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Still crazy about the AE86 after all these years

Still crazy about the AE86 after all these years

By Ryan Benoit, DODOlogic

I often wonder if Toyota knew the AE86 would be so damn popular. Did they know that almost 30 years after they ended its production, people would still be pining for it? Did they know it was a chassis that would still be culturally relevant on – and off – the track for nearly three decades? Had they considered that like-minded people would gather in a parking lot on the 6th day of the 8th month to stare at these cars? I’d like to think the answer is yes, but realistically that’s probably not the case.

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86-26To outsiders of our car culture, the ’86 Corolla is just another eco-box “sports” car. However, within our culture it’s an icon. I can easily say that pretty much all of my car friends have considered buying an ’86 at one point or another. That is, until they realize the price tag is a bit higher than they first imagined it would be.

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86-5I’m not different. I often think that if I could have a do-over on my first car in high school, I’d pick the ’86. The only problem with that, aside from my obvious lack of access to time travel, is that I’d probably still be driving an ’86 today. That would be fine – IF I could make peace with missing out on all the other chassis’ I’ve driven over the years.

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If I know two things about the AE86 and other RWD Corollas, it’s this: 1. Corolla owners are a special breed and fully committed to the chassis; once a Corolla owner, always a Corolla owner. 2. I know very little about the technical aspects of the car, but I feel like they require a certain amount of cunning and creativity to build.

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86-13This year, the people at Dori-kaze (an automotive forum/the sticker found on any cool Canadian Corolla) planned a meet at Toyota Canada in Richmond, B.C.

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86-7The meet was for the iconic AE86 and iconic pre-1990s Toyota vehicles. That being said, a few of us with our post-1990s Toyotas managed to respectively sneak in.86-15
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86-8Other than a few random finds, I’d say the vast majority of the cars were Toyota Corollas. In fact, a few of them drove all the way from Alberta to be at the event. It is this type of dedication that keeps me interested in the scene.

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86-12Most people are content to spend their long weekend at a lake or relaxing on a patio, and that’s fine and good. But the will to spend 20+ hours driving a 30-year-old car to a parking lot full of similar cars is actually something special. It’s something that doesn’t make sense to most people, but it’s that type of reasoning that keeps this site going.

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86-21Agree? Disagree? In the words of Garth Brooks in this weird video, let the conversation begin.

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