Tag Archives: Group A

Ten AE86s That Influenced a Generation

Back in 2009, Jeroen Willemsen from SPEEDHUNTERS asked us to write a guest blog for their massive site about the AE86. Jeroen writes:

“Rod asked me to make a top ten list of the best and most influential AE86’s. I’m no expert on everything Hachi, so I decided to ask some of my friends from Australia who run HR – the best hachiroku blog on the web – if they could help me out and they happily obliged. So here you have it, the top ten most influential AE86’s through the eyes of Adam Hocker and Garth Ivers.”

We tried to make the article as international as possible so there might be certain cars you guys think should be in there. So don’t hate us for leaving out your favorite car :) As for Akira Iida’s ’86, Hasselgren, etc they were up there with the others but when there’s only 10 to choose from… well you know!


2009 N2 AE86 Battle @ Tsukuba

The 2009 N1, N1.5, Group A, N2, N2S & D1GP AE86’S Battle, which took place on 26th of December 2009, is finally out on Hot Version DVD #103. Not a bad way to spend Boxing Day huh? Check it out via YouTube:

Aussie Group A ’86 @ Bathurst Museum

Almost two years ago I took a trip up to the National Motorsport Muesum at Mt Panorama in Bathurst to check out the old Group A AE86 that used to race around Bathurst back in the day. The museum has restored an old circuit racer and this particular car was piloted by John Smith and Drew Price from 1985 to 1987.

It is said that this car was originally built in Japan but only raced in Australia. The AE86 had 28 class wins from 28 race starts and is recognised for doing so in the ‘Guiness Book of Records’! The car also held the under 2 liter class touring car lap record in every Australian state within its time. Not bad for the humble hachiroku eh?

More pics after the jump:


CHMS AE86 BTCC Touring Car

While Bob Holden and the other AE86 pilots from Group A racing in Australia are common knowledge to most of us on HR, the other parts of the world had similar stories with heroes of grand driving stature. Andy over at Speedhunters has the low down on the UK’s local hero; Chris Hodgetts.

Chris Hodgetts was a successful club racer in the UK and made his debut in the BTCC at the beginning of the 80’s.  With the help of Toyota GB, Securicor and Brooklyn’s, a Birmingham car dealer, Chris put together ‘Chris Hodgetts Motor Sport’ for the 1986 season, running a Toyota Corolla AE86, initially for himself, before expanding to a two and then three car team in 1987.

Check out the full article outlining his cars and successes here.

Group A Endurance Racer AE86

Another AE86 squirreled away in an abbey (of all places) has been ‘found’ for us internetziens all to gaze upon. This time the boys from SPEEDHUNTERS have stumbled upon this little European gem from the days of 24Hours Spa race when ‘tin top’ touring cars roamed the track instead of the GT-spec monsters we see there now.  Apparently it was steered to victory several times and was one of a few AE86’s which competed in the endurance race! Antonio writes:

So we entered the old abbey, and Patrick led us downstairs, into what he said was the crypt – where they used to store dead people! Kinda creepy… but when we got to the bottom of the stairs and turned the corner, I was completely floored. Actually, Rod and Patrick were walking in front of me, because I stopped to take a photo of the stairway… and then I heard Rod say, “Wow. Antonio’s going to completely freak out.”

Check out the full article (with lotsa photos) over @ SPEEDHUNTERS.

Flashback: Akira Iida’s $100k AE86 Build

One car. One man. One hundred grand. This AE86 is the result of one of the most expensive semi-street, semi-race AE86 projects ever undertaken.

JGTC GT500 driver Akira Iida’s “Passion of the Levin” is to build the ultimate AE86 which included a full TRD Group A AE101 with dry-sump, MoTec M4, generating 217PS and complete body restoration. Estimated cost for the project was 10million Yen ($100,000) to complete!

The centrepiece of the build is the TRD 20 Valve 4A-GE. With the VVT on inlet eliminated, the engine runs IN/EX: 288/294 duration (10.2 lift) camshafts. Although the TRD race engines with 304/312 (10.8) were capable of 250hp revving to 11000rpm, Iida’s is limited to 9000 redline @ 210hp for engine preservation and improved street suitability.

But why did a champion GT racing driver choose to start such a project? Doesn’t he get enough from driving 500hp circuit monsters at 300 km/h day in and day out? Love for the AE86! Check out the whole build article over at Club4AG.

The Iida AE86 project was featured in many volumes of Video Option in Japan throughout 1999. The car took nearly one year to complete with many of the processes labored by Iida himself between his busy race schedule.

The VHS series was originally titled ‘Akira’s Work Box’ but is now available on DVD from Video Option under the title of ‘V-Opt the Best #2: Tuned AE86 by WORKBOX’.

An upload of the original VHS are on YouTube in two parts:

(Check out Bee-R’s youthful Imai-san!)

Cullen Motorsport: Aussie Rally-spec AE86

The NSW Oberon Rally was on last weekend and Ben Cullen with his Group A Rally TTA Levin coupe Replica hit the dirt and came out of the event with an awesome result placing 12th outright out of a field of 42. He also placed 1st P2 (1300-1600cc class) which by any measure is an awesome start to his 2008 rally assault. Ben says 2008 will see him competing in both of the New South Wales events of the Australian Rally Championship as well as the State Championship.