Toyota AE86: You Know The Name But Do You Know The Car?

Toyota AE86: You Know The Name But Do You Know The Car?


– Are you freaking kidding me? Am I sitting next to one of the coolest, most iconic Japanese cars in the history of freaking Japanese cars? Don’t answer that. The answer’s yes, I am. I hope you got your beauty rest because no one sleeps in Tokyo. We’re going Bumper to
Bumper on the Toyota AE86. Eurobeat intensifies. Initial D, it’s the manga
slash anime that inspired a generation of car
nerds, myself included. In the same way that Two-Lane Blacktop and American Graffiti
inspired our dads to get into heavy American iron,
Initial D introduced us to the world of glorious Nippon Steel. The show featured pretty much
every standout Japanese car you can imagine. Mazda RX-7, Nissan GT-R, Subaru WRX STI. But one car stands above the rest, a humble Toyota AE86. Kinda like this one. Actually it’s exactly like this one. The car’s driven by the
protagonist Takumi Fujiwara who uses it to deliver tofu for his dad. Just like the show, this AE86 has the Fujiwara tofu shop on the side. This car is owned by Vincent Chan, and he went to extreme lengths to faithfully recreate Takumi’s car. And it took a lot more
work than you might think. So the Corolla that
Takumi drove in the show never really came to America. It was called the Corolla GTS over here. It looked like an 86 but it
wasn’t quite like Takumi’s. The Corolla GTS we got
came with pedestrian-safe US-spec bumpers. They’re very ugly. We also got some other less powerful versions
like the Corolla SR5. The whole family tree in the
US is all very confusing, so let’s just move on. This car started life as a bone stock SR5. Why not start with a GTS? Well, thanks to drifting, those are very, very, very
hard to find in the US, and you gotta pay a ton
of money for what is still a 35-year-old Toyota Corolla. So why not build your own? DIY Crew. DIY Crew, bam-bam-bam. The outside of this
car is iconic as frick. To any fan of Initial
D, the stark white paint accented with a black
stripe and carbon fiber hood is reminiscent of the third
greatest animal on Earth. You got your buff horse,
you got your Zoom Doggy, then you got your panda. But that’s not all Vincent had to do to make this AE86 Takumi’s. Real quick, let’s talk about the term JDM. It just means Japanese Domestic Market. When people talk about JDM parts, what they’re talking about is the parts that were either installed in the factory or sold only in Japan. Saying something is JDM
doesn’t mean it’s better, just that it’s unique to Japan. Get it, got it, good. Back to the show. Up front are these JDM zanky bumpers. They aren’t all fat like the US versions. They look really good. These bumpers and this Trueno
grille are worth thousands to collectors. You can get a Miata
bumper for like a dollar. These yellow lights right down here cut through the fog of Mount Akina like a hot knife through tofu. Now you know Vincent is
a real fan of Initial D because of this hood. Casual fans like Nolan
might say that Takumi’s hood was black, not gray. Well, Nolan is wrong. Takumi’s got the carbon fiber hood like this one in season five. You call yourself a fan, Nolan? You gotta work from the bathroom today. And the carbon doesn’t end there. Even the headlight
covers are carbon fiber. That’s some real nerd (bleep). This particular Corolla is
wearing Konig Rewind wheels. Now you real AE86 heads
might be saying to yourself, hey, oh buddy, that’s not what Takumi had, and you’re right, good job. Takumi’s car had Watanabes
or Wats on the show but those are super hard to
come by especially in the US. And these Konigs look the part. Vincent says that he would love to get his hands on some actual Wats, so if you have a real set for
sale, hit him up on Instagram. You know that’s what’s so
beautiful about the car community is we can all help each
other build our cars and then it’s like it’s all of our car. And the JDM touches just keep on coming. These corner and bumper lights, JDM. Window visors, JDM. Rear bumper, JDM. The rear taillights, you guessed it, JDM. Vincent didn’t just make the
outside of the car look good like Takumi’s. He did the inside too. The inside is maroon,
just like on the show. How cool is that? And it has all the
details that you’d expect from a true Initial D fanatic. The steering wheel is an Italvolante, and as you might have
guessed, yes it is very rare. The wheel is attached to
a MOMO quick release hub which makes it easier to
get in and out of the car. It was kinda hard for me to get into it. These seats are Recaro SPGs
with Recaro seatbelt pads just like the show. And Vincent upgraded the shifter too. The five-speed has a Toyota
racing development TRD short shifter kit for lightning
fast shifts in the twisties and a TRD shift knot just like Takumi. To let Vincent know how hard he’s going, he’s also installed water and
oil temp gauges in the dash. Speaking of water, no
Initial D tribute build would be complete with my
favorite part of this build, the piece de resistance, a lone water cup because you gotta drive smooth. You don’t spill a drop of that. You’re all like bored, it’s early morning. You’re drifting down the pass. So tired, I wish I didn’t
have to deliver all this tofu. Wait, driving’s cool? I can be a cool guy from driving? And there’s a drift. And now, for my favorite
part of every episode. What? It’s playing Initial D, the
live-action movie in the car. (laughs) I want this so bad now. Eurobeat intensifies. When Vincent bought this
car, it was pretty much a bone stock, bottom of
the Corolla line Corolla. The engine inside was an
anemic carbureted 85 pony power mill that could hardly
get out of its own lane. Now that would not be good
enough for my boy Vince or Takumi. A car like this deserves
one of the greatest engines Toyota ever built, the 4AGE. This particular 4AGE is the silver top. It’s what I call my dad. It has five valves per cylinder, which makes it breathe
extraordinarily well unlike my dad. The engine is also equipped with Toyota’s variable valve timing
system, basically VTEC. As the engine increases in RPM, the rockers will switch to a more aggressive can profile on the fly, which increases the amount
of air entering the cylinder. At higher RPMs, this is crucial. Other engines without this feature can be starved of air and
lose power at the top end, but not this little guy. He does really good at the top end. The 4AGE has a red line of
7600 RPM and it sounds amazing. Now this little engine might
only make about 130 hrspr but it’s a spirited 130 hrspr. And the car only weighs 2300 pounds too, so it’s like a little
power number like that ain’t a prob, Bob. You’re gonna be driving
this thing downhill anyway, so you don’t need power baby. Let the gravity do the work. Like most aspects of this car, Vincent didn’t leave
the engine stock either. No, it’s got individual throttle bodies from a later version of the 4AGE. It’s also got an upgraded
radiator, oil cooler relocation kit, and a struck bar to make the front end more rigid. All the power from the engine
goes through a five-speed manual transmission and
flows to the rear wheels through a limited slip rear end. Unlike a lot of cars of the era, the Corolla did not possess
independent rear suspension. And that’s one of the reasons it’s so fun. It was Toyota’s affordable commuter car and they saved money wherever they could. The solid rear end and
limited slip differential make the Trueno incredibly easy to drift as demonstrated by the
original drift king himself, Keiichi Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya-san was a race
car driver in Japan who basically invented drifting. He would take his Corolla
into the mountains and slide it around every turn. His asphalt punishing
exploits were captured in a film called Pluspy, which turned the tuner scene on its head back in the late 80s. No one had ever seen this kind of driving. The film and Tsuchiya
were direct influences on the creation of Initial D. He even consulted on the show. He’s like, mm yeah, slide
more, mm probably slide less, he probably turned his hands like this. Oh yeah, e-brake here. Great, it’s perfect. Let’s go get a tiny weird
coffee from a vending machine at a rest stop. The car’s lightweight
and simple suspension make this Toyota one of
the best drivers cars ever. It is not fast by any means. But it is responsive and it is forgiving. Dad. And when we were at the front of the car, I know that you guys
were scared that I forgot my favorite part but I didn’t. Trueno means thunder, and you can’t have
thunder without lightning. And lightning means. ♪ Pop, pop, popup up and down headlights ♪ ♪ Popup up and down headlights ♪ ♪ Popup up and down headlights ♪ ♪ Popup up and down headlights ♪ ♪ Popup up and down
headlights, pop, pop, pop ♪ The AE86, especially this one, has a special place in
the hearts of car nerds all over the world, and while this might not be a real AE86, it might as well be. Vincent put a ton of work, bringing this car from the TV
screen into the real world. And that’s a passion
any fan can appreciate. Thank you, Jimmy. A big thanks to ExpressVPN
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today with ExpressVPN. And now, back to the show. Thanks for watching Bumper to Bumper. Every Tuesday, new episode
until the day I die. Also watch Wheelhouse on Monday and my other show Up to Speed on Thursday. We got a ton of new
shows coming all summer. If you like this episode,
make sure you let us know by hitting that Like button. Follow me on Instagram @JamesPumphrey. Follow Donut on Instagram @DonutMedia. Wanna learn more about the
86, watch this episode. You want a fun car for less than 10 grand, check out this episode of Wheelhouse. I love you.