Privateer: Taka & The Flying 86

Automotive short films are everywhere these days, but it’s not often we get to watch full-length documentaries about some of our favorite people in the scene. And when it comes to these personalities, it doesn’t get much more intriguing than Formula Drift veteran and AE86-driving icon Taka Aono. This hour-long production from Flying Boy Films gives us an in-depth look at Taka’s background, his early days in US drifting and his current efforts as a Formula Drift privateer. Few drivers are more respected in the paddock than Taka, and I think this video shows why.

We know there are going to be some heavy-duty builds debuting in Long Beach this weekend, but at the same time we always have love for the little guys. So spend some time watching this as the 2014 FD season kicks off.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike



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Andreas H Husby

Keeping it real for sure,what a spirit,what a heart,much respect to you Sir,keep up the awesome work!


forever the peoples champ


This is a great film, such a brilliant insight.


i loved this. ithat's not a tear drop, i think some smoke got in my eyes.


Wow how emotional. Aono is such a huge inspiration to so many of us who have owned a 86 or taken any lesser car beyond what was thought possible.  He does it for the passion and nothing else and so many should really take note of that. Don't ever give up Taka!


You can't watch this video and it not have an impact on you


Really nice. Taka is one of the nicest and most stoked people I've ever met, and it definitely comes across in this video.


Donate to this man! This guy has always tried to stay true to the roots of drifting. This can't be said to most of the people in FD or even D1. #dyingbreed


@getwell  I'm off to chop some onions... ')


Beautifully made film. How could you not root for this guy


The fact that Taka thinks it's unfair that a pro series has disproportionate sponsorship opportunities for winning drivers proves he is stupid. The fact that he thinks with more funding he would come anywhere near the podium proves he is delusional.


Great film! Taka Aono keeps it old school. Good luck this weekend and in this season!


I had Taka Aono as a driving instructor back in the beginning of the "Drift Days." (4 I think). He was so nice in critiquing my driving and really served as an inspiration. I'm glad to see he's still at it and I wish him success!


I love his attitude.  Isn't this what the whole modding scene about?  Taking an underdog car and surpassing the benchmarks with it.


I love this! Taka is amazing and I'm gonna root for him even more now! It's always awesome to watch these "home videos" of drifting. It is one thing to see the roots of drifting in Japan, but it is even cooler to see the roots of drifting here in America. Thanks a billion for the documentary and for sharing it!


How can you not like this guy after this video. Such a cool guy with an amazing past! defiantly keeping the roots of drifting alive. Wish him the best of luck in his driving career!


So much love and respect for Mr. Aono. I wish you all the very best in the 2014 competition. Keep the AE86 and the drift roots alive Mr. Aono, never give up!


This man is a winnner no matter what!!!!!!!!!!!!


And to complement the posted documentary of Taka, here's a little video Moto put together for club4ag 1996~2005


Man, much love and mad respect for Taka Aono!. i had the privileged to meet him in one of the first years of the formula Drift in Long beach! such a humble and nice man, like what other people say, hes the peoples champ xD!


I'm ashamed I didnt know this much detail about Aono. I always saw a AE86 in FD on the livestream, always thought why would anybody stick with that car (only speaking of FD), but know I can understand and respect that!
Wish you all the best!


His love for the platform is really inspiring. Instead of following along with mainstream trends he stays true to himself. A lot of car enthusiasts can take a note from his book. Reminds me of Eric Moen and his SOHC KA24 motor. Instead of swapping an LS or going KA24DE, he's doing what he wants and making a name for himself by being different.
Check out his car!


The love and passion he's has for the AE86 is amazing, much respect for Taka and good luck this season.


Likeable guy but very set in his way, think samurai vs guns - set in his ways to the point of stupidity. If he likes his ae86 and 4age so much why doesn't he stop complaining about v8s and big torque cars... I liked the beginning of the video with autox and birth of drift in USA but after that it turned into complaining fest.


Taka is broken again. :( #fdlb


The thing for me was you can see how much he has put in to this, and how much it means to him, especially when his car is damaged, can really tell he's upset like your average owner would be. Maybe there should be another class, with a power limit and a no engine swap rule or something, a bit more down to earth compared to the big bhp stuff there is competing now.


You know, what I love about Taka is that he shows a REAL connection to his cars.  It's very similar to the relationship of a Falconer and his partner, that falcon/hawk (while around for much less time) is your companion, your sanctuary and your partner in the hunt, above all else, that bird is your best of friends.  You want to exhibit that bird and all of its qualities in the hopes that others in the field will recognize its excellence.  No matter how many hybrid falcons fly the field, the Peregrine will always win the hearts of steadfast enthusiasts.  Taka and his AE86 will conquer in time, and that victory will bring both confusion and joy!


MatthewDear  Exactly like D1 Street Legal..?


Daniils  The reason why is the V8 deal takes away allot of the skill that is drifting. Its all throttle and no real talent.


Excellent point of from da man himself.......good luck taka.......


zackspeed333 DaniilsExactly. 
Drifting (back in the day) used to involve skill and wasn't limited to just RWDs, Today, it's strictly RWD and besides power sliding and big money, there isn't much to it.


apex_DNA zackspeed333 Daniils  This is why it needs to go back to its roots. Test the drivers and cars. At the same time cap these guys at 400hp and see what happens.


Cars are now running between 800 and 1200 horsepower to stay competitive Formula Drift. The horsepower number of the rest of the field will only rise until the majority of the field is at or around 1000 horsepower. It's like Taka said about sponsors wanting their drivers to win. If a thousand horsepower is what it takes, then a thousand horsepower it is. 
I know Pro 2 is in the works right now for FD but I don't know too much about it other than the fact that it's basically the bridge between the regular Pro championship and the Pro-Am championship. Hopefully, it'll have more restrictions regarding the horsepower to weight ratio of the vehicles that are competing in it. All we can do is sit back and watch and see how things unfold for the 86 in the world of competitive drifting in the US. 
If anything, Taka can go compete in D1GP where everyone is running the 2JZ instead of the V8. But then again, a lot of the cars there are also running a lot of horsepower like Kumakubo's Laurel with around 1000hp that won the 2012 championship.

The 86, at the end of the day, does not have what it takes to win a championship anymore. It did at one point in the early 2000's but as the sport evolves, so do the cars. The only time the AE86 ever won a championship was the 2002 D1GP championship. That was over ten years ago. Things change.
It's also weird though because we know for a fact that the 86 will no longer win a Pro championship in the future but we still keep supporting it. Not seeing one on grid just makes all of us drift fans worried. The car is almost like the spirit of drift. Taka was surprised that so many people supported him and his car with the donations. We are there, not only to see the 1000hp guys go at it, but to see the AE86. The grandfather of drift cars. THE drift car.


TL;DR Things aren't going to change with the 1000hp cars. The AE86 is still awesome and the fans are there for it too. DRIFT!!


great video, the commitment to the car is something i can relate to on a big level, although not an 86 for me i drift a truck and people think its silly i didn't just go with the easy out. that vehicle is an extension of himself and his roots and he wouldn't be doing this anymore if he didn't still find joy in it. i also like ryan litterals take on the 86 on the "drifting with ryan litteral" video on youtube.

my hats off to this guy


MatthewDear  I agree. Other dudes like Forsberg or Gitten JR wouldn't shed a tear knowing their sponsors are going to shell out another car without question. Taka lives and bleeds drift, and this documentary proves it.


there's so many mixed feelings about this, someone like him is like an endangered specie, you totally understand where he's coming from the and the trouble he's facing, at the same time you can see how being the way they are, it's hard for them to still survive in the changing environment. it's really bitter. at the same time, personally i feel like he's expressing his passion in the wrong place, clearly formula drift is no place for him anymore, so why still torture him self like this? i understand the passion and i'm all for it, but maybe express his passion elsewhere? like have a specialty ae86 tuning shop, or become a drifting coach specifically for ae86 or soemthing, i don't know what, but for him to still compete in formula D just makes no sense, the look on his face when the crashed into the barrier after all the hard work is just too painful to watch. on a unrelated note, he seems like a isfp or infp in the mbti