When it comes to Japanese cars from the 1980s, I've never quite seen one that evokes as much love, nor as enthusiastic a following, as the AE86 Toyota Corolla. To some people they're just weird old hatchbacks that look more suited to being driven by elderly ladies to the supermarket and back; but to others they are lightweight, rear-wheel drive cars with fun engines that beg you to drive them hard - not to mention a certain character and style that you only get from 1980s Japanese design. It's just crazy to think that, when I was much younger, these cars could be picked up for a few hundred pounds. Nowadays, you can see some examples going for over £10,000!
On that note, if there's one country (excluding Japan) that has the biggest love for the AE86 as far as I've seen, it's got to be Ireland. I'm not sure what it is, but people the Irish are nuts for them and it always impresses me how such a small country can contain so many. There are more in Ireland than in most of the UK combined.
My personal love for the AE86 came about, like many others, through drifting. There's just something so right about seeing an AE86 being thrown sideways, foot to the floor, with the driver giving it everything he has. It's just RAW, and it's always been my dream, since I started shooting cars, to shoot an AE86. Not just any old 86 - it had to be the right one. So, when I came across some new photos of Killian O'Brien and Kevin Reilly's Levin and Trueno, I knew they were the ones I had to shoot. So, after organising things with Killian and Kevin, I and my girl (who happens to be a big fan of Corollas, too - luckily for me!) headed over for a taste of Team Tekno style! Read more...
I'm a big fan of Toyota's little AE86 (and I know a lot of MotorMavens readers are too) so, when I first heard about the plans for this meet earlier in the year, I knew I had to go! Let's take a look at some of the great cars that turned up! Read more...
Well, once again, I happened to be in the land of the rising Haggis (click here if you're unfamiliar with Haggis), and thought it would be cool to catch up with some of the guys and see how their cars were getting on! I hope you enjoy the dramatic "black and white" theme - it seemed to go so well with the cars and the scenery of Edinburgh. Read more...
It’s no secret that I and the rest of the MotorMavens Crew have a certain affinity for old school cars; especially cars from the 1960s and 1970s. When it comes to modifying a car from this era, I personally find it extremely important to retain the car’s old school look and personality. After all, the retro character is what I like most about a nostalgic car!
For those interested in making tasteful upgrades to their vintage vehicles in a period correct fashion, the ignition experts from MSD have released a limited edition retro redux version of their popular MSD 6AL ignition amplifier to celebrate the company’s 40th Anniversary! This 40th Anniversary 6AL amp features all the spark amplification power and features of their current 6AL model, but has the vintage MSD logo from 1970 on the outer casing. COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. (more…)
I was approached by MotorMavens about traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina to cover the NASCAR All Star Race weekend. MotorMavens was invited to cover the race as guests of Mobil 1, as well as take a tour of a full-blown racing facility, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and a few other surprise stops along the way. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity. Regardless of what I thought I knew about NASCAR, I decided I was going to approach it with an open mind. It's a good thing, too... because I learned a lot of interesting things about NASCAR and had a lot of fun in the process! Read more...
Thanks to our friends at YoParts and Belle 1 Communications, we were able to watch Formula D live; the DriftStream live feed was really fun and entertaining! It was like an old school AOL chat room with tons of drifting fans blurting out information and opinions; I was impressed at how many people got involved in the live chat, cheering for (and sometimes clowning) drivers and teams! All in all, it was super fun - and I quite honestly was pretty disappointed that I had to shut down my computer in the middle of the Top 16 so that I could drive to my friend's house for a party/bbq (it was my fault - I should have just driven over there early so I could watch the entire thing at his house).
Wall Speedway is a pretty interesting track. It was originally built for circle track cars, but somehow was able to re-purpose itself for drifting, thanks to a lot of phone calls, legwork, and planning by the Formula Drift staff. Wall Speedway is also the most extreme banking that Formula Drift competition cars run on, with the most extreme sections of the track being 30 degrees - a really big difference in comparison to Irwindale Speedway's 18 degrees of incline. Read more...
Video Option may well be the most powerful media outlet in the group; after all, most of my friends might agree with me when I say that the first time I (we) ever watched an Option Video tape, we were dumbfounded and immediately hooked on drifting and Japanese car culture. (Yes, that's right... I did say video TAPE... I'm showing my age here. I know that many of our readers have never used video tapes, only DVDs.) However, this isn't a story about Video Option... after all, it's Keiichi's birthday, so I thought it might be fitting to share some old school photos of my first (only) encounter with Keiichi's famous white TRD AE86, which inspired the hell out of us at an early age.
I realize that most people might think, "What the hell? A post about Keiichi on his birthday? You JDM fanboy!" Haha, it's okay, I'll admit it. When I first learned about drifting and Video Option and Best Motoring and AE86s and Keiichi Tsuchiya and Initial D in the mid 1990s, I was a fanboy. I don't care if you think that's lame, either... because at some point in our lives, we all idolized someone... whether it be a sports figure or famous celebrity or whatever. The only difference is, I have enough confidence to admit it. As I was growing up, I definitely looked up to guys like Keiichi Tsuchiya (and Nas and Blackthought and Q-Tip and De La, but that's another story...). Read more...
I got this awesome KP47 Toyota Starlet video link from Chihiro Yoshimura from AE/KP drift team Peak, from Kanagawa Japan. I absolutely LOVE the vintage racing footage of the old KPs… in the video, where they actually feature the car though, I was a bit puzzled because the car’s sitting on Gotti wheels, which are Italian, not Japanese. I would imagine that a car like this would/should be running some sort of TRD wheels or RS Watanabes or SSRs. I don’t think those Gotti wheels were originally used on this particular car… maybe the owner of the car, Kuwahara Racing, just swapped them out at a later date. But for once, let’s stop talking about wheels.
The real star of the show is the HEART of the Starlet – the Toyota 3KR racing engine, designated 137E and prepared by Toyota Team Tom’s for circuit racing. I had to pause the video and rewind it several times so that I could get a better look at the really cool vintage parts used on this car. Most of these are what I like to call unobtainium… that is, you will never in your life find parts like this! Stuff like the vintage KP47 TRD parts, like the fiberglass hood and N2 flares, TRD rear wing, TRD high rise 3KR headers… should I go on?! (more…)
While some of the other members of the Motor Mavens Crew are busy putting together their photos from this weekend’s Formula D Pro Am event, I thought I’d show post this scan of a car I’ve been admiring.
There are some blogs that I check out frequently, and I came across this scan from a 1999 Battle Magazine that Rob from Roadster:DRIFT posted up. The AE86 Levin has always been one of my favourite cars, so when I saw this, my jaw dropped. To some this might just be another Levin, but for me looks wise this is the PERFECT Levin! Just clean and simple with a Goodline front bumper and bonnet, TRD rear wing, and a few nice subtle touches like the kouki spec rear bumper, foglights minus the grill, and what looks like stock arches rolled and flared. It’s also sitting on a set of gorgeous RS Watanabe Type R wheels in 14x8J -6.
Like I said before, for me personally, this is the perfect Levin. But AE86s are cars that can have so many different styles applied to them and I’m sure any fan of the AE86 has their favourite. We’d love to hear from our readers what your favourite style is or even a particular car e.g., Katsuhiro Ueo’s famous D1GP Trueno.
Let us know!
:: Daniel Bridle
It was one of those perfect Florida days, with the tang of fresh salt water in the air and the sun seeming to just chill and hang out like an old friend – warm and breezy in a “no worries” sorta way. So, what does one do in Paradise? That’s right... check out the cars. We were in Florida to attend the Scion Exposed 6.0 event in Sarasota anyway, so we thought we'd do a little carspotting at the show. That’s where we saw our favorite car at the show - this clean, minimalist, emerald gem, owned by Nick Rico of the bB Squad. Read more...
Let’s kick off the week correctly, with this video of the Toyota Starlet Grand Cup, a one-make race consisting only of KP61 Starlets!!! I absolutely LOVE Starlets, so the images and sounds in this video are definitely soul stirring and inspiring to me. Can you imagine standing trackside at a circuit, watching a sea of TRD N2 fender wide bodied Starlets come over the crest and enter a turn, all together side by side?! Bad ass!!! One day, I will own a KP61 again.
I’ve owned two of them in the past, but they ended up getting sold because they weren’t clean enough for what I wanted… I’m looking for one without rust! I’m always on the hunt for another Starlet for my collection. And videos like this remind me that I need to get back on track. The Starlet hunt continues! Long live the KP61!
:: Antonio Alvendia
Congratulations to Tanner Foust for successfully battling the 120 degree heat and every single competitor he faced in tandem competition to win top honors at Formula D Las Vegas this weekend!
When you think about it, this is actually a historic feat – this is the very first time that a Scion has taken home a First Place trophy at Formula D! Whether it’s Tanner’s incredible skill behind the wheel or the 850 million horsepower TRD Nascar V8 engine that powers his Rockstar Scion TC, Tanner and his team have done an incredible job of building, testing and tuning a car that produces results for their sponsors. Props on the win guys!
Make sure to stay tuned to MotorMavens.com for more photos from Formula D Las Vegas!
PS: Scion, Rockstar, Hankook, AEM, and any other sponsors… you know who to contact for the best photos of the event! LOL
:: Antonio Alvendia