking a tray board and speaker covers that protects and keeps the stuff hidden and unexposed to sun. Well, it's not a must to have them, but it'd look so much better with them on. One more thing, the oddly placed wood was a work of the second owner. ^^"
Original car jack still around which ease my car tyre changing if anything bad happens.
Many asked me if I consider replicating Takumi's panda scheme Trueno with the initials '藤原とうふ店（自家用)'. My answer was "Nope" because as much as I like Initial D, I'd like to build the hachiroku of my own way that clearly represents my character and style. :D
It took 13 years for me to achieve my 86 dream and I hope the story I share above is able to inspire you to do the same. This humble Trueno has come a long way from the birth at Toyota plant in Japan to its life here in Malaysia. I will treasure it and gradually upgrade it from time to time.
Do follow my journey with my hachiroku at hayashi86.com. :)