Form & Function Can Coexist

It seems like almost every week that we’re reminded of how many flavors an AE86 can be presented in.

But as always, the examples that really shine through and strike a chord are those that manage to balance style with performance.


And there are always a few gems to pick through at Mooneyes events like last weekend’s Street Car Nationals in Odaiba – this Corolla Levin being a prime example. It perfectly embodies that sought after fusion of form and function, and proves that you don’t need to pick one or the other.


As years go by, it’s so nice to see owners of these neo-classic machines (that’s a term I might start using more from now on as it’s a great way to categorize ’80s cars that are becoming appealing classics, but not quite vintage cars) investing more into restoration, tuning and generally perfecting each and every detail.


The 4A-G in this hatchback looked like it had been dropped in the freshly repainted and uncluttered engine bay the previous night. It’s a mild tune with Tomei cams and adjustable gears, and runs rather dramatic-looking gold anodized trumpets on the intake as well as retrofitted Toyota 1ZZ-FE ignition coils for each of the cylinders.


Yet again we see a car wearing Barramundi Design wheels, the shiny deep-dished barrels contrasting nicely with the clear anodised nine-spoke center discs.


The two-tone interior has been left in place; no stripping out here as it’s a street car after all. There are nice additions, however, like the deep-cupped Renown leather steering wheel.


The stock instrumentation is hidden away, covered by a metal plate onto which a series of mismatched gauges are fitted.


Status buckets replace the stock seats and contrast nicely against the oh-so-’80s burnt orange and brown trim.


A lot of attention has been given to the handling with performance oriented suspension set to a ride height that can safely be described as just right. Behind the multi-piece rims is an Endless braking system with compact 4-piston calipers up front, offering stopping performance and modulation that’s on par with modern day cars.

Two schools of thought, beautifully balanced.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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What, first?
VERY sweet Levin there, like most everything about it. Especially the ITB's and the cf rear spoiler, nice touches.
Congrats to the owner for a job well-done!


Oh, and perfect wheel fitment to my tastes!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yep, nailed it!


Those classic snap-on key's are classic

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Oh so you mean they are, like, classic? lol


You've gotta love how meticulous the Japanese can be when it comes to car builds like this. Not a single bit of dirt or rust on this beauty!
On a side note, it also kinda reminds me of Takumi's AE86 from Initial D.
(Damn, I really should watch that show sometime...)


Form and function can coexist but only after function has been established. Form will always follow function, but function will not always follow form.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You are like God. LOL If you plan things properly you can tackle both at the same time. I'm doing function first on Project GT-R for example. I'll figure out form later...




Just thinking are the gauges installed in that way to break the perfect build (just as if the driver wants to make a personal touch) or they are adjusted in a way that the useful range of the gauges will be easier to check?


it's so that the 2 on the left point straight up when they're in the right place. Makes it easier to check them when racing as you dont have to look at the numbers, just the needle


that's what i had in mind but i was willing to check since i have never experienced a real racing.


Nice little 86. But which part of it is a new flavor, exactly? :)

Matthew Everingham




Devon Bartholomew

oh and check out the thumb screwdriver-ended key ;) i don't need much to remind me why i love these thing but when I see one this good, can't help but want to get back my old 86

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Time to get another before they all disappear!


That is a very nice Levin. Perfect match between performance and looks in my opinion.

Btw If anyone would now what tire size and wheel size these are. Could u please let me know ?


Neoclassic already means something, Dino.

Boris Diamond

Cars/features like this are the reason I come to speed hunters


Tires that stretched look silly and are not in any way functional. This isn't the 1980s, stretching tires yields no benefit now. Properly fit high performance tires are plenty stiff and run no risk of debeading.


Have you tried it though? Sidewall flex is real and stretch does make a difference. Of course it's subjective but if you're cheap you can run all seasons with a bit of stretch and get improved turn in response.

In this case, I agree with you. He could sacrifice a few mm of offset and keep good dish. The drawback would be a bit less flushness.


Dude you're living in the 1980s/90s. Sidewall flex with modern performance tires is not a problem, especially with low profile tires like the ones on this car. If sidewall flex was a performance or handling consideration with modern tires, you'd see substantial stretch on high sports cars from the factory and track record holding performance production cars cars, instead you see squared up sidewalls on everything from the Fiesta ST to the Nissan GTR to the Porsche 911 GT3.

Admittedly, no I haven't tried it. Though that is because I'm not chasing "perfect fitment" for instagram likes and compromising on tire size to make my wheels fit and achieve a trendy look, I'm more of a "good handling" for more fun on the track and at autocross kind of guy.


Listen up guys, this is how you do it right. At least if that's your thing.