Classic Clips: The AE86

I was flipping through my latest issue of 0-60 yesterday, and they had a full-page spread talking about the Toyota Corolla AE86. I have always known that people are in love with these lightweight Japanese Hoonmobiles but I have never really known much about them. A quick search on Youtube has turned into a clock-smashing morning. My coffee is cold and my eggs are rubbery… hop the jump for an awesome clip of Keiichi Tsuchiya showing us all how these cars are meant to be driven.

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        1. Seeing this out of context in the comments string on the right side of the page made me absolutely guffaw at my desk. Seeing it in context made me laugh just as hard. It's been a long day.

  1. So, all I need to be a race car driver is a pair of green gloves and shoes with red laces? No problem!
    Great movie by the way!

  2. I feel like that clip should be pulled out anytime someone uses the "Asian people can't drive" stereotype.
    One of my fiancee's friends drove an AE86 in high school, but probably wouldn't get the car geek fawning over it – it was a rusty slushbox beater rather than a Tofu-delivering hoonmobile. I still admired it a little.

  3. When I was car shopping in late '83, I gave the then-new AE86 a good look-over and a test drive. I liked it a lot, but it wasn't quite enough to tempt me away from what I really wanted – a CRX. The Honda wasn't quite as fast (though it was very close), but it was sweeter-feeling overall plus it had kart-like reflexes. I bought the CRX and absolutely loved it, so I have no regrets of passing over the Toyota. No question that the AEs are good cars, though.

    1. My first car was a 1985 AE86, and at first I hated it because it wasn't considered 'cool' at the time, but I fell in love with it completely shortly after driving it for the first time. It was lost in an unfortunate accident, at which point they had become cool. Unfortunately I've never been able to find another one since. I did however, buy a 1990 CRX Si last year. While I absolutely love my CRX, if given the choice I would ditch it in favour of another AE86 in a heartbeat!

  4. I agree that it is hard to go with the AE86 when a Fox Body Mustang can provide cheap thrills…
    However, the Japanese cars are aging quite well. This is a wonderful example of how driving something slow – fast takes great skill… also, these cars are just WAITING for bolt-on upgrades.
    According to what I read in 0-60, it was not unheard of to tweak the engine under the hood of an AE86 to rev to 15,000 rpms. That is wild…

  5. I think if you got the GT-S and thrashed the hell out of it, highway speed would come up in the 8 second range – not bad for the time, but certainly not quick.

  6. Remember that back then 16-valve DOHC and EFI were still pretty advanced stuff. The 1990 I drove had 130 horses and 105 lb-ft, and was good for about 8-sec 0-60 times. That was teh hot back in 1991 and it probably could keep this old man entertained today.

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