Are You A Purist?


Its music to my ears… Wide open throttles screaming  at 9000rpm, going through corners at full bore as hard as you can! This is is the way I live: Life at high RPM!  I havent always been a purist though…

At first I was in lust with that forced induction power, the high pitched wail of the wastegate and purge of the blow-off valve… But then I learned it was not all about power and that my misadventures will extended beyond the traffic light grand prix.


But then I heard my first quad-throttle-body-equipped 4A-GE screaming hard on the limiter, flying through the corners with nary a lift of the right foot.

This was many years ago with my first AE86, before my current AE86 became what it is today. The thrill of taking this nimble underpower car on its first winding road adventure testing my limits. Back then i only had 4AC powah, but it was enough to have fun.. And get into trouble.

Each day i dreamed of the day i would be out there hitting that winding road with a worked 4A-GE engine on full song reacting to my every minor toe twitch or steering input. Hands gripping the steering wheel firmly but not roughtly, not with fists of ham but the deft caress one would associate with a lover or partner.

Maximising the suspension settings just right so i feel every crease, crack or join in the road. Knowing that if I drove over a 20c peice ill be able to tell if its heads or tails. Having information from the road fired at me like a vulcan machine gun and soaking up every bit of it, reading the road the way a blind man might read brail.

Feeling the rear end squirming about instantly knowing when the back end is starting to slip and applying a small amount of counter steer to keep the car pointing in the right direction. Pushing faster and faster through the corners following the contours of the road keeping all four wheels  firmly planted on the road.

Treating the car like one might do with a beautiful seductress, knowing that one day if your not careful she will bite back if you dont her treat with respect.

So, why am I telling you this?

I am a purist.

I crave high RPMs, the light weight, hard tuned raw N/A power. This is what a the AE86 is about, using low weight and balance as its best weapons. Where much bigger and weightier cars are defeated by the nimble hachiroku.

This is what a purist’s AE86 is, light weight and N/A 4A-GE. It doesnt matter if its a 16v or a 20v, its N/A all the way. The ability to keep your foot welded to the floor and never lifting.

Its not about who has the most power or who has the biggest engine, its all about balance. Much like the Ford escorts of yesteryear the the AE86 is able to punch well above its weight and surprise the unwary. Almost everyone who owns an AE86 in their life time will remember the first time they flew past a bigger car at full speed, while the heavier car is forced to slow down.


We purist are obsessed with shaving weight where we can to get that extra poofteenth of a second out of our cars. You can usually pick a purist car quickly enough. They are the ones that are stripped bare with only the essentials still left inside. They often have fibreglass body parts or carbon fibre to make the car as light as possible.

A purists car is part street car, part race car working together to be effective on the road and the track. It fears no corner and always ready for maximum attack! All this combines to make a raw, raucous, loud and addictive ride always taunting you to try harder, pushing you further, testing you to the limit.

So now you have to ask yourself, are you a purist?


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