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PAPERCUTS> Project Car Magazine w/ AE86

Project Car Magazine AE86 Special with Taka Aono Corolla Drifter

I just realized that I haven’t posted up a “Papercuts” story in quite some time. To tell you the truth, it’s because I haven’t even bought any car magazines in quite some time. There was a time in my life when I would go to bookstores and hang out, just to check out all the car magazines that were out. My friend Kenta and I would meet up at Barnes & Noble or Borders (or better yet, the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Little Tokyo or Torrance) to check out the latest car magazines every single month. I miss going to bookstores just to chill and check out magazines… I’m not sure if I haven’t been going because I’ve just been busy, or if the magazines these days don’t intrigue me…

Whatever the case may be, I stumbled upon this copy of Project Car Magazine at the CVS Drugstore in Studio City. This issue caught my eye because I saw my friend Taka Aono on the cover; after all, he is the USA’s undisputed top AE86 driver. I thumbed through it really quickly, and decided within 20 seconds, “that’s it. I’m actually gonna buy this issue.” While my 10+ years of Living the 86 Life have led me to own just about every AE86 book or manual that has ever been produced in Japan, it’s honestly pretty rare to see magazines that actually produce good stories about AE86s stateside. I definitely think this magazine was worth the $6 or 7 (ouch!) that I paid at the cash register.

Even though he’s probably the one Source Interlink magazine editor I don’t really know, I really gotta give props to Project Car editor Gary Narusawa and his crew over there. Working with a limited budget and a skeleton crew, they produced something that they (and we) can all be proud of.  Producing a magazine like Project Car doesn’t look like it’s all glamourous and glitzy, like some of the other Source titles. Instead of America’s Next Top Import Model on the cover, he featured a dirty, grimy, Japanese guy with super bleached hair on the cover, with a car that most other magazines think is “too old” to do stories on.

Major f*cking PROPS on going against the grain, Project Car Magazine… and if you ever need help with illustrating your great tech stories, the entire MotorMavens Crew is down to support you. This issue even got me inspired to get my own AE86s back on the road (and on the track!). I’ll be keeping a copy of this issue in my garage with the Cipher Garage twin AE86s for a while!

If you own an AE86 (or if you’re thinking of buying an AE86 in the future), GO BUY A COPY OF THIS MAGAZINE!

:: Antonio Alvendia

PS:  It was great too see our own fam, HerbrockOne from Cipher Garage/Cabe Toyota mentioned in the mag! They should have put a photo of Herb up in there – he’s an AE86 OG!

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16 Responses

  1. Lucas Perez

    I saw this the other day and was amazed that there was a whole magazine dedicated to the AE86!! Sure maybe its only one issue, but its still rad.

  2. Edward Uche

    Amazing issue, I too noticed all the references to Cabe Toyota, showing Herb mad love there.

    Can’t wait to get started on my 86 and complete the FC….sheesh.

  3. Jose Mena

    hey i’m a AE86 owner and i would like to have more advices to rebuild my car cause i’m planning to start my project in less than 6 months, and this magazine could help me right!!

  4. Saint

    Bra Project Car Mag is Da shizt!
    They gert grezy wiht their tech pages.
    they don’t gloss over how hard it is.
    and they did a CRX restoration that is awsome.
    They deserve to be monthly, but are every 3 months.
    But I would buy them first over any other car mag.
    If you want to get into import cars then any of thise other mags will do.
    If you want to trench on one that you need to start collecting Project Car Mag.
    I am about to do a 5 speed swap on my s13, and Project Car Mag is my instriction manual.

    P.S. They need someone to get their internet sit up and running.If anyone out there has some real Skilz; then drop a line to Gary, he is kind enought to talk to us mear mortals.

  5. eg hEAD

    Project Car magazine has turned my life around
    I was into bad things then i picked up a copy and it Changed my Life
    Thanks PC

  6. this was a great issue. lots of useful info. every potential newb ae86 owner should pick one up before deciding whether or not this is going to be the right project for them. there’s supposed to be a follow up issue coming out too. woot!

  7. Camilo Polimeni

    Antonio, herb hasnt helped only on the west coast, I’m from Costa Rica (central america) and he has not only helped me, but several 86’ers down here!!

  8. Lou

    Cannot wait for the next issue!

    Gearbox & diff. in next issue.

    I almost bought an extra for safe keeping.

  9. herbrockone

    I agree Antonio, from a consumer and a 86 enthusiast this was a good thorough read. The step by step and short cuts detailed are precious and time saving. I still get calls from this issue. Peeps would call and say, “do you have those parts on page 65.” And then order them real convenient for me.

    Taka came by shortly after it was released to pick up some parts from me and I got all giddy and asked him to sign my copy. I felt bad cause he said he had to buy his own. I was like whaaat? Can someone hook Taka up with some comp issues or at least some hero cards with the cover shot.

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