Monthly Archives: July 2008

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!)

VIDEO: Mobara Drift

More drifting videos ’cause we just cant get enough. Shot on location by Aussie journo Alexi Smith, this drift session at Mobara Circuit had almost every car in attendance being an AE86. Super awesome grassroots drifting right here! Just listening to those 4A-G’s sing warms my heart!

Yoshioka Wins Vegas Formula D

Last Sunday, D1 driver and ace AE86 pilot Toshiki Yoshioka from Team Droo-P, steered his AE86 with its NA 4A-GE  blacktop 20 valve to Formula D victory – smashing everyone else with a definitive win for the AE86.  Only the second time he has competed in a Formula D event, the ‘Toshiking’ reminded everyone else of the true power and meaning of the car that that started it all – the mighty AE86!

His skill was so perfect at times that some of the Formula D drivers who tried matching Yoshioka’s speed through the course reportedly ended up slamming into the wall!

The final battle was against Daijiro Yoshihara, driving Rhys Millen’s former championship car, the infamous Pontiac GTO. After a battle of epic proportions, Yoshioka and his AE86 had made the statement and victory was undoubtedly his. Good job Toshiki – you make us AE86 drivers proud!

Check out the pics after the jump.


VIDEO: Irish Prodrift

Prodrift Ireland is now posting up podcast for the world to see. Ireland happens to have some of the best 86s in the world competeing in this series, so be sure to check out the following link to see all the action from this amazing series.

Source: Prodrift, Vimeo

HOTSTAFF: One Make Racing!

In Japan HOTSTAFF is a name synonymous with hard-tuned circuit-spec 4A-GE’s. Aptly self-exclaimed as a ‘Race Engine Manufacture Company’, HOTSTAFF is located in the north of Japan on the island of Hokkaido far from the neon lights and allure of busy Tokyo. It might be this seclusion from the majority of AE86 garages in southern Japan that makes HOTSTAFF and their customers so unique.

Being so far from the mainstream AE86 scene, the Hokkaido AE86 drivers compete in what they refer to as their ‘One Make Race’. Held a few times a year at Hokkaido Speed Park or HSP since 2005, the ‘One Make Race’ is a small but friendly competition between AE86 drivers to hone their skills and have some fun.

It hasn’t happened since 2006 but we’re hoping the drivers from Hokkaido are planning a comeback!

Check out the pics from the ’06 event after the jump.


Video: Have You Ever Wondered?

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be sitting on the starting grid with 30 odd cars around you, getting ready for the red lights to go out. But imagine what it would be like with 30 Hachi Rokus lined up around you?! The lucky 86 owner in this video has lived my dream!!! (and yes… the Japanese share a different taste in music compared to us westerners…)

What The!? Scale 4A-GE Model

Mike Vilenna is a no mere mortal. He is a member of scale modelling forum 4x4RC has started a project to build a scale 4A-GE engine for what he says will be an AE86 concourse modelling project.  Not only is the engine superbly detailed externally but it has fully-functional internal components too! Not just the pistons, but a crankshaft, rods, valves and even valvesprings!! The level of worksmanship is beyond crazy – it’s insane!

Check out the progress pics by this super-human modeller here.

Flashback: T3’s Drift ’86

Here’s a blast from the past!. Back in ’04, one of the first in depth track oriented Hachiroku build-ups from the USA was that of the TechnoToyTuning (T3) Trueno on the Club4AG Forums. It consisted of the development of an already running car, then a full ground up re-shell when previous car experienced the wraith of the notorious Irwindale banks at a Formula D drift event.

The car was also driven by Tsuchiya himself at Willow Springs Raceway for the filming of “Best Motoring: American Touge 2″ . The build up was lost when Club4ag was refreshed but has now been reposted on the Al Lagura’s (the driver of this beast) personal website for the world to see once again.

Click HERE for the thread.

Source:, Club4ag, TechnoToyTuning

AE86’s Invade Ebisu Circuit

Courtesy of JDMTAS, these pics from Ebisu Circuit show that not only is the Japanese AE86 scene in no danger of slowing down – it’s actually getting even bigger with the majority of the cars on track on this day being top-spec hachi roku’s!

Check out a few AE86 related pics from the day after the jump!


Project D Drift/Skid Pan Day July 22nd!

It’s that time again for Project D to hold one of there very exciting Drift days at Oran Park Skid Pan – Where the courses are set up with the drifter in mind not the insurance company! Its is on July 22nd Sunday and the day  kicks off at 9am but you’ll wanna get there at about 8am to sign on and get your car checked over by Eric the resident scrutineer!

Spectators are welcome! But let’s try and see some of us Toyota boys out there to show those dirty Nissans what the 4A-GE is capable of!

$150 for Non-Members.

$130 for Members.

For more details please visit the Project D forums as this is a direct link to the day in question.