What is the first thing that passes through your mind when you think of the Toyota AE86? Is it the looks, the cult status or the unique handling characteristics that had led it to be nominated as THE ‘driver’s car’? Whichever it may be, this little Toyota econo-box is now one of the most hunted JDM cars in the world, and a huge part of that is due to the animated world of a tofu-delivering lad named Takumi and the twisty roads of Mt. Akina in the world-famous anime Initial D, and not to forget, another actual man figure donning the infamous Jade Green racing overalls who loves the car more than his wife.
Born in 1983, the two-door FR machine is one of the many sports cars that had spawned back in the 80s, just like the Mitsubishi Starion, Toyota Supra Mk II, Celica GT-4 and Mazda’s RX-7 FC did. To couple it with the emergence of road warriors like the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R, the AE86 did not really garner much attention; until the hill racing cult, Touge and drift movements took the world by storm. Although small and underpowered, those are the exact traits that enthusiasts are addicted to, for as one would have to constantly push the puny 4-banger to the limits to fully enjoy the Hachiroku (a direct translation of the number 86 in Japanese).
Today, the Hachiroku is regarded as one of the most prized possession that one could get their hands on. Even so, finding one that is in a mint condition is not an easy task – one should remember that even the youngest Hachiroku is now 26-years-old! So when the owner of this purple Hachiroku managed to find a candidate that had aged well, he wasted no time in acquiring it.
Say hello to this humble purple Toyota AE86 Levin. It may not be fair to say that the Levin is not that famous, but since both Tsuchiya and Takumi drives the Trueno, it is no surprise that the Levin is a little overshadowed. Nonetheless, both the cars are absolutely the identical in many ways and the owner had gone to great lengths in acquiring this piece of JDM icon. He could have spent his time scouring the classifieds or the local forums for a Hachiroku in the Peninsular, but one could not guarantee of the condition it will be in. Luckily for him, he came to know an owner of a Levin in Sabah, East Malaysia who had kept the car in a pristine condition, and the rest is history.
Being used to the Hachiroku’s white-on-black stripes panda scheme, the first thing that had caught our attention to this Levin is its pearlish-purple paint finish. Not that we are against it, but it sure is a refreshing sight to see one that dared to be different in an effort to bear its own identity. Although there are a tons of aftermarket guys offering bodykits for the Levin, not all of them look all that right at home. The full Vertex Running Free bodykit however is a perfect fit for the Levin, much like bread and butter, which goes the same for the Jubiride ducktail spoiler that completes the look of a simple yet tastefully executed Levin.
Since this is a Hachiroku, the selection of rims could be a bit of a hassle. Most owners (or even the enthusiasts) would have prefered to fit on age-appropriate set of wheels to roll on. While SSR’s Formula Mesh or Watanabes seem like a better fit, we have no qualms with the stance this babe is carrying on the Rays TE37V. It is never a crime to give a modern touch to an aging icon, no?
Like we mentioned earlier, the owner gave strict attention on the condition this Levin is in, and most of that goes to the interior. Thanks to our blisteringly-hot climate, cars from the 80’s do not age well and will usually have its trims affected by our extreme weather. But upon setting eyes onto this Hachiroku’s interior, there is no disagreeing that the owner’s efforts had definitely paid off. Aside from being clean, the trims are just spotless.
For instance, its dashboard shows no signs of wear like any 30-year-old car, though it’s boxy physique carbon dated it all. The full AE86 GT Apex interior looks sweet in red. Hinting clues that the owner is in no doubt an Initial D fan, the Italvolanti steering wheel has turned many heads and also collected quite a number of tantalizing offers from interested buyers, but with the steering wheel still in this Levin’s cabin exclaims his love and passion towards the car.
And to add into the rareness of this purple Levin, its meter cluster is not the stock analogue unit, but a digital version like you would see in a Honda S2000. The hydraulic drift purpose handbrake system is also an interesting addition that you do not see much, but somehow it isn’t that surprising to see one installed in a Hachiroku.
Under the hood, Toyota’s original power plant is being kept in the engine bay, although the owner had revealed plans for a special project in store for the Hachiroku somewhere in the near future. This Levin has items from TRD replacing the metal gasket, spark plugs, oil cap and water cap. A list of aftermarket parts were also chosen to get the best out of the 1.6-liter 4AGE engine like a Cusco oil catch tank, Toda 8-inch flywheel and an aftermarket double layer radiator.
The Levin’s suspension was mixed-and-matched by the owner to fit his personal preference, and he had opted for TRD’s adjustable hi-lo soft-hard coilovers with Cusco pillow ball top mounts for the front, while in the rears are Potenza soft-hard coilovers with TRD springs. The brakes are being kept as stock but the lines are swapped with AP Racing’s braided units.
The AE86 will definitely stay as one of the greatest JDM cars of all time the and the legacy is carried on to the modern day by the new Toyota 86. Built on the same principals, the 86 successfully carry the DNA, with a clear testament that FR machines remain the popular choice in providing drivers with unparalleled driving pleasure.
Car: Toyota Corolla Levin AE86
Engine: 1.6-liter 4A-GE inline-four engine
Rays TE37V 15x8j+0 4H114.3
Bridgestone POTENZA RE-01
AP Racing braided brake hose
Front TRD adjustable hi lo soft hard with Cusco pillow ball
Rear Potenza adjustable soft hard with TRD spring
Adjustable caster kit
4 throttle aluminium trumpet
TRD 0.8mm metal gasket
TRD spark plug
TRD oil cap
TRD water cap
Aftermarket double layer radiator
Cusco oil catch tank
FGK 4-1 header
2.3″ piping with titanium tip muffler
Toda 8-inch flywheel set pressure plate
OEM AE86 power steering
OEM AE86 T50 5-speed gearbox
AE86 axle with 4:3 final drive
TRD 2-way LSD
Full Running Free Vertex bodykit
Jubiride rear spoiler
Kouki Levin headlamp with JDM foglamp
Redline rear lamp
Levin JDM door visor
Full AE86 GT Apex red interior
Digital meter cluster
Italvolanti steering wheel
Omoni RPM meter
JDM Levin 5-piece red carpet
Hydraulic drift handbrake system