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Toyota Corolla AE86 (1983 - 1987)

Last updated 19 September 2013

 
5
Fun handling, excellent performance
Legendary drift car so now very expensive, rust and beware imports with fictional history

Introduction

It's not often that a car becomes known by its factory codename rather than the model name it was sold by in the showrooms. But joining the Rover SD1 and Alfa Romeo Type 105 comes the Toyota AE86 - one of the Japanese classic car scene's halo cars. It probably came about because back in 1983, when you could buy these cars new, there was the confusing situation in the UK where you could buy your Corolla GT with either front- or rear-wheel drive.

Both were exceptional fun but it's the RWD AE86 (known as the Corolla Levin GT in Japan) that has captured the hearts of a generation of Playstation fans, drift fanatics and club rally drivers - especially in Ireland. And that's pushed up values. It was powered by a twin-cam 16-valve 122bhp 1.6-litre that thrived on revs - and that married beautifully with the RS 2000-style tail-happy handling that came as standard. Rust is now an ever-present issue, but most are cherished now - thankfully.

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