The Real 86

Words by Tim Wong

One of the most iconic cars of the Japanese car scene has always been the Toyota Corolla or more popularly known as the AE86 or Hachi Roku which is the Japanese translation of eight and six among enthusiasts. This line up consists of the Toyota Sprinter Trueno and the Toyota Corolla Levin. The Trueno had retractable head lights while the Levin had fixed head lights. All this hype with the FT-86 or 86 or FR-S or whatever they are calling it now is getting more and more over hyped. Let’s get back the one and only AE86.


Noel is a friend I’ve known for a couple years now and a local San Diego car enthusiast. Back then, he was one of the few people I knew had not only a Trueno, but also a Levin at the same time. A couple years have past and he has since sold the Levin which is disappointing because it would have been great to have a photo session with both of his great cars.


In 2005, He acquired his 1986 Corolla SR5 which he chose because of the body styling, parts were cheap and easy to work on. Within that year, he replaced the stock 4A-C motor with a 4A-GE 20-valve motor, the Silver top.


During that time, he also made many alteration to the exterior by installing a JDM OEM Zenki Front bumper, JDM OEM Zenki rear bumper, and JDM OEM fiberglass side skirts copies. In addition to the some of the body panels, he fitted Trueno mudflaps, JDM Sprinter tail lights, UKDM EF rear red foglight, JDM side mirrors, Solex locks, and HID 3000k kit. The car even still has the original white paint.



To increase the performance, he installed a HKS sport exhaust, Techo Toy Tuning short shifter, GTS drive shaft, GTS transmission, and a GTS rear end.


Many changes to the interior were made as well. The most evident change is the Right Hand Drive conversion, GTS gauge cluster, and a JDM OEM steering wheel. He also swapped in the entire black interior which he luckily stumbled upon at the junkyard.


In the hatch, he fitted a Aerodyne Hatch bar to reinforce the chassis.


The car is sitting one a set SSR Reverse Mesh wheels in 15×7.5 -5 offset wrapped with Dunlop Le Mans 195/50/15 on the front and Falken ziex 195/50/15 on the rear.


For suspension, he is using some TRD lowering springs matched with a set of KYB shocks.


After some time, Noel swapped a JDM 4AGE 16Valve High Compression motor with a USDM emission system in order to pass the California smog laws.


Currently under the hood, the car has MSD external fuel pump, Spal Electric fans, TRD spark plug wires, a Cusco oil catch can, Front strut bar, and a FC Oil cooler.



Future plans for the car will be some coilovers and a LSD. He plans to keep the AE86 forever.


Not only is he going to keep the AE86, he picked up another coupe for a side project. I can’t wait to see how this car turns out.


In 2008, Noel picked up a 2008 Toyota Yaris S hatch in Blazing Blue for a daily driver. The car has a set of OEM fog lights.


The car is lower on a set of Megan Racing Coilovers.


He also came across a rare set of Ronal Teddy Bear wheels 14×6 +38 offset and wrapped them in Falken Ziex 185/60/14.


For his daily, he also installed a couple of modifications for some simple improvements with a Nitto front strut bar, Megan Racing Axleback Exhaust, and NST Short Shifter kit. Later on, he plans to get a Rear sway bar for it.

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