Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: GT Apex (Page 1 of 2)

Is this AE86 heaven or hell? – Japanese Rustoseums

Seeing a rusty AE86 is always sad, but seeing five makes me wonder whether this place in Japan is AE86 heaven or hell. Welcome to another Japanese Rustoseum post!

Wrecked zenki panda three-door Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86
Wrecked zenki panda three-door Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86

Let’s start with the first one. This is a presumably late-1984 or early-1985 white panda zenki Trueno GT Apex 3-door that has suffered from some accident damage. The front has been caved in, which means it’s probably a write-off. I think it’s a GT Apex as it does feature the bucket sports seats, and panda paint and doesn’t seem to have an areal on the right fender.

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Video: The very first Best Motoring Hot Version

Last week I discovered Ka Ko (via Rocketpencil) who posts Best Motoring videos on an almost daily basis! :)
One of the gems he posted last week is the very first edition of Best Motoring Hot Version:
Video Best Motoring Hot Version first volume
As you can see there is a thrilling battle in this episode: the infamous Keiichi Tsuchiya battles with an (almost stock) Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 the (back then) brand new Toyota Corolla Levin GT Apex AE101 featuring the new 20 valve Silvertop 4AGE. The battle is very very close even though the AE101 has a lot more power under the bonnet!

What else can you expect from Best Motoring Hot Version Volume 1?
– Toyota Levin GT Apex AE101 vs Toyota Trueno GT-Z AE101 vs Honda Civic EF
– Toyota Levin GT Apex AE101 (superstrut) vs Toyota Levin GT Apex AE101 (non-superstrut)
– Toyota Levin GT Apex AE101 (superstrut) vs Toyota Levin AE86
– RX7 Drift vs Grip
– Group A Nissan Skyline GT-R cup with Keiichi Tsuchiya drifting his Taisan GT-R R32 on a wet Fuji Speedway!

Watch the full video below:
Continue reading

Commercial Time: Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE92

The Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE92 only had one drawback: progress!
Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE92
With the E90 platform of the Corolla and Sprinter Toyota finally moved to FWD only. Even the sporty Trueno and Levin coupes were now front wheel drive, or should I say wrong wheel drive? :P

I must say the AE92 lines are really a refinement of the ones we had seen on the AE86 and the GT engine options were excellent: you could choose from the small-port 4A-GE or the super charged 4A-GZE, so if only Toyota stuck to RWD… Continue reading

Wrecked: red panda Sprinter Trueno GT Apex

On January second 1997 this almost mint red panda Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86 died:
Wrecked: red panda Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86
This zenki Trueno was built in July 1984 and featured Bilstein shocks, TRD lowering springs, TRD LSD and a Tanabe limited exhaust. The wheels are a bit difficult to identify since they are not listed, but looking at the design it could come close to a set of black Advan A3As.

From the picture above it does not look that bad, but from the rear it becomes apparent why this car was declared to be totaled: Continue reading

Video: Levin On European Circuits

Evan already posted these videos on HR blog, so I’ll just repost them here! They are videos from Toyota shot on several European circuits:

Probably an exhibition video by Toyota to see how well the new AE86 was appreciated in the old world, so this has got to be between May and August 1983.

As you can see they did not use the Euro Levins (aka Corolla GT) but took their own. Both Levins are early GT Apex models: apart from the decals you can see both have the rotating grille and the white coupe has a black moulding on the trunk.

The white Levin shows some nice action when it goes sideways on the Nurburgring before heading over to Spa and Zandvoort. Funny detail is that both Zandvoort and Spa were Formula One circuits at that moment while the Nurburgring was working hard to make a comback with the Eifelring. On Spa they really go wild on the long corners and on Zandvoort they do some faint drifts on consecutive corners. :)

The Corolla sedan in Europe Scenery is a bit of a letdown after all that action! ;)

Tomorrow a follow up on this video, so stay tuned for more! :)

AE86 Trivia: Rotating grille Corolla Levin

As being an admin of AEU86 I’ve seen a lot of questions, facts and fun stuff about the Toyota AE86 (hachi roku). I also see a lot of questions returning even though we documented it on the FAQ already.

AE86 Trivia
This week we feature the rotating grille found on the zenki Corolla Levins!

First of all you probably think something like rotating grille? What is that? Well, it is exactly what it says: a rotating grille!

zenki Corolla Levin GT Apex with rotating grille
zenki Corolla Levin GT Apex with rotating grille

During the 80s Japanese car manufacturers were packing their cars all sorts of gadgets and to keep up with the competition they had to come up with the latest inventions! One of these things was the rotating grille as found on the Corolla Levin AE86, but only in the GT Apex trim. It is just another thing like the side mirror wipers found on the Toyota Mark II X80 series.

Rotating grille in opened and closed position
Rotating grille in opened and closed position

Basically what it did was having a closed grille when the engine is under normal operation to improve the drag coefficient and when the engine is under stress it would open up to give it more cooling. It had a thermostat which opened the grille when the water temperature was hot enough. Then the grille would open up and show the twincam 16 logo instead of the Levin logo when closed.

If you want to mount one yourself you definitely need the grille itself and the hoses and thermostat as well! As far as I know these parts are not available anymore at Toyota, so you will have to get almost all parts to make it work!

Rotating grille assembly as in the EPC
Rotating grille assembly as in the EPC

Then you need to hook it up between your engine and radiator like this:

How to hook up the rotating grille
How to hook up the rotating grille

As said before: it only operates at really high temperatures, so you really need to push the engine far to have the grille open up! Remember that the GT Apex trim was meant as a luxury trim and not a performance trim: therefore the GT and GTV trims got the louvre grille instead of this the much heavier rotating grille.

So is it worth its money then? Well that’s a bit hard to tell: it does serve a purpose to decrease the drag coefficient but it won’t save you much in fuel, especially if you push the car hard to get it open! ;)

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