Damn, That’s A Good Looking Drift Car
A Chance Encounter

Like most, I enjoy a good surprise now and again. Having arrived far too early for practice at the final round of the Irish Drift Championship, I took to wandering the paddock on Saturday morning to try and make most of the nice light. At this hour you can usually get some shots of the paddock coming to life, cars being unloaded or in this case, cars heading to scrutiny.

Saturday’s in the IDC tend to be reserved for the semi-pro and rookie classes, which dominate the IDC entry lists on any given weekend. In recent years, there has been a dramatic improvement in the aesthetic appeal of these ‘lower’ tier classes and there’s definitely a ’90s Japan influence starting to shine through. Whilst they might be competition-spec cars, some still hold onto the street style which is intrinsically linked with drifting’s roots in Japan. None more so than Tadhg Clogher’s sleek Trueno.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-1

I’d seen this car from a distance several times before, but was never able to get a closer look at the gold Hachiroku. I just happened to time my paddock walk as the same time Tadhg was having his car checked over, so I took the opportunity to do the same.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-3

For me, the greatest appeal of this car is the lack of stickers and graphics on the bodywork. It might be a competition-ready car, but Tadhg has it looking very much like a street car. The Origin Labo fenders and skirts, coupled with a Goodline bonnet and OE bumpers provide just the right amount of aggression for the two-door Trueno.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-5

It was only when I got to look closer, that I spotted a distinctive red rocker cover poking through the cut vent on the bonnet.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-8

I’m a huge fan of F20Cs being retrofitted in AE86s, and despite it not being of Toyota origin I think that the S2000 engine is the spiritual successor to the 4A-GE and keeps the car competitive without compromising on its character. Tadhg himself is a huge Toyota fan – he still owns his first street AE86, almost 10 years since purchase –  and I’m sure he feels this is probably the least sacrilegious swap he could have under the hood. The engine is stock, so that means around 250hp mated to the Honda gearbox and connected to the original AE86 rear axle, which houses a Cusco 2-way limited slip differential.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-7

I hold no ill will against guys who’re competing on a budget and use cheap wheels, but I have massive respect for the guys who run proper wheels on track, like Tadhg, who uses 15×8.5-inch -22 Work Equips on all four corners.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-14

Weight saving is key on any build like this, so of course we’re only seeing the bare essentials. East Bear seat, Takata harnesses, a Key’s Racing wheel and a Safety Devices cage with welded-in door bars and not a whole lot else to speak of.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-17

The Hachiroku used to be a street car but has been permanently converted to track use by removing the rear floor section. The 25-litre foam-filled fuel cell is surrounded by nothing much more than thin air and a Walbro fuel pump.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-11

Suspension is a mix of what Tadhg has found works best for him. Revolver front coil-overs, MCNSport rears, extended lower control arms, Cusco top mounts, TRD anti-roll bars and a few other parts from URAS, Silk Road and Super Now.

2015 Tadhg Clogher AE86 F20c PMCGPHOTOs-20

I’ll always respect and be in awe at the huge power Pro class builds, but at the same time I’ll have a place in my heart for the more humble builds too. I like that you could park this beside, say, the Driftworks AE86, and despite being practically the same car originally, they have both gone down two different but equally admirable paths. It’s likely what makes drifting appealing to so many people.

This is doing nothing for my levels of Hachiroku want.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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Not low enough.


@HonestTruth ADimitriRoumeliotis
Cool story bro, XO.


That colour though... goes so well with the pink cage too. Cool spotlight Paddy!


I'm struggling really hard not to use the adjective of "golden" as to how good this car makes me feel, but it is goddamn true.


So cool it hurts. Great stuff.


@HonestTruth ADimitriRoumeliotis Note the use of the word BRO as a response without an actual conversation and the nice "smiley face" that I can only assume is meant to not be so kind. That article describes all that is wrong with this community.

Reuben Rodriguez

Beautiful ae86


How did he able to not using the S2k gauge ?


RDS what? lol no matter how I read this it doesn't make sense.


Trueno's were pretty rare in Canada, but I can see how this would be a great drift car. 

Does Tadhg (love Gaelic names) keep a rattle can of that gold paint handy? I haven't seen a drift car that clean in a long time. Looks great!


Is there a forum on someone doing a fc20 swap into the 86's? I would love to look into it. Its so hard to find a 4agze so fc20 seems like a good swap to keep it a for pot.


Read yesterday's article and you will learn...


Simply beautiful and functional - great feature Paddy!


Thanks Paddy for adding more WANT to my cravings for an 86!

As a side note does anyone know why the 86's seem to have a much bigger population in Ireland than the UK?  I have only ever seen one on the street in the UK and very few at shows, but I've seen pictures of so many of them living in Ireland?  Were they actually sold in the Ireland and not the UK or are they all just imports that have coincidentally found their way to Ireland?


turboboxer6spd ADimitriRoumeliotis could have been worse, could have just been "TL:DR"


this is a dream toy car play thing build! perfect combination. that bonnet cut is the best.


Kirk_B We didn't truly get the Truenos or Levins, though we did get the USDM AE88 Corolla GTS models, though they fall pretty short in comparison.


Colby O Check out http://www.jspfab.com/ John is the go-to man for swaps and parts.



Will continue to post this until it makes the front page




turboboxer6spd ADimitriRoumeliotis
What are you talking about? 3 words and you're all butt hurt.
I actually read some of that article. None of it relates to me, or what i said, really. One off hand comment, chill out.
XO stands for kiss hug btw.
It's a comments section. The title reads "Damn, that's a good looking drift car"
I just think it needs to be a little lower, with the fender/paint/general style that it has.

are the Corolla's ive built. None are as good as this one, so props to him for getting the conversion done, but i just think it would look a bit better if it was slightly lower.


Love the Work Equips, I personally cannot afford to fork out thousands for legitimate and pristine condition wheels, but everytime I think about that I'm reminded by the recently deceased WORK CEO's ideals behind the Work name: That if you work hard, then you shall be able to afford work wheels.


IRONWOLF RD Kirk_B Don't buy into that myth. The US 86 GTS is almost identical to the JDM version save the fuel-air metering and heavy bumpers. It's pretty easy to get back the 16hp that the US version is lacking.


CharlesChris15 RDS "How is he not using the s2000 cluster gauges?"


Now that is an 86 and running a F20 as well! 


i23sonny CharlesChris15 
Yes , that is what I meant to say . XD

I thought people keep using S2000's stock cluster gauges when doing F20C or F22C swap , due to the cluster gauges have some feature on making whole thing works ... or just because it wasn't easy to find a tachometer for that engine , or some other reason .


Simple, purposeful and no doubt so much fun to drive. I want it.


I like nice cars that are used by purpose ! Go go go!


Love the combo color - wheels...


RDS i23sonny CharlesChris15 
Could just be down to cost, extra cost of the interior loom for the dash etc, for something that's just a track car.
Just run Aux gauges to give you what you need :)


yurikaze IRONWOLF RD Kirk_B I was under the impression it was a little more than just a little detuning, but in any case, I need to reeducate myself on this. Thanks for the heads up.


maxvr6 I think that's a story for another day. There's a huge history behind the humble '86 here with two distinct camps - JDM imports versus original UK spec - adding an interesting twist. Something I might have to work on.


shiftyXTI Thanks!


@Neal  Thank youuu


ADimitriRoumeliotis I think it's the perfect ride height to be honest.


@Neal I love you SH, but it's BS that there's no Final Bout coverage… Really no excuse. I hope you're just taking your time with the article.


the driftworks 86 makes me feel sick like its a good build good idea tons of shock value, but i can't fall in love with the sound of a v8 over a 2j or an rb or a rotary


Schwaglet Depends on the V8 TBH. I think the Driftworks car sounds pretty bad ass in person.


Paddy McGrath ADimitriRoumeliotis
Yeah. That's cool. I guess my short/slightly snide remark wasn't very well timed either. I read your article. I don't really agree with it on a whole, but that's easy for me to say, I'm sure it feels different working in the industry, maybe it is a "real" problem some places.
Car in the topic looks a lot like one a mate imported from JP to Australia a long time ago actually.
Came with an SR and ended up being one of the first Beams powered 86s around. 
Thanks for the photo's and the coverage in general.


I have a strong love for cars and if I'm honest, this car, I've never wanted a car as much as this <3


That vtec is garbage in that classic car. Ugh!




Blacktop 20v would have been nice as well, but. F20c <3


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