1987 Toyota Corolla AE86 GT

****** Interested parties should note, this vehicle was subject to a CAT C insurance write off in 2006 for being keyed whilst on the vendors driveway, cost to re-paint was £1,400 ******

Highlights


• Astonishing, original, unmodified AE86
• Bought new by vendor in 1987
• All old MOTs and comprehensive history
• Serviced every year
• Top of the range example equipped with LSD

The Background


Behold one of the icons of Japanese performance motoring – as close as you can get to walking into a Toyota showroom and buying one today.

The AE86 was the coupé version of the Toyota Corolla E80, fitted with a high-revving twin cam engine and based on a narrow-track rear-wheel-drive platform, which made it absolutely perfect for tarmac rallying and – in more recent years – the art of drifting. 

As a result, it has become a car spoken of in revered tones by fans of Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) performance. Mention an AE86 to a JDM fan and chances are their eyes will roll back in their heads and they’ll start dribbling uncontrollably. 

Imagine their subsequent reaction when you tell them that they could buy one in absolutely stock standard condition, unrestored and pretty much as it left the Toyota Main Dealer in 1987. And that it’s for sale, right here, right now. 

This is not a car to take down to the TRD tuning shop on Gran Turismo. Oh no. This is a seminal, virginal AE86. A car that is as pure as they can be and unlike the vast majority of the remaining Corolla GTs in the UK, which have been modified, drifted or turbocharged to aircraft levels of boost. 

There’s a place for cars like that, and of course the culture they represent. And here’s where it all started. A completely unmolested AE86 that has had just one lady owner for all of its life. It’s a car that deserves to be enthroned and revered by all those who worship what it represents. After all, you’re unlikely to find another!

The History


In the summer of 1987, the one and only owner of this car walked into Hallens Toyota in Cambridge and ordered herself a brand new Corolla GT. Her one and only brand new car, and a present to cheer herself up after a relationship break-up.

The car to which she treated herself was delivered six months later, as it was built to order. Finished in Wine Red metallic with charcoal grey upholstery, E733 GFL was a standard GT with no additional extras, but with standard equipment including a sunroof, radio-cassette player and alloy wheels. These were big ticket items in 1987. 

She paid £12,500 for it, the equivalent of £30,425 today allowing for inflation. It was not a cheap car. 

What it was, though, was extremely well loved and for the past 34 years it has been her only transport, loved, cherished and maintained. In 2006, it sustained some minor paint damage and was written off by her insurers. She refused to let it go, bought it back and had it painted and put back to original condition. It was recorded as Category C, damaged and repairable by the insurers at the time, even though it was only the paintwork that sustained damage. Imagine an AE86 being treated like that by an insurance company today!

This is a very, very reluctant sale of a highly cherished car. The owner sustained an injury a couple of years ago and acknowledges that a car as analogue as the Corolla, which doesn’t have power steering and has a firm, mechanical gear shift, is no longer ideal for her needs so she has decided to part with her companion of 34 years to get something lighter and smaller – something she acknowledges will be a real wrench.

The Paperwork


Included with the Corolla is a box of paperwork relating to its history, including the very sales brochure from which the owner chose it in the first instance.

The original book pack is there containing the owners’ manual, a service book and a Toyota dealer directory. The service book is stamped by the main dealer for the car’s first nine annual services, after which it was serviced religiously every year when it was sent for its MOT. 

Unfortunately the car was keyed in 2006 whilst in-front of the vendors home and there are invoices for the respray and coachline work dated July 2006. It was for this reason that the car was written off. As a 19 year old car and without the valuation tools of today, this rare and largely unknown car was not yet considered worthwhile repairing. 

All but two of the old MOT certificates are included, while there are also service bills for nearly every year of the car’s life. It’s obvious from the paperwork that the Toyota has been cherished and adored, and has never wanted for anything. The current MOT runs until April 2022, with minor advisories. 

Also included: spare original nearside rear light clusters, the left with minor damage to the lens, these are the original ones removed after the owner bought a new pair to replace the damage to the left hand cluster. 

The vendor has ordered a replacement V5 as she has misplaced the original. This should arrive before the end of the sale, however with the DVLA delays we are all currently experiencing, we thought this worth mentioning. 

The Exterior


This is one very, very cool piece of Eighties retro. From the trapezoid styling to its Wine Red paintwork and turbine-style alloys, it looks absolutely amazing. 

Of course, this is an original 1987 car that has never been restored, and to expect absolute perfection would be unreasonable. Some of the side graphics have faded on one side (though the other side is perfect if you wanted to use it as a design guide to get more made up) and there are a few minor marks and glitches. 

The most noticeable is some bubbling under the paint on the sunroof, while there’s also a small rust bubble on the tailgate under the back window and another on the nearside rear arch. The underside has seen some minor welding in its history, but the owner has always had this done no-expense spared and the underside looks to be in really good order. 

The Interior


How gloriously Eighties is this? Charcoal Grey velour, black vinyl A-Frame head restraints, lots of squared edges and shiny plastics, a stripy instrument cluster, blue digital LCD clock and a radio-cassette player, all rounded off with a professionally installed Nokia 3110 car phone. It’s retro heaven. And as for that three-spoke sports steering wheel….

It’s in glorious order, too. No major wear, all of the dials and controls work as they should and the boot carpet is barely worn, with a full-size alloy and toolkit. 

One thing to be aware of is that the car was adapted slightly to make the seating position more comfortable for its owner, so spacers have been fitted to the steering column and front seat. These are bolted in and will be very easy to remove. 

The Mechanics


With its comprehensive history and one owner from new, the Toyota has been impeccably well looked after, while the mileage of just under 93,000 is very low for a car of its age, and is verified by all of the paperwork and receipts to go with it. 

It was driven to the photo location by a friend of the vendor and he reports that it is a really pleasant and lively car to drive – which is not surprising given the 127bhp and 7,000rpm red line. Chances are it has never stretched its legs to JDM performance levels, but it sounds lovely and sweet and has evidently been fastidiously looked after throughout its life. 

The Appeal


For fans of 1980s cars and enthusiasts of JDM culture, the Corolla AE86 GT is a pretty special car, so to find a one-owner example that has been garaged for most of its life, loved, used and cared for by an owner that has had it from the very day it left the main dealership is utterly incredible. 

It’s in lovely unrestored condition, is more or less totally standard, has never been modified and is a very, very special survivor. 

We suspect this car might even be unique – if not, then if there is another one it’s tucked away, hidden in a suburban garage. Just as this one has been for much of its life, in fact. You’re unlikely to get the opportunity to buy a car like this ever again. 


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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make Toyota
  • Model Corolla AE86 GT
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 92,773 Miles
  • Engine size 1587
  • Location Bedfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
119 bids
  • ly•••• £46,250 22/07/21
  • St•••• £46,000 22/07/21
  • ly•••• £45,750 22/07/21
  • St•••• £45,500 22/07/21
  • ly•••• £45,250 22/07/21
  • St•••• £45,000 22/07/21
  • ly•••• £44,750 22/07/21
  • St•••• £44,500 22/07/21
  • ly•••• £44,250 22/07/21
  • St•••• £44,000 22/07/21

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