A (Tofu Delivering) Petrolhead's Dream Christmas Eve!
Most petrolheads, especially fans of JDM cars, have heard of the Toyota AE86. A formidable racing car on both the circuit and rally stages when it came out in 1983, the AE86 became a worldwide phenomena after the manga, anime, and game series, Initial D came out in 1995.
I was a fan of the series when it came out and have literally grown up with the show. (Born in 1996). So you can just imagine my excitement when I was invited to go to an AE86 meet as a photographer at the Honda Safety & Racing Circuit, HSR, in Kumamoto, Japan.
Crappy Snapchat video
In true tofu delivering fashion, I woke up at 5:30 and met up with my friend before dawn. As we waited at the local convenience store for another AE86 owner, I took a few pictures of my buddy's car.
6a.m, the perfect time for a Panda Trueno.
This lighting and atmosphere gives me a really strong eurobeat, Initial D vibe.
After awhile, our friend showed up.
With that, we begin our journey to the circuit.
It must be "Fujiwara" in me, but early mornings are definitely the best time for the AE86.
And what's better than one 86 in the morning? Two 86's in the morning!
Lovely how the little Trueno stands out so clearly from everyday traffic.
It may be an AE86 day, but the track does belong to Honda, and of course the safety car would be a Type R.
Coming back to our main event, I have never seen so many AE86's whether it be Levins or Truenos, coupes or hatchbacks all in the same place!
These two are just the perfect siblings. Coupe and hatch, Trueno and Levin. Same number on the plate as well!
Next up, we got a true treat. As a send off for the end of the AE86 production, the last 400 AE86's produced were sold as a limited edition, commemoration model called the AE86 Black Limited. Sold only in the Sprinter Trueno body style, the Black Limited was a Japan only special and is considered the unicorn of AE86's.
Here are a few shots of my friends' AE86 Truenos in the daylight.
The guy who owns the 86 with the spoiler owns another 86 that is incredibly beautiful, but could not drive it out that day due to engine troubles.
While the "lackey 86's" waited to get onto the track, the "86 higherups" were preparing their cars at the pits.
Here we have the bossman and his time attack AE86. This was an absolute beast of a car, and it is quite fitting that it belongs to the leader of the local AE86 Owner's Club as well as a seller of AE86 parts.
My favorite part of this car is that despite all the upgrades, it still has a 4A-GE engine. If you think this car is crazy, take a closer look at the one next to it.
A beast of a Levin to complement the beast Trueno. This Levin had most of its panels replaced with carbon fibre and even sports titanium wheels.
Even the engine bay is lined with carbon fibre.
All the markings on this Levin were carefully hand applied over the carbon panels and just screams perfection.
Definitely tops my list of favorite 86's. Next, we have a red AE86 GTV!
This one also sports a real carbon bonnet.
Now here is a look at some of the other 86's at the meet.
Now, it was time to enter the track!
With the carbon Levin leading the charge!
And my friend giving us the bird from his AE86. XD
After a sighting lap, we lined up all the 86's for a general photo session!
My friend looking cool by his 86.
A couple of young petrolheads who had a dream, and achieved it. Kind of jealous of these two young ones. Really glad I met these two. Now here are my shots of their cars!
It was truly a spectacle to see all these classics on the track.
After the photo session, the AE86 circuit parade started and I got to take some nice shots and video of these beauties.
After around 7 laps, the cars now rest, the day over.
Then there was the journey home, bringing an end to such a wonderful Christmas Eve.
And now, VIDEO!
And that concludes my AE86 adventure! Which one was your favorite? What do you think of the AE86? Are you a fan of Initial D? Comment your thoughts down below, and as always, thanks for reading!
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