Drifting a Toyota AE86 on Japan's Ebisu: Keiichi Tsuchiya-Style Old School Moves

Drifting a Toyota AE86 on Japan's Ebisu 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
With the Internet having spread the cult of the Toyota AE86 way past the borders of Japan, keyboard drifters simply assume monstrous sliding is guaranteed whenever Toyota's old school sportscar's name is mentioned.
Nevertheless, expecting a budget go-fast machine built in the 80s to provide hefty slip angles and serious sliding speed is rather silly. Sure, the Hachi-Roku does provide a brilliant starting point for a drift car project, but without serious investments, you'll simply end up spinning your way through the first corner and the speedometer needle won't climb too far in the process.

So, what's it like driving an AE86 that was converted to drift-sped in the 90s and left that way to be used as a reminder of how early drift cars felt like?

Fortunately, Japan-savvy enthusiasts Noriyaro, a guy who has delivered many JDM insights in the past, is here to provide an excellent answer. The man recently visited the Ebisu Circuit with the aim of driving just such a Toyota.

Under the hood, the little sliding devil packs Toyota's 4A-GE powerplant, which probably means that we're looking at under 150 hp here. And when you have this little power, throwing the car into a drift, as well as overcoming its tendency to spin when you go too far, will be anything but easy.

Back in the day, drift cars didn't come with the extreme steering angles we get nowadays, while hydraulic handbrakes hadn't been introduced yet. As a result, sliding this AE86 is one hell of a job, as our man demonstrates. Nevertheless, using the kind of driving seen in Keiichi Tsuchiya's old drifting videos, this driver finally manages to get the expected sideways thrills, as you'll be able to see in the video below.

P.S.: As a bonus, an important part of the clip is dedicated to deciphering the age-old stickers outside and inside the car.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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