_Old dog, new tricks.

Giving a die-cast car to a little boy can go two ways. He can play with it like there’s no tomorrow, or he will ignore it and continue to play with his other toys. Though be careful which type of cars you are giving him. 

Buy it. If he prefers sports cars, then you better pray that he doesn’t get his drivers license too soon. Because that would mean that you have to let him join the public traffic. Yes, we all had to learn how to drive, but when you grew up with die-cast models, chance is real that you are one of those ‘sandpit-heroes’ that never grew up. Though it can even get worse, when they start realizing that drifting is an actual motorsport. In many ways this car is also a toy for drifting. At the last SEMA Show, this Toyota Corolla GT-S Coupe was the talk of the town. The story behind this project is quite amusing, since Formula DRIFT drifter Dai Yoshihara was kinda forced to buy an old ‘shitty’ looking Corolla AE86 Trueno. 

Break it. A couple months before, Dai rented the rear-wheel-driven Corolla to goo to the track. There he lost control. We don’t know why he lost track of the car, but these seems a good opportunity to spread the message once more that texting and driving is a no go. And when you wreck an old Toyota in this day and age, it can turn out to become an expensive mistake. Because there’s quite a huge fan base for classic Japanese cars. If you want to buy a car from the late 70s, 80s or even the 90s, you sometimes pay the same price as a modern JDM drive. Or you have a nice down payment in your hands for a classic Porsche 911. One way or the other, it is pretty insane that price of these classics are going through the roof these days, at moments when cities are banning cars with less cleaner engines.

Fix it. Daijiro Yoshihara immigrated early 2000 from Japan to the United States after he got involved in the Formula DRIFT championship. A championship where drivers don’t just battle against the lap time but also have to slide with style and a good-looking drifting angle through bends and chicanes. He conquered the Wild West with his driving skills and today the former FD Champion is still participating in this series. He also works as a stunt driver, tire tester and races in the Time Attack Series. So he knew a bunch of people he could trust to fix the broken Corolla. Together with Eimer Engineering and Evasive Motorsports, the Corolla was transformed into an ‘AE86 R’ – and the ‘R’ is no coincidence. It was time to take the ancient 110 hp Toyota 4A-GE 16V with gearbox and all the rest of the OEM parts to their final burial ground.

Love it. In the amber, blue, brown, gray, green, hazel or red eyes of the (ultra)conservative Toyota Corolla fan community, Dai’s Toyota is no longer considered as genuine. And that is because these days the engine bay is home of a modern Honda Civic Type-R engine. And we don’t see why this is such an issue for those so called die-hard fans. Whereas the new motor makes the car way more fun to drive, since you have three times a much horsepower and a much better fuel efficiency. Why always the hate for modern times?

Drift it. A full adjustable KW suspension classic coilover kit, a Formula DRIFT certified roll-cage and a set of sticky tires. After these adds it’s clear that Dai wants to go drifting with his Honda-powered Toyota. And since appearance also counts, there’s the presence of the supersede Pandem over fenders from TRA Kyoto. In company of these new wheel arches, even the 9-inch wide rims look super slender. Whether Dai will ever use his freshly built Toyota for professional drifting is still a big question mark. Though it would be without a doubt the perfect restomod to joyride on those narrow mountain roads. Or how to make an old dog feel young again…

Finding the right suspension for your car:




Choosing the right wheel for your car: