Curbside Classic: 1985 Toyota Corolla GT-S – The Legendary AE86

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Toyota Cressida Wagon I

Curbside Classic: 1985 Corolla GT-S – The Legendary

April 2, 2012

Is it a stretch to say finding this beater AE86 GT-S on the street is the of finding an original and beat up Hemi ‘Cuda? Maybe, but both legends, and while the of finding the GT-S are definitely they’re not exactly easy to by either. I’ve had my eye out for one for quite a and suddenly this showed up in the a wish fulfilled. Now I’d be happy to catch that non-hemi ‘Cuda I’ve seen Anyway, with all the excitement about the arrival of new 86-inspired (Scion FR-S; Subaru it’s time to take a at their inspiration.

The AE86 Corolla came almost as a fluke or afterthought, but a charmed one. In 1983, the sedan switched over to a new FWD chassis. But whether for expediency, or to prolong the opportunity for fun potential, chose to keep the coupe and models on the previous generation’s RWD but dressed up in a new suit of sheet From 1983 through the AE86 designation applied to orphans, but the gifted child in the was the GT-S version.

While the and SR-5 versions had a 1587 cc 4AC engine with a carburetor and 87 hp, the came with the DOHC 16 4AGE engine with AFM injection and T-VIS variable system. I’ve seen of 124 hp, but the California-compliant version made 112 hp @ rpm. That may not seem much in today’s world, but it has to be put in the of its time.

In 1984, the Corvette mustered all of 205 hp out of 5.7 and the Mustang GT managed 175 hp from its 5 V8. 112 eager horses from 1.6 was a feat at the time, thanks to the of advanced technology that was still dreaming about then. And the Corolla was a featherweight, the scales at around 2200 Anyway, it wasn’t raw acceleration was the big draw here, but a delightfully RWD coupe with quick and an ability to hang on way beyond one might expect from its tiny tires.

There really was nothing like it it at the time; it was the last of its The GT-S was comparable to what an or BMW 1600 were in their day in the Bare bones, balanced, and a competent suspension, if not exactly the sophisticated one. Front and a live rear axle four links, and anti-sway on both ends kept under control even on downhill mountain passes.

Toyota Cressida Wagon I

That was where the AE86 made a name for itself, by street racers who flew down “touges”, tightly-curving downhill roads. And it became the drifter, in the hands of the Drift himself, Keiichi Tsuchiya. He a large role in popularizing the sport of drifting, and the AE86 was his mount of choice.

It wasn’t drifting that established the competition creds. It was a popular for showroom stock, Group A and N rallying and circuit racing. An tunable engine, and the last RWD of its kind, the AE86 is still after for a variety of competition and uses. That’s why there hardly any left in an unmolested as this one.

The owner of this one picked it up a while back, and says a barrel load of fun to drive. approaching 300k miles on the but these vintage Toyotas are for the long haul as well as the drift. What a combination, the cantankerous European sports everyone put up with for decades.

The still commands a huge and following, akin to the Fox-body 5.0 The two are almost perfect reflections of the theme expressed on different and engine technology: light, RWD, easily tunable to any desired. Elemental sports living legends: a formula for immortality.

Toyota Cressida Wagon I
Toyota Cressida Wagon I
Toyota Cressida Wagon I

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