To somebody outside the world of drifting, it might seem odd that such a large number of people would get excited about a 1980s Toyota compact RWD car, especially a rusty example like the one entertaining us today. However, there’s a madness to the method.
Many of us enthusiasts simply have to drift. As YouTuber Alexi Smith (aka noriyaro) puts it in the first clip below, it’s one of the preferred methods of stress relief (that would be sutoresu kaishou in Japan, the country where this sport was invented).
Now in this digital age more than ever, we’re mad about cars that allow the driver to talk to the asphalt in an undiluted fashion. You know, vehicles where there are no electronic assists that make you look like a hero. And, thanks to its RWD nature, the Toyota 86, or Hachi-Roku, with its uber-basic live rear axle, does just that.
Of course, the N/A four-cylinder factory engine, which was downtuned to a little over 100 hp to meet American emission standards back in the day, means extracting the performance will make the driver sweat, albeit with the featherweight nature of the vehicle allowing one to predict the behavior of the car with ease.
Returning to the work of noriyaro, the Australian-born vlogger moved to Japan quite a while ago. And, being an avid JDM fan, bought his second AE86 last year, after regretting selling his original example.
The Beans86 Hachi-Roku
And with prices have skyrocketed over the past couple of years, not least thanks to Initial D manga/anime nostalgia hitting people hard, Alexi decided to go for a cheap unit, which explains all the rust issues of the machine, as well as the “Beans86” nickname of the thing (he also likes to give it the beans, by the way).
In fact, if you turn to the second clip below, which was shot when be grabbed the coupe, you’ll notice how this bug turned into a feature (hey, it sheds weight and provides floor venting), while the brakes used to have some problems of their own.
Note that the AE86 is the recipient of an engine swap, having received a Beams 3S-GE from a JDM Toyota Altezza, which is a N/A 2/0L making over 200 horsepower. And, as the YouTuber explains, the original motor would’ve brought a purer experience, but this seemed like an offer he couldn’t refuse. Besides, it’s not like the transplant tripled the power, dramatically changing the nature of the driving experience.
Meanwhile, the aficionado has addressed some of the car’s issues, but while the brakes were obviously handled properly, the bodywork is being done on pocket money, which brings us back to the first clip below. This sees noriyaro sliding the hell out of the little Toyota, while demonstrating just how uncostly fixing this car can be. So, what’s not to love about the whole adventure?