Last October was a busy month for me packed with gathering unique content that included this Toyota AE86 Trueno and AE70 duo. It started with a visit to Jakarta where I was able to report on the Indonesia Modification Expo, and I discovered some top notch builds from a car scene not many of us regularly follow. After Indonesia, I flew north to Japan where I embarked on a week-long adventure with Tokyo-based photographer David Ishikawa and newly-transplanted resident of Tokushima, Japan and Super Street writer, Micah Wright. We all shared an ambitious goal of meeting with as many feature car owners as possible while traveling through Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. A lot to handle? You bet! But was it worth it? Absolutely! Our goal was to create one of the best Japan issues of Super Street yet; however, due to the changes within the brand, instead of it going to print this year, we'll be unloading all the content exclusively here on superstreetonline.com in the coming weeks.
The first feature we put out was Masataka Ikeda and his pair of old school Toyota Corollas. The build quality of both cars was so good, they're arguably two of the dopest Corolla project cars we've ever seen! And since most of us are "working from home," including us here at Super Street, it gave me some extra time to dig through my hard drive and share with you these behind-the-scenes photos and video from our shoot.
AE70 Corolla Sedan on Custom Air Suspension
If you haven't read Micah's article on Ikeda-san's AE70 Corolla sedan, definitely check it out. Just to recap, though, here are a few of my favorite things about the car:
- It's a 1982 model, of the AE70 generation, and a sedan... Basically, a very unlikely candidate for a project car, and that's what makes this Corolla so impressive. These boxy sedans were your ordinary, affordable family car and not something you would build on to create something so modified and tuned, the way Ikeda-san has.
- Next, most people that would take on an obscure project car like this might just throw a set of wheels and suspension on it and call it a day. The fact that Ikeda-san transformed his engine bay into something so magical that you wouldn't even see on the majority of show car builds today, is unprecedented. Its 4A-GE comes from an AE86 and has been beefed up to make it fun to drive, while the bay has been tidied up extensively.
- I'm not huge on "stance cars", but Ikeda-san has gone above and beyond to get this sedan to sit perfectly and perform much better than what the thirty-year-old chassis was capable of doing, thanks to the double-wishbone rear-end and custom air bag/coilover setup. Then, there's probably no wheel better than the look of the wide 14x9" SSR Longchamps he went with.
AE86 Corolla Trueno
The second article we dropped was Ikeda-san's AE86 Trueno, a more popular vehicle we're used to seeing at Super Street, especially with the original "Panda" black-and-white color scheme intact. While it shares the same Longchamp wheel choice used on his AE70, the engine bay sets a new bar and is one of the most exceptionally shaved and tucked bays we've ever seen. The 4A-GE 20-valve looks completely detached and floating, almost as if it was never hooked up, but it is. The smoothing and tubbing around it is next level and you'll be hard pressed to find another bay anywhere around the world that rivals it.