Enhancing The Eighties: N-Style’s Toyota Carina

Styles come and go, but regardless of subject the really special ones always seem to make a return. It’s probably to do with the fact that I live in Tokyo, but depending on the neighbourhood you’re in déjà vu can be a common occurrence. Eighties fashion has been making its way back into our lives in a variety of ways and you only need to take a quick stroll through Shibuya or Harajuku to see how especially true this is in Japan. We’re always looking to history to bring back ideas and reinterpret them with a modern twist. This is probably the best way to explain what Nagahama-san at N-Style has done with another one of his personal cars – this time an unsuspecting family sedan from a golden era of Japanese car manufacturing.


Larry and I shot a bunch of cars on our visit to the body shop in Gunma, but there was no way I was going to leave without grabbing at least a few pictures of this drift-spec AA63 Toyota Carina. This is a car that with a few simple touches not only exemplifies what N-Style is all about, but why Japanese cars from the ’80s continue to captivate our minds.


At the front end Nagahama’s Carina sits very low thanks to a set of custom TRD damper-equipped coilovers wound down to their absolute limit. The hippari (stretched) tyres’ fit with the fenders is perfect, but that’s not surprising given that the integrated flared arches are a custom N-Style modification executed entirely out of metal. Those 14-inch Hayashi Racing wheels are 9J wide, and wrapped in 185/55R14 Bridgestone RE-01s provide ample grip for Nagahama when he’s throwing the car sideways into corners at his favourite tracks.


There’s even more stretch happening on the SSR Mk1s fitted to the rear. These measure 14x10J with a -28 offset and run the same sized tyres – albeit of a lesser quality and grip level. The rear bumper removal is probably something that initially happened due to an on-track impact, but Nagahama has kept the look and incorporated the exposed rear panel into the custom N-Style two-tone paint scheme.


The little bucktooth spoiler up front equips the angular front end with a little more presence, but it’s once you pop the bonnet up that the real element of surprise hits.


Providing the power is an AE101-sourced 20-valve 4A-GE that Nagahama has swapped into the Carina’s engine bay. Aside for the addition of a Freedom ECU, a row of tuned-length trumpets for the quad throttle bodies and a large oil cooler, the four-cylinder mill remains largely stock. It might not impress with huge output numbers, but what the engine lacks in power it certainly makes up for with reliability.


A bolt-in roll cage serves to provide some protection, which is a good thing since the N-Style crew are always out drifting at Nikko, and the dip on the outside of the first corner has been known to induce the odd roll over. A quick look in the cabin reveals a large Auto Meter tacho with accompanying shift light, and a double-DIN navigation system – just what Nagahama needs to help guide the way to a deserted touge at night.


So there you have it – in my eyes the perfect fusion of drift car roughness and Nagahama-style. If you like this sort of interpretation of an ’80s car, then I think you’re going to like the feature I have coming up next from this Gunma-based shop. Stay tuned for more!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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turbo BEAMS ae86

nice photos.  I dont get why all the japan folks run no filter itbs on the 20vs.  "good reliably"?  Man the dust eater your piston rings.  You Will Loose reliably.  Sorry any english.

jonas maurstad

I agree. Running engines without air filters are just plain stupid. This car is too low and should have a rear bumper.  Maybe I am getting old, but I just dont get some aspects of the Japanese car scene. Stretched tires..... Perhaps a rusty bonnet would top it off? Oh I forgot thats german bad taste and would spoil  the N-style.  Grumpy old man needs to lay down.

Honeydew Cottage

Good heavens. Even my grandad wouldn't drive this and he loves a bit of beige blandness... just missing the tissue box, nodding dog and beaded seat cover. And yes, you're right, I really don't get it. Certainly don't get what makes it feature worthy...


Honeydew Cottage You probably only like stanced out hondas huh?


Its just how the Japanese tune there cars. We in America have a completely different take on how a car should look, sound,preform. Japanese car tuning background is more of a life style than a hobby. But as for how a car looks or even what platform they choose is very grass roots driven if that makes sense... this car is drift/bosozoku infused. I like it.


I'd rock the shit out of this car


@turbo BEAMS ae86 a bit racist

Honeydew Cottage

No, but my 22yr old son is partial to a bit of JDM/USDM Hondacity... I'm happier tooling about in my 440 Dart. Slammed on steels of course.


@turbo BEAMS ae86  This has been covered to death. Owners remove the filters for photo shoots. No one runs exposed ITBs on the street.


Honeydew Cottage Don't forget to drink your prune juice before bed.

turbo BEAMS ae86

ToLiveNDieInNJ Lol go club4ag half the ppl on japan and cali have nofilter 100% of time


I so want to see this beast sideways!

Honeydew Cottage

Ha! Can't risk it or I'll be up draining my bag at four thirty.


Honeydew Cottage Every people has it own taste of style.


Noah_Lines  Well hopefully he'll have it out at Nikko in a couple of weeks when I head there. Failing that you can check out the pix on the N-Style website :)


@turbo BEAMS ae86 ToLiveNDieInNJ  not sure he removed filters for the shots, I'm pretty sure it stays like that all the time


jonas maurstad  It's all about pushing the boundaries. That of course means it's not for everyone


@Kart Works Honeydew Cottage  lol


teruo88  You nailed it right there, it's a life style choice, maybe just on the weekend for some, but definitely a lifestyle thing :)


N-style is MY-style! Even such simple builds as this are cool when they come from these guys. They simply have their own flavor. I love it!


bmxatv10  They do, and while it's not for everyone it's a superb example of Japanese street/drift car culture. Love the grassroots :)


speedhunters_dino Noah_Lines  Sweet thanks!!


speedhunters_dino bmxatv10I agree! To me, grassroots is what this whole thing is about. Thanks for all of the great N-Style articles Dino.

Honeydew Cottage

Agrees much. Every people's do has it own taste of style. Feel the force Luke...

turbo BEAMS ae86

speedhunters_dino ToLiveNDieInNJ Men, listen, i not racist..have ae86...show respect World Wide


Super cool build! cant go wrong with a 20v. And that sound from the open throttles cant be beat! Wish i had something like this to toss around the track. Great feature!


scottcpynn  Thanks!


Considering all manipulations carried over for a modern interpretation and utility in doing sideways, the fact that they kept the stuff under the bonnet original to a huge extent makes me feel good about how capable these 80's are potentially even after decades.


not the proper place to ask (and the answer probably will be kinda positive) but, will we have features on the cars of the speedhunters formula drift drivers (besides the one that already was featured)?

Honeydew Cottage



The world needs moar Showa era cars and boso/shakotan influences!


Awesome, I love this style and era and everything!


love these guys so rad!!