The AE86 is a hot commodity now, with very nice examples selling in the mid-$20,000 range in the US. In Japan, however, cherry low-mileage examples have been commanding top prices for years. In 2017, Hot Version gathered a dream gathering of AE86s for a special episode, including one hard-core collector’s 41,000-mile example that he paid the yen equivalent of $37,000 for. Of course, Drift Kings gonna drift.
The AE86 is a privately owned 1986 Sprinter Trueno 3-door in the iconic panda two-tone. It’s also in a jaw-droppingly original condition with a engine bay clean enough to lick. The fragile seat backs are even preserved with what might be factory plastic wrapping. It’s a beauty to behold. So naturally, Tsuchiya takes the wheel while the owner rides shotgun and the rest of the Hot Version hosts pile into the car for a few drifts around the parking lot, all the while cackling like idiots. It’s likely the most load the suspension has ever had to support.
Then two other owners show up with their Hachiroku in increasing levels of modification (and a similarly decreasing value). There’s a very nice, lady-owned, high-comp-swapped, caged track machine worth $17,000, as well as your typical parts hodgepodge backyard special worth 8,000. There’s a four-second difference between the two, and the more dialed-in racer has an 11 mph higher top speed around Tsukuba Circuit.
Next up is an 8-car battle from some of the top AE86 tuners, including the Tec-Arts D1GP, Max Orido behind the wheel of the KMS Group A-spec Levin, Nob Taniguchi at the helm of the IMPULS Levin with BRZ 6-speed, and Tsuchiya piloting his renowned white and green Trueno, Each one is put through three scenarios: gymkhana, time attack, and a road race.
It’s 36 minutes of Hachiroku heaven. Twenty years ago I would’ve been drooling over all the 20-valve swaps. Now it’s the stocker that gets my heart racing. The video is still great fun to watch with something for everyone, no matter why flavor of AE86 you’re into.