Saturday, 28 January 2017

Patina Fade: the 1983 AE86 Toyota Sprinter Trueno...


Uniquely well-worn AE86 spotted at the TCCAV Classic Japan show last month. An early-production (1983), and high-specced Toyota Sprinter Trueno GTV; interesting for its survivor appearance - largely stock, and looking appropriately-tired all over.

Ran around and snapped a handful of shots of it; as yeah.. it was a surprisingly interesting look!

The blood-panda '86 sitting proper over a set of dainty 185/60-clad 14" RS Watanabes,.

Slide-back sunroof highlighting the torn vinyl and tired fabrics,.

...and the star of the show: the early blue-top 4A-GE, complete down to the exhaust heat-shield and intake pipework.

Loved seeing this thing, as that 'survivor' look was SO refreshing.
It's not unusual obviously, as it's a cool look on any model that's otherwise overly-loved, overly-restored, always-modified, et cetera. Can you imagine seeing a tatty Ferrari F40 parked in a train-station carpark? Yeah, that concept, just to a less ridiculous extent.

The surprising part here was the impossibility of it all; something that's hard to explain without launching into some long-winded paragraph... but hey, let's give it a go:
This is not like a now-classic vehicle sold new in Australia, possibly sold to someone who's owned it since new.. and let it simply deteriorate to this point. An original GT Falcon, or an old Porsche.. it'd be a rare find, sure, but no way far-fetched.
No, the problem is that we never sold these in Australia.
Vehicles imported second-hand on are either vanilla commuters for the masses (ship-loads of Toyota Estimas for example..) or enthusiast vehicles, like an 4AG-powered Sprinter Trueno GTV would've been amongst a sea of 4AC-powered locally-delivered nuggets.
These enthusiast vehicles are not-surprisingly imported by enthusiasts; and later sold, bought, sold, and re-bought by enthusiasts.. who are typically modification/restoration-happy. So an unrestored, unmodified, 4AG AE86? How the hell has that managed to dodge these buyers?

This looked as though it'd been dragged out a long time ago, then sat unused for quite some time; or was a survivor imported in more recent years. Yet in either case, this is a recent re-registration combination.. so how the hell has it managed to pass a roadworthy-inspection with torn seats and cracked lenses?
Maybe it was deliberately built to look this way? Maybe it was imported in more recent years, and registered through a very sympathetic roadworthy inspector?
Hey, maybe it just had a new set of plates issued?

Whatever... I couldn't figure it out; and short of that confusion irking me somewhat, I was just loving the whole aesthetic. What a cool thing. Here's hoping it stays exactly how it is...

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Alto still Works for me..

Hard to believe it's been near-enough four years since I last did a post about these..

It's Suzuki's third-generation Alto Works; which while may not come close to stealing my heart away from the oh-God-I-want-one second-generation cars.. is genuinely a ripper little thing on its own. Urgh, it's almost a shame for these things that the previous generation had to exist!

Regardless.. spotted this in the usual classifieds-website market-browsings, listed at a dealer in Hyogo, Japan (Mamba Auto Service); quickly followed by a thorough *right-click, save target as* session - it looked to be one of the tidier (/more original) examples of the model I'd seen in a while!

In detail?
A 1989 CM11V Suzuki Alto Works RS/R: top-tier for the third-generation of Suzuki's Kei-segment Alto, introduced the year before; the Works RS/R just nudging past the Works RS/X with its extra pair of driven wheels.

Yep, not only is it bloody adorable, this compact Kei hot-hatch is absolutely jam-packed with tech: an intercooled turbo on a twin-cam sraight three, a five-speed, 4WD....

...and multiple spoilers, vents, skirts, and intakes... all dressed in a dapper shadow-tone paint job!

The RS/R's original 5spoke 13" alloys, seemingly a visual point-of-difference from the RS/X and its basket-weave mesh.

Spinning those wheels...
..the RS/R's dainty all-wheel drive setup. Trailing coil-strut-sprung solid-axle, with an independent strut/coil setup at the steering end.

Hiding under the offset intake on the bonnet/hood; a little top-mount air-to-air intercooler, and Suzuki's DOHC, 547cc, F5B three.
The following year saw the Kei limit bump up to 660cc, and the Works RS/R blossom into the F6A-powered CP21S; but power 'remained' at the maximum '64ps'(47kW).

..and as always, don't scoff - remember these things weighed well under 700kg!

Moving in-and-through. Light wear and tear, a little oxidation to some plastics; but like the exterior, has otherwise held up very well for it's near-thirty years.
The sports steering-wheel and space-age seats are standard, as could well be the lack of audio. For whatever reason, an aftermarket shift-knob looks to be the only change..

..and back outside. We're done.

As written above, it looks to be a fantastic original example of a model only becoming rarer.
It is flagged as some accident history (repair), but seemingly this sorted overall, ~90,000km, and ~800,000yen; it'd still be worth a closer look.

Definitely a favourite.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Wheel-posts revisited: a rim roundup recap. Really.

No surprises here.

As with my first post of 2016 - for the sake of neatness and setting a trend - let's do another wheel-post roundup (!!). 
You see, thanks to blast-from-the-past that is the Blogger format; there's no hashtags, no tags.. so a roundup is useful to bring similar content together. Something that's then additionally handy when I use such brilliantly relevant titles as "The Maxim Racing mystery hour" and "Super Street: Taking the right at Awesome Avenue." Ohh, that confusion. 
In the case of wheels, here.. it's content many people (or Google crawlers.. I don't know..) seem to fancy in particular; so I'm sure as hell going to do my best to make that easier to find. 

So. Let's go. All the wheel-in-detail photosets from 2016:

Superlative Racing Dish: The Takechi Project Racing Hart D/spec..
November 2016
Takechi Project, Racing HART D/spec (D-spec)
15x6.5" +43
4H 100/114.3
October 1994.

Rays Engineering SUPERVOLK - 15"
September 2016
Rays Engineering, Super Volk.
15x6.5JJ +18
Monday the 17th of June, 1985.

Super Street : Taking the right at Awesome Avenue...
August 2016
Hayashi Racing Super Street.
"Center Lock Street Wheel"
14 x 7JJ +2
5x108~120, centerlock.
June 1982

The biggest spinner: the Super Longchamp XR-3..
March 2016
(SSR) Super Longchamp XR-3
Properly directional L+R.
Pearl white with machined faces. 
Three piece (usual SSR barrel-halves welded) with hidden hardware. 

April 1989 

The Maxim Racing mystery hour..
January 2016
Maxim Racing
Made by SSR for Maxim Japan.  
14x7.5", 'B' offset (+~9 measured)
November 1983. 
3-piece, with standard SSR reverse-mounting and welded barrel halves.

Heh... quiet year..

The previous one of these was actually everything from the 2012 start of the blog to that point.. and every bit of 2016's wheel content was previewed in that post. How? Because I didn't buy a single damn wheel in 2016. Not one. First time in years. I'd LONG ran out of space, and with the falling Australian dollar and rise in popularity of vintage wheels, I'd been priced out. 

Regardless, seems as though there's still plenty more in that above post that I'm yet to crack out, blow the dust off, and snap a bunch of photos of. Let's make 2017 that year. Get 'em done...