Gazoo Racing is now on hand for your Hachi-Roku requirements
By Matt Bird / Monday, November 1, 2021 / Loading comments
From Skyline GT-Rs to Delta Integrales, it’s clear that manufacturer sanctioned spare parts are becoming big business. And it makes sense: not only are the cars 30 years old, they’re also becoming more valuable. OEM spares will help sustain that price increase, and keep prized classics roadworthy. Moreover, as icons of their respective manufacturers, and often with historical significance that cannot be faked or repeated, it’s probably in everyone’s interest to keep the good ones in fine fettle. If an electric Integrale does happen, it’ll be good to have some survivors around to talk about ‘DNA’, ‘lineage’ and similar.
Talking of icons, the Toyota AE86 really has no equal in the history of Japanese cars. Both Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno (don’t ask us to explain the difference right now, we think it’s headlights) captured the imagination of enthusiasts like nothing else. Initial D helped, Best Motoring helped, BTCC title wins (yes, really) helped; the fact that the AE86 was a beautifully balanced front-engined, rear-drive coupe with a revvy twin cam did it no harm either. But the fact it’s still talked about so fervently today, that Toyota is willing to use ’86’ on a new car, and that a perfect Levin GT can cost £40k should tell you everything you need to know – it’s cult hero.
To keep the ’86s great, Toyota Gazoo Racing is building on its Heritage Parts catalogue – it already does some Supra and Land Cruiser bits – with spares for its most famous Corolla. At the moment, it’s a limited roll-out – rear calipers and driveshafts, plus steering knuckle arms – but it’s a start. The fact that these can be ordered like any other Toyota item at a Japanese main dealer, for a car launched almost 40 years ago, shows how seriously the whole endeavour is being taken.
The timing is clearly no accident; the new GR86 went on sale in its home country on Friday and the European launch is almost upon us, so what better opportunity to remind us all of the car’s badging origins. That the naturally-aspirated, rear-drive, manual coupe can’t have very long left in this world must be a salient point, too – those that are out there are going to be worth preserving as the future looms. Especially given the 86’s reputation as a drift hero; perhaps body panels might be worth adding to the spares list next…
- Classic Supra parts back in production
- New Toyota GR86 – official!
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