Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe AE86 is proof positive that the Toyota Corolla hasn't always been as dull as a kiss from your sister, but will this one's price dull your ardor?
Let's break down yesterday's Canadian Locost by the numbers - 5.0 engine; about 1,850 lbs, providing something like 8 lbs per pony to drag around; a historic wireframe 7 in its iconic nose; and thirteen five, which was its price tag. What does that all add up to? A 63% Nice Price win, that's what.
Okay, that's enough maths, let's queue up today's contender.
In the nineteen eighties Toyota transitioned the entire Corolla lineup from rear-wheel drive to front drivers after first testing the waters with cars like the Starlet and Tercel. This switch pretty much plunged Toyota's small car into a cold dark winter of performance purgatory in which it still is mired.
But before Toyota snipped the Corolla's cojones they built what are arguably today the most desirable of that model's iterations - what's generally known in the US as the AE86.
So venerated are these cars that the new ball-deep amazing Scion FR-S has a boxer piston badge on its flank with "86" in its middle in its honor. Sadly, that stylized number on the FR-S looks to me like BS, and when I pointed that out to a Toyota Corporate rep at the intro he kind of crapped his pants in agreement.
Alas, I digress.
Here today we have a 1985 AE86 SR5 Coupe - or Trueno in JDM parlance, and while these cars stock are all that and a bag of shrimps, this one eschews the model's sturdy factory 4A 1.6 for a larger and hairier chested 3S-GE 2 litre. That's claimed to be the 4th-gen BEAMS - Breakthrough Engine with Advanced Mechanism System - grey top, an engine good for about 200-bhp.
The motor is claimed to have been professionally yanked from a JDM Toyota
Al Jazzera Altezza RS200, and the transplant brought along that car's 6-speed manual for company. The description of those upgrades share ad space with a litany of other hardware that has been either updated or refreshed, including a fast rack up front and a Supra axle in the back. There are plenty of pretty pictures of the colorful underpinnings which include adjustable KYBs featuring little knobs that totally should go up to 11.
There are a number of updates to the cabin as well, mostly centered around a set of gauges crowded into where the double DIN radio used to live, and a gnarly set of checkered flag floor mats that look pretty cool. On the outside, the car sports what's said as its original paint and a South shall rise again pin stripe treatment, along with the de rigueur JDM-style Trueno bumpers front and back. This generation of Corolla was the only one to feature pop-up headlights and while many an AE86 has been retrofitted with the JDM Levin's fixed units, this one still keeps some of the mystery alive by hiding its headlights.
Other exterior features include smoked tail light lenses, a matte black (faux carbon fee-bray?) hood, and blue anodized alloy wheels. that's all set off by a mama bear stance that looks good but doesn't require butt puckering over RR crossings.
The asking price for this heavily breathed upon AE86 is thirteen five - exactly the same as yesterday's Locost. Both cars offer a unique driving proposition, however their approaches couldn't be more different. That Canadian club racer was like a ball peen hammer in the hands of Mike Tyson - what with its V8 and not much else - while this Miami-based Corolla is more like a bento box full of awesome. Of course a challenge for some may be just getting the thing registered in their state - I can tell you that California would turn this blue bomb back at the border without batting an eyelash. Florida of course would let you register your grandma for the street if you so wanted, and apparently this car too has been able to make it through the DMV process there.
Considering all that - and how this car seems to balance the rice, rice, baby - do you think it's worth $13,500? Or, for that much, does this AE86 simply not Trueno blood?
H/T to Adam for the hookup!
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