Projects: Toyota AE86 Trueno

Over the coming week’s we’ll be embarking on a project to turn this AE86 into one that captures the best of the modern day whilst celebrating the spirit of the 1980’s. We’d love to involve you guys in the challenge, so how would YOU bring this 80’s icon into the 21st century?

Torque GT imported this AE86 mid 2017 with the intention of using it as a project. For a car that’s now 31 years old its actually in pretty good shape, however there are a number of age related issues that need attention before we make our mark on this 80’s icon.

As you can see the bodywork needs tidying up but overall it could be much worse!


The alloy wheels are another area that require some attention. Question is, should we refurbish or change the wheels completely?

The interior still retains its 80’s charm but is certainly in need of a lift. Replacement seats or an eye catching re-trim? The steering wheel and stereo are other areas that could really transform the cabin but how do we retain the feel whilst bringing up to the modern day?

Although there will be plenty of calls to completely change the engine we feel this level of modification could potentially be a step too far, essentially losing too much of its character. How would improve this fabulous engine?

As you can the underside is exceptional for its age. Very little rust or damage is what really attracted our team in Japan to this little Trueno.

The suspension is a well known area that needs improving on the AE86. So it comes as no surprise that it already has after market suspension fitted. However our appraisal highlighted a weeping shock which leaves us with the opportunity to replace altogether or perhaps re-furbish. What suspension set up would you go for?

So, what would you do to this 1980’s JDM icon?

One thought on “Projects: Toyota AE86 Trueno

  1. Great article as always! Personally, I would keep the AE86 in the era it belongs as it represents the age of true engineering without all the technology and computer business we get in newer cars these days. Nothing beats retro mechanical driving like the AE86 so I would do the following:

    1. Refurb the wheels (although a set of retro Wantanbes or SSR alloys won’t hurt)
    2. Refurb the engine and upgrade to a set of Individual Throttle Bodies and lightweight flywheel for improved engine response (doesn’t need to be excessive as it would be nice to run this car as a daily)
    3. As for the interior, keep it original. Whilst I love a set of either BRIDE or RECARO seats, keeping the interior standard would help maintain the overall classic look. I’m very much of the idea of ‘keep it stock as possible’ (although being car enthusiasts, this doesn’t tend to last long!)
    4. In terms of suspension, running coilovers would give overall better handling but would be slightly rough riding as as daily but perhaps of set of TEIN Street Basis will do the job quite nicely – offering ride adjust-ability and damper control)

    All-in-all, I think it would benefit from some body work to get rid of the rough paint that it’s suffered over the years (perhaps a respray?) but keeping it original. No need for fancy colours as this is already a perfect car in its own right.

    Hope the build goes well guys! Will keep an eye on it.

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