The moment I got the keys to my 86, I was certain that's the start of my journey to car life. I wanted to restore the 86 the way I want it to be, one step at a time. Therefore, sourcing for parts became my priority and where else you should turn to? Nihon, of course!
Visiting Japan this time will never be the same for me because I have found a place that sells all kinds of 86 things, a true wonderland for AE86 parts. Welcome to Noby Booth.
The shop is not in Tokyo but located in Anjo City, about 40km away from city centre Nagoya. You can use the JR Tokaido Line from Nagoya Station to Anjo Station (25 minutes) and then walk 1km distance to reach it.
I was grateful to have my friend Yuuki who purposely took a day off to meet me up and take me around in his car. But, there was a problem. Noby Booth's off-day is on Thursday, the very day I chose to visit. Uh oh.
Thanks to the unbelievable 86 power and luck from above, Noby Booth's boss Mr Tanaka Nobukazu (which explains the name Noby) was somehow at his shop carrying out some spring cleaning chores and despite the off-day, he welcomed us in. Lucky!
Oh yes, did I mention that Yuuki-san also drives an AE86? The zenki style Trueno belongs to Yuuta-san, Yuuki's close friend. More stories on their rides later, let's go in first.
You'd be greeted by Noby-san's seasonal decor which features a wooden stick lady in her red Converse sitting peacefully together with other on-sale items. The picture above is in the midst of cleaning, so it was a bit messy.
Frankly, the shop isn't that big but all the AE86 relevant parts and components were properly arranged according to category. Click here for the shop's detailed layout.
Noby Booth is like the "7-Eleven" of AE86 parts. Used or new, you can find almost everything you need in this little shop. If you can't find it, just let the boss know.
Let me briefly walk you through what they had at their shop. There were lubricants, extractors, control arms, roll centre adapters, engine and transmission mounts, ...
... intake filters, electrical cables, batteries, distributors, rubber pedals, hooks, weather strips, polyurethane bushings, steering rack boots, brake rotors, clutch discs, suspensions, …
… tiny accessories like bolts, nuts, washers, clips, seals, and hoses, handbrake and accelerator wires, timing belts, radiators, fuel caps, window washer and reserve plastic tanks, clock bezel, air cond panel stickers, switch knobs, door handles, sun visors, cluster gauges, dashboards, assortment of used interior plastics, rear wing, …
… and the rare taillights and turn signals for kouki Trueno and Levin models.
I am sure many AE86 purists reading this would be surprised by the varieties of Toyota genuine goods this shop has, and maybe found few items that you’ve always been looking for. :)
Price wise, it’s pretty subjective to tell whether they are cheap or expensive. Since, parts for the 30 year-old car don't come around easy these days, I wouldn't mind paying a little more to get them at Noby Booth as most of the parts are factory new!
There were so many things I wanted to get for my car but with controlled budget and limited luggage space, I had to carefully shop for the important ones. The rear tray board was definitely on my number one must-buy list.
Yuuki-san (Right) and Yuuta-san are both Noby Booth regulars. Living close to the shop makes it convenient for them to get hold of 86 parts at any time.
There were quite a bit of interesting memorabilia in Noby-san's shop. The one that got my eyes wide open was photos of him standing beside the famous D1 driver Katsuhiro Ueo (Left). Ueo was an amazing AE86 driver who proved that skill is more important than power, and I grew up watching his drifting videos.
If you don't know Katsuhiro Ueo, watch this video now.
At the corner, there was collection of DVD videos, comic books and Levin Trueno magazines. I also notice Tanaka-san's interest for 2-wheelers as he had 'Baribari Legend' motorbike racing comic by Initial D author and an actual motorbike racing suit.
According to Tanaka-san, or Noby-san (what people usually call him), Noby Booth started out 28 years ago (1988) as a car service shop, working with cars of the late 80s like the Supra MkII and Soarer. It wasn’t an AE86 specialty shop back then, not until he found love for the little Toyota.
AE86 was popular and everyone had one during the 80s. Noby-san acquired his first hachiroku from his close friend for mere ¥100,000 which was ultimately cheap comparing to prices nowadays. He started playing with the car by tuning it, racing it, drifting it, attending gatherings, and even joining his friends for touge every Saturday night.
Today, Noby Booth focuses only on AE86 things from restoration work to tuning and overhaul, and body painting to parts sales. It is definitely a one stop place for all AE86 owners.
This is Noby-san's personal AE86, a 2-door Trueno Coupe which he uses specifically to participate in occasional race events like the 'AE86 King Series' at Spa Nishiura Motor Park circuit.
Since it's a race car, things are pretty serious under the hood. It is running on a 16V 4A-GE 'red top' from an AE92 with a NA setup tuned by Noby-san himself. He also fitted in a close ratio transmission by Route 6 that keeps the car at high rev at all times, useful during track session.
The Levin Coupe beside Noby-san's Trueno belongs his close customer and friend Shocker-san.
Shocker-san's GT spec AE86 is clearly an 'itasha' as the Japanese call it, because it is heavily decorated with decals of anime character and the lady on his car is known as 'Miss Monochrome'. It was my first time seeing an itasha AE86 and I can't comment much about it, but I really like body kit style with Voltex GT wing and a deep dish wheel set of Work Meister CR-01.
Underneath the hood, it uses a 16V 4A-GZE engine from an MR2 with 4-throttle fuel injection setup which is a neat feature of the car. I want those velocity stacks on my car too. :D
There was another coupe Levin in absolute pristine condition. 2-door hachirokus are rare breed in my country, so seeing four of them at Noby Booth (another Levin parked behind the shop) really made my day.
Different from the other two 86 we saw, this one had a Mikuni carbs on the 4A-GE 'red top', and a non-stripped out cockpit for comfortable driving.
Throughout my time at Noby Booth, I was accompanied by Yuuki-san, Yuuta-san and Ayano-san (Yuuta’s partner), whom are all close friends who not only share their love and enjoyment in the AE86 (Initial D influence), but also live within the same neighbourhood.
They both have the same GT-Apex spec Trueno, the same two-tone red-black body paint and using the same set of 15" chrome Work Equip 03 wheels. Both cars look identical, except that Yuuki-san went for the kouki style instead. At first glance, everyone would've thought they are brothers (they have similar sounding names too) but in fact, they aren't related at all.
Yuuki-san met Yuuta-san through 'Minkara', an online Japanese social networking site for cars. Knowing that they both also drive the same car and live nearby, they became close friends and often hang out together at car meets and events.
Yuuki-san bought his AE86 when he was 18 from his uncle, and he has been driving it for four years. It has been restored once before and given a fresh new paint. He likes his car to look aggressive, hence the swapped kouki bumper and lights, and it was properly lowered to achieve that 'shakotan' style.
The engine bay reveals a clean 16V 4A-GE engine from AE92. Everything is almost stock except for few parts like Ogura clutch, Kamerado short shifter, Blitz suspension, 5Zigen muffler, Bride bucket seats and Momo steering wheel.
The one thing I realised sitting in Yuuki-san's car was that the bell sound 'Ding Dong Ding Dong' did come off every time he hits 105km/h on the speedo. I know it's a classic car touch, but it gets pretty annoying after a while. :D
Yuuta-san is 23 this year and he has been the owner of this really spotless AE86 for two years. It is an original zenki Trueno GT-Apex with the factory paint untouched and the decals still intact. Yuuta-san GT-Apex spec even has a sunroof.
According to him, he only changed to Fujitsubo exhaust manifold and Blitz suspension, where as everything is kept original as it without much drama on the 'blue top' 4A-GE engine. Yuuta's an AE86 purist.
You can find plenty of 'kawaii' soft toys in his car, thanks to his girlfriend's extra effort in decorating the hachiroku. Ayano-san is a true Initial D otaku, as she watched the anime countless times and she can correctly point out the songs from the battle scene and its episodes. :D
The trip to Japan this time was memorable and constructive as I got to meet new friends who share the same passion, and visiting Noby Booth to look for the components I need to make my hachiroku a little better. If you do visit the shop someday, don't forget to check the shop's holiday and rest day at its website.
Huge thanks to Noby-san for having me showing me your shop and your car, and also thank you Yuuki-san, Yuuta-san and Ayano-san for the hospitality and friendship, taking your precious time off introducing an untold side of Japan to me. :)
3-1, Nishikimachi Anjo-shi,