Why I’ll Never Buy An AE86
The Drive Home

I’ll never buy an AE86.

I can’t ever see a situation in the future where a Hachiroku would make me part with my own money for one. Yet, here I was at an event dedicated to the famous AE86 just a few weeks ago. Am I a hypocrite for this? I don’t think so, but I will try to explain.

2016 AE86 Festival Mondello Park by Paddy McGrath-1

I had completely forgotten about the event happening, the event in question being 86 Fest at Mondello Park. I hadn’t forgotten it out of absolute ignorance or anything, I think time has just been getting away from me lately. I was planning on driving home for a weekend visit to my folks in the south of Ireland, when I checked a couple of Facebook status updates which reminded me about the event.

Seeing as my route home takes me straight past Mondello Park, it would have been rude not to call in for a quick look around.

I do appreciate the AE86 and I get why they have the following that they do. They’re affordable, reliable, with a good engine in an FR layout. They have character in spades too, along with a good chassis. I would never say that they’re not a good car. Quite the opposite.

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I love the variety in them too; Levin, Trueno, Corolla GT Coupe, notchbacks and hatchbacks. I love the different approaches that owners take and the dedication that some commit to keeping theirs an all-Toyota affair. I like when some step outside tradition too.

But still, I won’t ever buy one.

Paddock Walk
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Whilst this event also featured a live track, I decided to concentrate on the paddock side of things in an attempt to better understand the fascination with the Hachiroku. It’s not my intention here to offend any owners, rather I’m just trying to figure out something for myself. The AE86 has achieved such a status amongst the car community, that you’re often shouted down when trying to discuss their merits and drawbacks. Seeing as no one can shout at me – yet – I guess this is a good a place as any to articulate and explore my own thoughts on the car.

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When it comes to the AE86 in Ireland, there are two very distinct and different camps. On one side you have the JDM lovers, and on the other the guys and girls who prefer the original Irish and UK specification. It’s quite amusing to an outsider, as these camps are so divided that you would think that they were talking about two different cars.

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The Irish or UK spec is based on the Corolla GT Coupe, which was officially sold here when new. Modifications and customisation are strictly limited with this style. Original bodywork with Minilite or Superlite-type wheels are the staples, while optional extras include rally-style spotlights, mudflaps and even a CB aerial. You might laugh, but these are taken very seriously and often fetch overwhelming amounts of money when they go up for sale.

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You will be more familiar with the JDM approach, it’s a style that’s replicated around the world. If I had to come down in one camp or the other, it would be the JDM side without doubt. The variety and individualism appeals to me.

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This notchback in particular was a tough looking car and probably a personal favourite of the day. There was a pretty special Trueno present too, but I’ll save that for a separate spotlight.

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Track time was divided between drift and grip sessions, which was reflected by the cars in the paddock. I was surprised though at the even balance for either session, considering the huge popularity of drifting in Ireland.

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This Trueno – which I don’t think I got any closer to – has a pretty illustrious history here. Originally, it was Eric O’Sullivan’s Rockstar-liveried Levin which absolutely decimated all during its championship-winning season way back when. It’s been through a few owners since, but it’s great to see the S2000-powered car being used as intended.

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I found this Levin hanging out behind the pit building. The red-over-black colour combination along with the white RAYS Volk Racing TE37s is a fairly timeless look.

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There were familiar faces too, including Chris Gray from AE86 World’s sublime Levin, which we spotlighted at Japfest last year.

2016 AE86 Festival Mondello Park by Paddy McGrath-36

The balance between JDM and Irish/UK spec cars was heavily weighted towards the Japanese side of things, which ranged from engine swapped drift cars to humble and simple presentations. Bonus points if you can identify the previously spotlighted AE86 lurking somewhere in this photo, which isn’t the aforementioned silver Levin.

Back On Topic
2016 AE86 Festival Mondello Park by Paddy McGrath-21

When it comes down to it, as much as I like AE86s, my attitude still hasn’t changed with regards to ever owning one. I just think that they’re in a strange place at the moment. They were always billed as an affordable car that anyone could enjoy for relatively small outlay, but these days the humble Hachi isn’t a cheap car anymore.

2016 AE86 Festival Mondello Park by Paddy McGrath-30

They’re actually pretty expensive, and parts are getting harder to come by too, which in turn means that the cars are going move even further beyond the reach of a lot of us. It’s fine if you already own one, but to get onto the first step of the AE86 ownership ladder is getting more and more difficult.

2016 AE86 Festival Mondello Park by Paddy McGrath-42

A good Levin or Trueno will now comfortably set you back the cost of a good E46 BMW M3 now – in Ireland, at least. An M3 is a lot more car for your money too, although they are hard to compare if truth be told. If you want similar attributes to the AE86, a Mazda MX-5/Miata can be picked up for a fraction of the price whilst still delivering cheap, fun motoring.

2016 AE86 Festival Mondello Park by Paddy McGrath-49

I really don’t want this to be interpreted as an AE86 bashing, it’s more of an observation of the current state of affairs. I just don’t think I could ever justify the premium that the Hachiroku now commands.

2016 AE86 Festival Mondello Park by Paddy McGrath-55

Maybe we’ve reached peak popularity for the AE86 and prices will begin to fall? I somehow doubt that. Their numbers can only dwindle further, which in turn will continue to drive prices up.

Maybe it’s a good thing that they’re expensive? If you’re willing to pay the current rates for a good one, you would have to really want one and logic would dictate that you would care for it and treat it well. This is a good thing, right?

I’ll never buy one, but I really hope people continue to cherish them and create new builds for many, many years to come.

No matter what though, I’ll always respect the AE86. You should too.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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Who else thinks AE86 became extremely overrated for what it is?


Have you driven on Paddy? They're actually quite awful, especially in stock form. I think you have to be a Corolla enthusiast to see past their flaws and appreciate an AE86.


Jordan_Butters I have. I didn't find it awful, just what I expected for a 30+ year old car. I'd like to drive one again sometime for a little longer to get a better opinion. 

On a semi-related noted, I do think a lot of people - wrongly IMO - interpret having to endure a car as some sort of badge of honour and just call it 'character'. Which is nonsense, really.


@Master Yoda That can be said for a lot of cars which have a cult following. It's just posturing more than anything.


I get where u are coming from paddy, there are quite a few ars out there that I love and respect dearly but would never own for similar reasons. The MK1 escort falls into this category for me, I absolutely love em but would never part with cash for one but having said that time (and age) may change my mind!
Great article, love the pic of the Sierra sitting there trying to escape attention U0001f604


it might handle like absolute arse.. still want one.. i lay all the blame at the feet of a man by the name of Keiichi and an 18 year old tofu delivery driver..


well said paddy, I bought a BRZ because I wanted something a bit more updated with modern amenities and styling. Still love and respect the old school though. I don't have the time or money in my college/work/hobby life to ever fit in a true 86. So I'll sit back and admire.


And then there's old Porsches, that suddenly jumped up in price. A 356 now costs just as much a beat up 308GTB...


That Siera has clearly been bullied by the toyotas so much it's gone off to find a quiet corner and wait for its mom to pick it up.


Mayank0809 that's different. The AE86 is going up in price due to the drift tax...


What's that?


What do you think is too expensive then? they go for around 6-8~k on Japanese auctions and around 10k in the West. still way cheaper than most cars for sale right now..


Mayank0809 It's when the price is higher than normal because people know the car is popular to use for drifting so they charge more than what the car is actually estimated to be worth. Like an 86 that's not running probably would cost $1000, but cause of drift tax people might sell it for $3000 or more just cause it's an 86.


As someone who has owned 7 AE86s over the span of 15 years I feel like I should correct you on something. AE86s are not cheap or reliable. They definitely are not worth their asking prices.


Same reason goes for Ford Escort mk1/mk2


timeslidez Mayank0809 should also said thank you to the all "Initial D" mania for that


Been there done that and bought endless amounts of nankangs and engines thank God i did it when these where £3000 for a minter. People that pay £10k - £15k are crazy IMO when we had them we bought them to drive the wheels off them but paying £15k now to do that madness. I have even seen some that are rotten selling for £5000 again glad i had mine at the right time.


Jocky timeslidez Mayank0809 Don't hate on Initial D. I have many of the comic books and all the DVD/DVRs... and I've never owned a Japanese car in my life.


I agree, they are so expensive its not funny.  I love the Trueno notchback but I couldn't find one in Canada within reason.  I ended up getting a nice cheap 1988 honda accord LX with the clamshell lights.


milkplus Jocky timeslidez Mayank0809 I don't hate it but you must admit that it plays a great role in the AE86 popularity ;)


Yeah, they're crazy expensive in malaysia now too, upwards of RM100,000. around 20,000 euro for a trueno. youre better off buying a KE70 and aftermarket ae86 parts and building a bastard


What you are describing is happening to many other older "fun" cars.  We saw it with air-cooled Porsches and the same is happening to '02's, E30's, and many others.  Calling it a "drift tax" is too narrow of a view, it is rather that there is an over-arching appeal of a "fun-to-drive, fun-to-modify" car.   An increase of enthusiasts (demand) getting into a fun older car (limited supply), will inevitably cause prices to rise.


@Master Yoda yoda i like u're films but show respect


timeslidez  The "drift tax" is a bogus concept. A fair price is whatever someone is willing to pay. People sling around the term "drift tax" to try and invalidate the price someone is asking because they can't afford it.


I'm gonna have to agree with you here man. "Drift Tax" is just another way of saying "People are willing to pay crazy amounts of money for these cars right now." People can ask $5K, $10K, $20K for an AE86 Chassis all day long... but if nobody is willing to open their wallet up and actually PAY that much, then the seller is just an idiot.

Old things become increasingly more Rare as they get older. Rare things become increasingly more expensive as they become more rare.

Not to mention the fact that people who are able to afford old, rare, expensive things will 9/10 times benefit from them staying rare and expensive. Artwork, Coins, Antiques, Sports Memorabilia.... the Stock Market works in a similar fashion to some degree.


Mitchellol for a near 30 year old car, that's expensive, especially considering its "performance"


1JZbimmer timeslidez I think drift tax is more.... they're being crashed, so there are less left hence higher price.


They are the Golf GTI's of the JDM world, all mods are done and parts prices inflated. I saw a Trueno for sale here in the UK, it had been imported 5 years ago though there is no proof import tax was paid, so that'll have a nice fine now effectively doubling the price on a car that is already expensive (5k...) and it's nowhere even driveable. Madness.


JakWhite timeslidez Exactly. It's not a tax. It's just purely supply and demand. The whole "drift tax" term is just annoying. If you can't afford it move along and stop complaining.


as an owner of an old golf, I feel for the people who want one but have seen prices rise over the last 2-3 years, there are so few standard ones left as well!


Ah fer Pete's sake Paddy ye sound like a feckin' gowl so ye do.  'tain't roight waht ya be sayin' there tho about doze dere Twin Cams!  Ireland is feckin maaaad fer Twin Cams so.  I feckin' love em.


Buy a Volvo 340, stick the Renault F7R engine in with minimal mods, drop it on superlites and you practically have the basis of what you get in an AE86 for a fucking fraction of the price. Plus it pretty much suits all the same wheels an AE86 does, blocky front lights, square rear light bar etc.


KP Starlets are the future, I think everyone should turn their attention, and their wallets to purchasing them instead :-P


The same level of fun can be had with many less desirable rwd toyotas given that many of the chassis share component it the wagon was picked up for $250 USD although if you need oem parts it is no joke that they are difficult to find


You can always try to find the ultra-rare 1985 Chevy Nova Twin-Cam 16 Valve. That's a keeper.


Well Paddy, Ae86's are still all over the U.S. for $2k. Sounds like somebody in Ireland is going to make lots of money importing fresh roku.


I had a similar discussion with a couple of folk on my Facebook when a timehop post, waxing lyrical about how much I wanted an AE86 a few years ago turned to me going "f*ck it, gotta do it now."
3 years down the line, a total of <6 months driving, 2 20v Blacktops later and I still don't regret it.

They aren't reliable and they aren't cheap. Someone referred to them as overpriced 316 Compacts but it all came down to these simple fact.
It's an analogue hero. No ABS, Traction Control. Still smells like an old car should. Mine had a knackered PS rack, so it was replaced with an AW11 rack and it had the best balance and steering feel I have ever felt.

But most of all, owning an AE86, ISN'T owning it at all: It owns you, you become a prisoner. For some bizarre, masochistic, cruel twist of Stockholm Syndrome, you fall in love with it. You want to spend time fixing it's faults. Regardless of whether it's running or parked up in the garage with no engine, rear axle, gearbox, brakes etc etc, just sitting in the car, makes me smile.

I have never had that feeling from a 316 Compact.


Up here in Canada, importing a JDM AE86 will run about $11k USD, while getting a domestic used will run $4k. Its not as cheap as some other places, but it is still very much affordable. The only thing is finding parts


JDMLife Really? I saw a couple offers in Vancouver for some notchback truenos


You sure did post some pics tho?! I agree, I appreciate them, but they do absolutely nothing for me. Considering all the cars that have come out of Japan, to own, this car wouldn't be in my top 20...


13 years ago I bought a  low mileage Peugeot 206 GTi (not the 180 HP) with 2 lt, 137 Hp,143 lb-ft of torque and weighed 1040 kg. Stock AE86 had no chance to keep up with me. The Peugeot had lots of torque down low which the stock AE86 could only dream about. Point is AE86 is generally overpriced to ridiculously expensive.


Paddy McControversy, how dare you mix cars and logic!  Photo 22 - the wheels actually look big enough for the car which is nice for a change.


James Cortez So let me get this straight... You're comparing an AE86, which according to you was "stock", to your Peugeot which has more horsepower and torque than a stock 4AGE does and it doesn't weigh much more than a AE86 does also.. Of course your car, with more horsepower/torque/ less mileage will more than likely be faster than a "stock" AE86, which probably had considerably more miles on it. 

I really don't think you appreciate what the AE86 is. It's a car that has influenced so much in the automotive world.  From it being the main star vehicle in Initial D, the personal car of the legendary Keiichi Tsuchiya, to it being a versatile car in that it is great at being a drifting car or a good tuning base for time attack/circuit racing. 
This one little car, has influenced countless people across the world in one way or another, and will influence the future generation of "car guys/girls". 

Your Peugeot in lets say..5 to 10 years will be all but forgotten about, and will be worth a fraction of what an AE86 will be worth. You tried to make a good point, but..you failed at it.


Thommo Well that's odd..what's your reasoning behind that?


@Master Yoda Yep, you're the only one.


Darkclark Darkclark   hi im oswin from Malaysia. Seeing the issue being brought up about stock KE70 parts, maybe u or anyone here want to email me the parts u a guys are looking for??



"Bonus points if you can identify the previously spotlighted AE86 lurking somewhere in this photo".
Since you asked and no one else did it...


nice photo Paddy
nice rides, ireland
ae86 IS villanous and will not be contained


It'll happen to the s13s soon sadly


just as Dawn said I am stunned that a stay at home mom can earn $7898 in 1 month on the internet . Read More Here
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It's quite good fun to drive a slow car fast. It's even more fun to drive a cool, slow car fast. Love for your favorite chassis is a lot more than just 'posturing.' Vintage car guys know the feeling.


Don´t have money for AE86? Save some MR2 AW11 from rust death! You´ll have the same engine, you´ll be uniquie and if anything, their price will rise!


TarmacTerrorist we shall call it the sulky Sierra! Feel kinda sorry for it...


just as Tracy explained I'm stunned that a stay at home mom can earn $8253 in one month on the computer
--------->>>   moneylot4.comᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ


@Nick James Cortez There must be a large cultural gap somewhere. 
Around here the Peugeot 306 maxi embarrassing the works Subaru, Mitsubishi and Ford WRC cars in tarmac world rallies is much bigger in the petrolhead group memory than that old manga for acneic teenagers. And with all due respects to Keiichi Tsuchiya, the fact he mostly competed in domestic racing series make that he is far from being considered as a legendary driver outside of the JDM/drift fanboys crowd, especially compared to World Rally drivers.

The AE86 is relatively unknown here, having been sold in relatively low numbers. All it attracts here are annoying wannabe otakus.


just as Emily said I'm startled that any body able to profit $8519 in four weeks on the computer . check this site out
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Nice article as usual, Paddy :)

I personally think that JDM icons like the hachi-roku, the R34 GT-R, the Supra MKIV, the RX-7 FD or the NSX are going to be the next blue chip collector cars. Just look at the price tags of the two GT-R gens. This trend can compared to the current air-cooled Porsche trends. you won't get a decent luftgekühlten Porsche for under 100k anymore unless it's a targa or USDM/JDM car.


AceAndrew2 You can't discount the fashion element either. When combined with scarcity, it sends prices through the roof. There's bound to be a "forgotten car" or two that isn't commanding crazy money just yet, but wait til one appears that everyone thinks is cool, and up will go the prices.


I wouldn't buy any of the famous Japanese (or any famous car) for the same reason , they are overpriced !


@Nick James Cortez AE86 is over glorified and overpriced.  I bought my Peugeot second hand after depreciation hit the first owner and yet it provided me with re fun than any stock AE86 could.


mrwicksy AceAndrew2 MR2 AW11 comes to mind


what Chris explained I am surprised that a mom can make $9862 in one month on the internet . i was reading this

...........  http://goo.gl/zmRRpY


I'll never buy one because they cost 15.000€, and for that money I can find a perfect M3 E36 for example.


I agree that the prices are way too high for them. You can buy so much more car for the money they cost. That being said, if you really love them, theyll be worth the cost. They're a car larger than life. They're bigger than 4 wheels and a motor. They're an icon. You are buying an icon for that premium. 

I personally wouldnt buy one either even though you can get them relatively cheap here in Aus, especially when there are better bang for buck cars for what they cost.


4Forza Very true. Many S13's used to be dirt cheap in Aus but prices have gone up a fair bit already


my aunty recently got a nearly new blue Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan just by parttime work from a home pc. Learn More ......5newtime.comᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ


Speedman *gets excited and checks Wikipedia. "It was not sold in North America." FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!


Love the car see more at http://www.88-reviews.com/


Honestly I'm inclined to agree with you Paddy. There is a world of other small RWD hatchback and coupe cars that could easily take the place of an AE86. These include but are not limited to Nissan Silvia S12Mitsubish Starion /  Chrysler ConquestToyota CelicaVolvo 300 series (thanks Speedman )Porsche 924/944 Mazda RX7 (to a lesser degree)Ford Mustang (Controversial I know)And there are more out there. However, I will admit that the AE86 somehow transcends logic and commands an attention beyond it's humble build and I believe there is a romanticism applied thanks to Japanofiles and the popularity of Initial D. I can admit that I fell in love with the show and lusted after Takumi's car but in the end what the AE86 was portrayed as might have been a little embellished. 
So to the AE86 fanatics, please keep loving what you do and to everyone else looking for something similar please look at my list above.


my girlfriends mum just got a new gold MINI Cooper Roadster Convertible just by parttime work online... read this



A m3 is a lot of car alright but its still not a twincam

the twincam is the irish dream , driving one is like the first time every time and reignites my love of driving 
Saying something is less desirable because of its price now is speculative ,

if the price is going up then you could say there is no better time to buy one !


@jshocks An MX5 will give you the same joy for a quarter of the price. People are also far more divided on the '86 than you might realise too. They've become a marmite car.


oPignonLibre James Cortez holy shit PREACH GODDAMNIT!!!!!!!!


@Nick Thommo me neither. Why? Not a fkkn fanboi. I like cars that actually GO.


1JZbimmer JakWhite timeslidez it's a drift tax because all the Keiichi-wannabes have trashed damn near every goood example left, driving the price to stupidity levels.


D1RGE EXE Again, it's just supply and demand. Not a "tax". The whole drift tax argument posted to every for-sale posting is annoying.


**wondering if he would feel differently, if he already owned an AE86 on the cheap, and was about cash in**


PowerTryp Yip, the Porsche 944 is real value for money right now


I agree with you Paddy. I had a dream of building a Nissan S13 Kouki Type X with a RB26 DET (pure porn I tell you) and the cost became so overwhelming it was ridiculous. I stopped the project sold off all the parts and the car (at a loss), bought me a Lexus IS 250 and a Porsche 944

I feel the car scene has become a rich mans game... that or you're completely bonkers to spend unjustified amounts of money on overpriced goods... but racing is something entirely different


MPistol I'm fairly objective, TBH. I'd probably be laughing my way to the bank though, literally.


Prices skyrocketing is not just an 86 thing. Someone has already mentioned the so-called drift tax, but I think we're reaching a point in which every 80/90's car which wasn't strictly a "mom's car" is seriously overpriced. For example, the M3 E36 has nearly doubled the price in the last two years in my country. Before that, the same happened to the M3 E30 and I guess the next one in line will be the E46 that you mention in your feature.

And Porsches... That's on a whole different level. A 964 being twice the price of a 996 is insane. I'm not even taking into account the 993, which will soon be more expensive than some actual supercars.


At least a lot of you are lucky to be able to get your hands on one 'fairly easy' if talking couple or a few years back. Gentleman's agreement cars have always been expensive in Indonesia.

If you read Blake's story on JVWF, he mentioned that import things meet three hundred percent tax duty here. There's certainly some truth about it. 2015 S550 EcoBoost, for example, cost five times more than on 'States. If not surprising enough, S-chassis or maybe AE86 generally sold around USD 75000 (today's rate). You might found a few old guy that's not common to internet selling them for probably eight to ten times less, but you'd guess its hard to find one.

What suck here is that its illegal to import used cars from anywhere in the world; or from some rumours i heard that you could only if you're willing to pay a lot. But of course, we'd rather to grab a newer M2 or a Cayman GT4 (which weirdly not too expensive).

None of us like old cars becoming more and more expensive, but that's how market works i guess. In a few years maybe we'll see old cars become cheaper, yet its uncertain.


Paddy McGrath Jordan_Butters In near standard form I agree they aren't all that exciting. Still kinda fun but nothing exceptional.
However with the right suspension and a little more power they really transform and are incredible amounts of fun. I agree on pricing though, they aren't really the cheap fun they used to be. I bought mine in from Japan just before prices started to sky rocket so no complaints from me!
You're more then welcome to drive mine if you're ever in Melbourne Paddy.


like Leslie replied I am stunned that a student able to profit $5392 in one month on the computer . read this
❥ ❥ ❥ ❥ ➥ ➥  ➥ http://tinyurl.com/ztkz6fy


In the 5th photo I saw the Sapphire cossie before I saw the 86 U0001f602


The obvious Canadian is puzzled over 'marmite'.


Prices of AE86 are crazy in Malaysia too, you actually can get a recon Civic Type R FD2 with the similar price :P


as Nathan said I am dazzled that a person can make $5290 in 1 month on the computer . see here
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So what are the cars that you like, "that actually GO"?


we can't be friends then Paddy....my heart aches


Happening with every other retro/vintage Japanese car


as Chad responded I cant believe that some people can make $6080 in a few weeks on the internet . see it here=====net.pro70­­.ℭomllllllll


Paddy McGrath MPistol I'm saying! I still kick myself for not buying a 240sx in 1998 when I had the chance


Some good points in this Paddy, and as always some lovely photo's too. As a Ma61 Celica Supra owner for the past 8 years and mixing with the Corolla boys, iv'e been taken aback by the rising cost of these old live axle ae86's. I suppose they are akin to mk1 /2 Ford escorts and Lotus sunbeams now both in rising value and driving experience so was only a matter of time till average cars started hitting £8 - 10,000. A good supply of aftermarket parts and replacement panels will keep them on the roads, but i have to say compared to my old celica supra - the Corolla is a bit too poverty spec for my liking - and tbh, the vast majority of the general public think it's a Trueno with wide arches anyhow!


You use the word 'whilst' too much in your articles. Although your pictures make up for it.


I started drifting in a miata, had various 240sx backup drift cars along the way, and finally stumbled across an affordable AE86. After blowing up every type of 4AG known to man, I was fed up and parted it out for 7k USD, not counting the shell.. They are crazy expensive every step of the way.
I've since gone back to miatas (and still my backup 240 ^^). They're newer, more reliable (in the real world, not the hypothetical one), and way cheaper to drift. You pretty much just buy coils and you're ready to go drive, assuming you find an example with an LSD (it doesn't raise the price any so you might as well). The difference maker is that you can still buy miatas from the now-aging original owners that actually maintained them like normal human beings, and SO many of them are out there for the picking.

The AE86 has loads of charm, and it pains me to sit inside one since I love the interior so much, but as a car you wanna drive everyday and beat on, it's just way overpriced for what you get. Not to mention that another charming feature, the solid rear end, will make you wish you had IRS.


poor Chris Gray, worst fitting rear spoiler ive seen.

I guess thats what you get for charging absurd prices for ae86 specific parts


smrpr Yes, this angers me very much since Im into BMW's.  10 years ago I dreamed about fixing up a e30 but now they are so mainstreamed I wouldnt do it. I dont want to be ''another e30 guy''. Everybody fucking has them. Sucks... 
And you are right BMW prices are rising, go to any Stance based page and almost every car is BMW. I fucking despise it. You cannot be unique with bmw anymore. My dream car was e30 m3 and 10 yrs ago they went for 10 k. Some even under. Now its 30k +. 
Its a great looking car but its not WORTH 30k. Not a chance. You can get 2 M3 e46's for that (for now haha).

I mean, some models have to depreciate, as sad as it seems, we will have to modify newer models :(( they lack charm but at least we will be comfy.

Also, people stop buying older bmws!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ujean It was always a rich mans game. Problem is most of us grew up with tuning mags of the 90's and back then 90's cars were affordable. 
Now every classic tuner car is becoming more expensive due to them being old-timers or just based off their legendary status in the car culture.
We have to look at newer cars. 2000+
Sure 2000-2010 doesnt beat the 90's as far as cult status cars goes, part due to the fact cars were more computerized end eco, and in part because its too early to tell. In next 5 years there will be more newer cars modded. 
90's are the new 70's, few people drive 70's only the wealthy car nuts who are into old buckets. Same is happening to 90's. Cult status, overmemeing certain models - its all bringing the price up. 
I noticed there is still things to be had in the 2000+, and when they become expensive we will move to 2010+.
It could be worse. At least we're going forwards. I would not like to tune and daily a model T.


EvolveWRC e46 manual m3 even, at least in Europe.    E36 has 2/5 ncap test :(  After 25, I care about those. 
Also look into torsional rigidity of cars you want.


my stepmother just got a stunning blue Audi Q7 by working from a laptop... see page

...........  http://goo.gl/zmRRpY


@Master Yoda Everyone in the comment section. Same thing is happening to E30's. 5 years ago it was unknown ''old bmw'' now thanks to it more and more people are looking into older BMW's, while e30 itself has become AE86 of Europe. They are doubled the price they were 5 years ago, when you could get one for less then 2k, in 80% cases less then 1500k.

Now its 3k+ for coupes. 2k+ for sedans. 

M3 e36 was 6k 2-3 years ago. 
Now its 13k.

E46 is most sane choice at 15k for manual. 

Now we will see what will happen to them in next 5 years. I guess 20k + for sure.


I agree with the author entirely on why it's hard to justify purchasing a 86. I remember these cars when they were new. And frankly, with the exception of rallying in japan and other parts of the world, and later drifting - thanks to Initial D - This cars sole appeal has been CHEAP RWD motoring. That's it. It was never the fastest. It's definitely not the best handling car, nor is it even that cost effective for modification.

It was always a old school economy car that just happened to be a hold out to old tech RWD engineering. Because it was produced in abundant numbers, and extremely cheap, it was embraced by funds strapped enthusiast. Now, thanks to time and attrition, the supply is being exhausted and all of it's "budget" attributes have flown out of the window.

The venerable 86 is now a toy for lifestylers and collectors; not budget driving enthusiast. The era and context that made the Hachi so appealing is over.

I'm not willing to pay a premium for a reminder of a time when [if you were broke] a Hachi was the answer. Especially when we now have used Miatas, 350z, G35/Skylines, 90s V8 F-Bodys, V8 Mustangs, S2000s, 80s-mid 90s 3 Series, and etc. to beat on for far less money, with far more performance potential.

No hate for the car, it's appeal and desirability have forced it out of the market that made it appealing in the 1st place.


kOOpA  Agreed.


Shiredrifter  Nice! great to see one of these Supras being well loved. When these Were new, nobody preferred a 86 to a Supra. Funny how time and perception has changed. Now a contemporary 80s Supra is the "budget" ride.


Mechanophile Ujean  Agree, although being a USDM guy, I don't get how anyone prefers 80s - 90s JDM or even non exotic Euro to the newer cars of the same type (M3, M5, GT-Rs, Supras, and Rally cars excepted).

Unlike early 70s and older American cars, the JDM and Euro stuff got better and faster with each successive generation. I'd be betting on 2000 and newer cars used market prices vs lamenting the end of cheap prices for obviously inferior 80s and early 90s cars.


MPistol Paddy McGrath  We all say that. Forgetting that's even if we had bought one, we would have trashed it, or sold it for something else anyway. lol

Let alone currently owning one; and because of the increased value, refusing to sell.


RDS  1968-1970 Dodge Charger anyone? It's TV and movie infamy is exactly why they cost too much and hard to find! It's like a self-licking ice cream.


@Nick James Cortez  Actually he nailed it, and you then proved it by showing why the car is indeed overrated and cost too much...the fanboys.

No offense I like 86s. Problem for me; I remember when they were new, and sorry, they were no big deal in the automotive world. The 86 is an economy car that got a second wind as a performance alternative when it we well into 'very used, cheap old car' territory - Similar to S-13s outside of Japan.

Now attrition and Fanboyism is running the prices up into the stratosphere.


Matt_Redondo A toast to you my friend, as someone who 'get's it'.


AceAndrew2  I wish people would stop dropping old air cooled Porsches in this convo. They were NEVER cheap fun. Cheap for a 911 is relative to the time you saw one for sale used. That $8000 911 Carrera you saw in the want adds back in 91 is the equivalent of 15-25 grand now for the a car that needs at least as much in mechanical work now.


JakWhite Mitchellol  And lets not forget, its an ECONOMY CAR. They were not designed to be sports cars. They just had a few up-optioned models to help push steel off Toyota sales floors. In their day; next to no one outside of Japan regarded them as anything special. Heck, neither did anyone in Japan.

That's the point of the underdog arch in Initial D series; "How did I get beat by a F'ing 86!?!?!? Kill me now!!".


Mayank0809  Porches were ALWAYS expensive. Not the same. A cheap Porsche back in the day, was the equivalent of a cheap old 996, or Boxter now. Nothing a broke enthusiast would be able to buy, let alone keep on the road.


JakWhite 1JZbimmer timeslidez  Exactly, similar to the S-13, or 1968-1970 dodge Charger. Both cars that are becoming unobtainable simply because the supply has been nearly exhausted.

Also of note, neither of those cars were all that great when new. But Movies and enthusiast abuse have combined to drive the value to ridiculous levels.


Paddy McGrath Jordan_Butters  You're being nice. Even when new, they drove like shit compared to 80s sports cars. Coming from someone who played with 60s and 70s cars; a mid 80s and up RWD car is pretty much good to go as far as driving dynamics goes. The only difference is refinement and safety amenities, plus weight - which actually makes many 80s RWD cars drive better.

The problem is; when has anyone really driven a stock, perfect condition, non modified 86? They weren't remarkable; then or now.

Reminds me of when I lived in Japan from 98-02 and got to drive a few straight stock, low mileage, S-13 Silvias, and R-32 Skylines. WAS NOT IMPRESSED. Seriously, new IROC-Zs drove much better. Many of the cars that are desirable now from that era, are only that way because of indirect exposure. Thanks to Grand Tourismo, and manga. Plus the fact that the whole culture surrounding JDM cars is about modifications. So a car that was "ok" or "adequate" when stock, is known as a legend now, because of how it responded to modifications. Rarely because of it's inherent goodness.

Don't believe me? Look at the Z32. When new; it was a world beater. That car is why the Supra TT was so good. Every magazine was blown away by that car. Now, next to no one gives that car respect. All because of how difficult it is to maintain and mod. I drove those when new...MIND WAS BLOWN. Would I buy a cheap Z32 now? Hell no! (now a mint, late model, TT in the low teens? YEP!)


like Danny said I am in shock that people able to earn $6676 in a few weeks on the computer . why not check here 



like Aaron implied I am blown away that any one able to make $4161 in a few weeks on the internet . see it here=====net.pro70­­.ℭomllllllll


my Aunty Addison just got a 2012 Chrysler 200 Sedan only from parttime


kOOpA my Aunty Addison just got a 2012 Chrysler 200 Sedan only from parttime


dadecode Shiredrifter my Aunty Addison just got a 2012 Chrysler 200 Sedan only from parttime


Mechanophile smrpr my Aunty Addison just got a 2012 Chrysler 200 Sedan only from parttime


DaveT my Aunty Addison just got a 2012 Chrysler 200 Sedan only from parttime


JakubVenhuda my Aunty Addison just got a 2012 Chrysler 200 Sedan only from parttime


PlumsauceAP1 Whilst I appreciate your criticism, I could only find two instances of 'whilst' whilst re-reading the story. Whilst.


Awesome article and great photos.

I agree with you 100%. Rotaries here in Australia especially RX3 sedans and RX2 coupes are on the up and up and are now getting out of reach also.


dadecode Paddy McGrath Jordan_Butters

I bought mine 100% original and unmodified, and went from there actually. They don't do anything particularly well and even modified they aren't a world beater.
They are fun to drive though, they sound good (subjective, obviously) and small modifications can make big differences.


Years ago I bought a 1986 Corolla GTS coupe with a bunch of extras for 2500 bucks in 2003, various shells and cars thru 2007. Now I couldn't find a worthy shell for less then a grand. Great car, tons of character and a blast to drive. When looking for a new project I had to go s14, cheaper, faster, same open slate for mods but I have less in a fully built sr20 and pretty much a brand new car for less then a 20v swapped coupe. Great car but doubt I will ever own one again and it does hold a special place in my heart but I'll never own one again.


ae86 is for man, thats why you'll never buy one. sissy boy


a good read, well I've to agree with you as my 86 project is ongoing still yes parts are so damn expensive  a set of redline tail lights could cause you a kidney, but that's the whole point of it isn't it? of course it's trending but it is a life style too :)


AE86 is a dream to own, you don't put a price on something you love no matter what it is.


I agree on the price thing, but even then, aren't we all car guys to begin with and buy cars that we don't really need. At the end of the of the day cars were just made to get us from point a to point b, if we were buying cars that made sense most of us would not own the cars we own. So the fact that the author wrote this article to begin with just leaves me with a lingering feeling that he does respect the 86 but just doesn't like them no matter the price. I guess my main point is why would you write an article explaining why you wouldn't buy a car and the drawbacks, gives me a feeling similar to when a "non-car-friend" throws shade for speding money on your car . There are plenty of cars that go for riduculus prices that make most of the mass just scratch their head and ask "WHY?!?!"


buy anyways great article and keep it up , this one got me thinking a little lol .


wish i could pulled one out from a car graveyard in japan


Excellent article!
Odd, however, as the prices you speak of don`t really match up with my own experience at all.
Here in Norway, where no AE86 was ever sold new from Toyota, we have maybe 30 of them?
4000 quid for a vintage rally gr.A AE86, and around 1000 for a fairly rusted one which can be easily fixed with maybe 50 quid worth of steel plating and materials, 100E for complete poly bushing kit, 200E for brake overhaul etc.
In addition I get 16v 4A-GE`s for 100-350 quids, and transmissions for around 100-150 quid or add a Celica-Supra transmission (capable of 500whp) or a Ford Sierra transmission etc for a fair bit more in terms of conversion kits, (but you have something that lasts).
A genuine AE86 rear axle is what I consider the most expensive parts, whether they be 6,7" Zenki axle or 7,2" Kouki axle commanding around 700 quid but can easily be gotten around by sourcing a TA60 rear axle (identical to 6,7" Zenki axle but with open diff and drum brakes) for around 50-100 quids.
Suspension components are no more expensive for AE86`s than any other cars, and if you have a welder you can even make your own equal length 4-link with boxes for the cost of no more than what you pay for 10 gauge steel, some bolts, nuts, lock washers and a bit of drawing on some paper.
I can go on all day, the point is I don`t recognize my situation (and remember I`m in Dry-AE86 land) what so ever. 
The only really expensive parts seem to be the JDM-style instrument clusters and those Redlines but it`s not like there are no other cars that command such prices for special items either.


For the price of a 30 year old Hachi, you can get a 2-3x more powerful and robust and larger BMW, what's the question..


This is like getting mad because you can't find a 64 impala to build a lowrider out of. That's the appeal of these cars in addition to the things you have listed. It's not supposed to be easy for you to get into these cars.
These cars are also not easy to maintain like people would like to think. It's an expensive game
And like many other car models not just the 86: you gotta pay to play.
Alot of us that buy these cars don't buy them because they're easy to maintain or cheap. We buy them because we enjoy the challenge that comes with maintaining them.
You writing this article is your way of trying to show that you "understand" the mindset of the people who own these cars but instead you come off as someone that's bitter that you can't afford one.
Really drive one of these cars and I'll guarantee you'd have written this article alot differently.


Agreed. Sloppy journalism.


yo Paddy your'd have to drift one to get the big picture


Initial D


Well, reasons for the hype is pretty obvious; it's owned by the drift king himself, the engine is capable of producing 250hp+ from 1600cc, it has the best induction noise (4age), the balance is exceptional till date, it is as raw as it gets, that light weight add to it's nimbleness (900kg range), N2 AE86s racing vs miata racing don't go together because one is on another level