Belfast in two AE86s

A random message comes through on my phone ‘Want to go to Belfast for the weekend for a meet?’….Keith isn’t much for details at the best of times so a few texts later, I’ve got the gist of whats going on and we’re booking into a hotel just outside Belfast for the weekend.

Having never personally met David ‘The Boffin’ Hollinger I wasn’t as fully aware of how many lives he touched and how well he was known in the AE86 community here in Ireland. His unfortunate passing came at time when Ireland was in the midst of a Covid lockdown so it was only fitting when things began to open back up that a get together was organised in his honour.

The meet we were attending was scheduled for Sunday in a large retail park outside Antrim town. With a 6am start on the cards in order to meet Keith(@diffwrecker) & his brother David(@brokendiff) it was going to be a long (and loud) couple of days.

Waking up that morning to a message explaining that the ‘track exhaust’ from Keiths car was going onto the white Trueno we were travelling in had me reaching for a couple earplugs pretty quickly. We set off on that beautifully mild morning for a service station nestled between Dublin and Drogheda where many of the southern based 86 owners had agreed to meet in order to travel together to the event.

Travelling in such a large group of 86s and other classic Toyotas was pretty surreal as seeing one in the wild has become such a scarce commodity that seeing 30 or 40 pulled in on the side of the road is a bit of a pinch yourself moment!

Finally arriving at the event after a number of exciting junctions and some windy backroads, we were met with arguably the largest gathering of 86s in Ireland outside of 86 Fest. I’ve often spoken of the quality and detail people go to with 86s in Ireland but this time I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking.

After my maiden visit to Nutts corner after the meet it was back to the hotel for some dinner and a few beers. The next day was just meant to be a routine trip home but leaving the hotel we decided to go into the heart of Belfast(somewhere I had never been), to the Titanic Quarter and it was then I realised two things; why its so popular to shoot cars in this area, the architecture and infrastructure is truly beautiful with cobbled streets and red brick buildings ; I was here for the first time in what is my favourite Corolla ever.

Daves car is everything I think you could want in an 86 embodied into one machine. The perfect shoes in Watanabes, then add Popups, White, 20-valve, raw as fuck with the noise to match. Doesnt get much better than that, does it?

Big thanks to the guys for the invite to the weekend, I just wish it was for better reasons….

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