Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

For $13,500, Is This Corolla A Trueno Romance?

Illustration for article titled For $13,500, Is This Corolla A Trueno Romance?
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

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?

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Illustration for article titled For $13,500, Is This Corolla A Trueno Romance?

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled For $13,500, Is This Corolla A Trueno Romance?

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.

Advertisement

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.

Illustration for article titled For $13,500, Is This Corolla A Trueno Romance?
Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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?

You decide!

Advertisement

Miami Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Adam for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

zerogspacecow
zerogspacecow

Not only is this a CP, it actually makes me physically angry. The AE86 was never an outstanding performer, it's entire appeal was that (once upon a time), it was cheap. But $13.5k for what is essentially a RWD econobox that is nearing 30 years old is absurd. Fanboys get all hot and bothered by the name "AE86", even though it really was only ever "pretty good", just at a good price. The whole purpose is defeated when the price gets ridiculously high like this.

It's sort of like NA Miatas (and I say this as a former NA Miata owner). They've always been good sports car, when it comes to handling. But were always less desirable than their faster counterparts. But, then people realized how absurdly cheap there were a few years back and realized their value and potential. So they got popular, and with that popularity prices started going back up. Now a clean NA Miata is going to set you back $5k+, when 5 years ago you could get one for like $2k. However, the whole purpose is defeated by the price going up.

The same is true of the E30 and 240SX.