Someone shared a video of an insane 3S-GE BEAMS Carina drift taxi with me! At first I though it was a 20 valve 4A-GE because the Youtube teaser showed “ITB Sounds” but I quickly changed my opinion when I heard the tune of that sweet 3S-GE!

Sweet ITB Sounds

The video was taken at Go Japan! at Brands Hatch three weeks ago on the 24th of September 2023. The driver and owner, Edmard, uses his Carina AA63 as a drift taxi and just drives with various passengers. The footage (cut) is over 35 minutes long!

Naturally I was curious about Edmard’s Carina, so I started browsing through his channel. Luckily I found a video in which he tells us the story of the Carina himself.

Edmard’s Carina GT AA63

Edmard’s Carina came from Japan as an original 4A-GE GT spec. In contrary to what he says in the video, this is not an early (zenki) car. He thought the GT spec was only available on the zenki Carina and then was replaced by the GT-R. However, this is not the case.

Is it a zenki or kouki Carina?

Edmard's Carina: 3S-GE BEAMS
Edmard’s Carina: 3S-GE BEAMS

The early Carina only had the GT spec available with the 18R-G RA63 and the 2T-G TA61 engines. When the 3T-GTE replaced the 18R-G in September 1982, this split the GT trim level into GT for the 2T-G TA61 and GT-T for the TA63 3T-GTE. In addition to the GT-T trim level, also the new GT-TR trim level was introduced. This trim level has a much more luxurious specification featuring alloy wheels, air conditioning and power steering. The GT-T trim level was meant as a more lightweight and basic trim level. When the 4A-GE replaced the 2T-G during the facelift (kouki) in May 1983, also the more luxurious GT-R trim level was introduced. This means Edmard’s Carina is a kouki Carina with the more basic trim level.

Edmard's Carina: 3S-GE BEAMS swapped
Edmard’s Carina: 3S-GE BEAMS swapped

Another way to distinguish a kouki Carina from a zenki are the headlights, grill, door mirrors and tail lights. On the quad headlights the bezel streches all around the headlamps including the top. Also the grill has a more complex structure and looks a bit similar to an H on its side. The door mirrors on this Carina are more streamlined foldaway type. The tail lights on this Carina are the ones with the trapezoid shape. All in all the perfect example of being a kouki Carina.

Maybe I should do a blog post about the differences between the various Carinas? Let me know in the comments below!

3S-GE BEAMS Carina swap

Edmard's Carina: 3S-GE BEAMS swapped
Edmard’s Carina: 3S-GE BEAMS swapped

Edmard swapped the 4A-GE for a 3S-GE BEAMS engine from an Altezza. He used a MotorFIX kit for this that they, allegedly, have for sale on Yahoo Auctions. This sparked my interest and I went to look on Yahoo Auctions, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find such a kit. Maybe they already sold out?

Interior and exterior mods

Edmard's Carina: River Side R-101 wheels
Edmard’s Carina: River Side R-101 wheels

The Carina came to the UK with a set of Hoshino Impul Silhouette/G5, but Edmard replaced the front with a pair of Riverside R-101s.

Edmard's Carina: clean 3 spoke steering wheel
Edmard’s Carina: clean 3 spoke Nardi steering wheel

The interior is standard GT interior without the Twin Cam 16 fabric. The interior used to be fully blue, but Edmard painted most of the plastic parts black. Also the dashboard was heavily cracked when it arrived from Japan and he rewrapped it with new vinyl. You can see the remains of the blue interior on the door cards. A simple three spoke Nardi Personal steering wheel makes the look of a street drifter complete!

My verdict

I really envy Edmard for finding such a pristine example! I’d wish mine would be as good as his! At least now I have another Carina I can take inspiration from!