AE86 Project: Part 1

In summer of 2014 it had been over 4 years since being in Japan, and somehow, I had survived without a car for fun the entire time. Taking part in Final Bout in the late summer of 2014 as a judge really gave me the bug – and I was determined that in 2015 I would not just watch, but jump in and drive. The feeling of standing on the sidelines in 2014 was something I did not want to repeat. In late fall of 2014 I began to realize, I needed some sort of project in my life, not just a turn-key car. After much thought, going between another Roadster or maybe a simple s-chassis, I decided to build a Corolla. Not the cheapest or easiest route by any means, but it was something I had wanted to do for many years. I had been looking for the right chassis for a few months, and finally decided on a SR-5 chassis located a few hours from Chicago. It had been stripped down and painted but with all the parts in boxes, even GT-S parts for the conversion. I originally decided against it for a time, but after finalizing the direction for the drive-train of the car, found it to be the best option. Once thing that I knew from the start; the car would need to remain in Chicago and be built there, while I was stranded in Honolulu some 4,000 miles away.

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One of the things that I am always thankful for, is our amazing community in Chicago and the Midwest. With a few phone calls and texts, long-time friends Proceed agreed to run and pick up the car and as many of the related parts they could fit in the car.

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It was a cold, snowy day in central Illinois – and there were some challenges not planned for in getting it home, but they made it happen and I am so very grateful and thankful. This is why I love drifting; everyone is out to help and keep the spirit alive.

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Prior to the pickup of the car, my longtime friends and go-to shop TF-Works had agreed to take this project on. Without being able to wrench on the car myself, there was no other place I would rather have doing the work on this project. So after a few weeks of storage with the Proceed gents while awaiting a slot to open up at the shop, I was able to have the car moved and the real work began….

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