The AE86 was introduced by Toyota back in 1983 and is valued for its presence in the world of drifting today. People across the globe unite in favour of what a valuable trademark the AE86 is to people of not just Japan; but those who are influenced by something that has potentially changed the Western adaption of drifting to something much more meaningful and unique.
Andrew’s faultless ‘Hachi-Roku’ is a pristine example of how much character and significance the vehicle has. The 4A-GE AW11 1.6 Twin Cam engine from a MK1 MR2 for example just emphasizes how much work has been put into something that is cherished by car enthusiasts worldwide.
It’s difficult to find a car with history, characteristics and personality but lets face it, without the ’86, drifting would have had a whole different concept and purpose. But the incredible thing about it is that the AE86 was capable of being a solid daily driver as well as a track-loving, drift-friendly vehicle, like Andrew’s.
The history of drifting as we know it today goes back to the 1960’s to the winding mountain roads of Japan when a group of racers called the ‘Rolling Zoku’ used to weave through the roads trying to set record times between point A and B and everyday people were inspired by their ways of drifting, like Keiichi Tsuchiya, an ordinary street racer that was heavily influenced by their driving techniques and in 1977 he joined the Fuji Freshman Race in his AE86 which potentially became the Queen of Japanese rear-wheel drive drift beauties.
Andrew’s relationship with his ’86 is a dedicated one. He’s owned the car for around 5 months now and he found it in a rather sorry state in a dull, faded blue colour and a single tatty Bride Bucket seat. The bodywork was a mess, it wasn’t under-sealed and it had been sat in a garage for most of its life, but Andrew saw the potential pouring out of the car and transformed it into something special and precious to him. ‘I drive it every singe day, I only own one car and this is the one’.
“I always knew I’d have one. but it doesn’t compare to the actual ownership of it. It’s just the way it drives, the way it looks, the people I’ve met in the short five months of owning it and the love that is shown by not just myself but all car enthusiasts towards it is just incredible, it’s such a pleasant feeling knowing that I’ve managed to do it right. But most importantly for me is the fact that after years of wishing, wanting and waiting for it to happen, I now have the best learning tool right here at my house to learn how to drift, which is mind-blowing”.
Body Exterior: Fibre-glass bonnet with scoop, fibreglass wings, fibreglass front bumper, custom grill, run-free arches, rear bumper canards, sunroof removed, repaired and restored new bodywork and paint job.
Chassis: Greddy coilovers and top mounts, run-free front and rear strut brace, TRD 8 Point cage, uprated anti roll bars, front toe adjustment, front steering lock extenders, fully polybushed, drilled and grooved discs with Mintex pads.
Interior: Bride Low Max bucket seats, TRD and OMP harnesses, OMP steering wheel, TRD centre console, fly off e-brake, fully stripped out.
Engine and transmission: 4A-GE AW11 1.6 Twin Cam engine, HKS filter and air feed, Cusco oil cooler, Samco hoses, blacktop alternator, TRD two-way diff, TRD clutch, TRD gear sync, TRD short shifter, Cusco 4-1 manifold with 2.5 straight through, Spoon backbox exhaust, TRD HT leads.
Wheels: 14” Hiyashi Super Streets, 7j at front with 8j rear with D1 extended lightweight locking nuts.
Photos: Cameron McKenzie
Words: Karina Mayes
Car: Andrew Gardner
Special thanks to: Rick Wade, Gary Sung, David Curley and Mark ‘Sweeps’ Buckle