The underdog, the little guy, the most fun car you can drive. All statements made about the AE86. What do they mean to most people?
I’ve always struggled to pinpoint what makes the mighty Corolla so good, even after driving a number of variants, its hard to put your finger on it. Having not ever owned the fabled Toyota before, I confess I’ve reluctantly walked away from two amazing examples due to bad timing and chasing other avenues.
To people outside Ireland, it may sound deranged but these cars pop up everywhere here. Thats sounds like a complaint? But, especially in the summer months, 86s are plastered across this little island at any automotive related event. Thats not really a complaint!
No matter my exposure, I still love the chassis and owning one someday is still one hundred percent on my to-do list, provided the prices dont get crazy crazy!
Having asked many questions and gotten few answers, back in the Summer of 2015/2016, my curiousity dragged me to ’86Fest’ in Mondello Park. A dry, heavy day saw a whole host of classic toyotas appear from all corners of the country in an event that was split into both grip and drift sessions.
It’s fair to say I’m not an 86 guru, but I really was clueless as to the extent of the variants relating to the chassis. Factory models, options, engines, the list of differences between ones Corolla and another could potentially be endless!
Slightly more knowledgable thanks to some of the people I’ve gotten to know since my first event four/five years ago, 2019 was set to see nearly two hundred 86s in attendance, a number that would rival most japanese held events.
A whole host of other Toyotas would present themselves on the day as well.
As with years gone by, the day was split into what is an ever popular Drift/Grip alternating scenario. Something that I love to see is these old Corollas being pushed beyond what they were ever intended to be pushed to in the pursuit of speed.
Further to my previous statement, the traction of this event is now such, that people from other countries have begun attending and even bringing cars to drive at the event. Last year, I was excited to see Rob May’s track focused Levin come from the UK.
This year, there were a number of other Corollas and foreign visitors.
The quality of car at these events was always really good but it has exploded significantly in the last two years.
I initially began writing this just after last years event and I got caught up in editing the video from the event which you can see here. Theres a list of events that need to make it on here and I’m currently working on getting more stuff up here soon.