A Brief History of the Toyota AE86 Corolla

Story by Ben Hsu // Photograpy By: Jeremy Heslup

We’re big fans of Japanese Nostalgic Car here at Petrolicious, and have decided to launch a series on historically-significant Japanese cars. For the second in this series, JNC has written a great history of the Toyota AE86, a condensed version of which is shared here.

For the uninitiated it’s “just a Corolla,” but the AE86 goes by many names. Anime star. O.G. drifter. Hachiroku. Overhyped. AE86 itself is perhaps the nerdiest of them all, named after Toyota’s internal chassis code for the model. Even as recently as a couple of years ago, one could still make the claim that the 1985-97 Toyota Corolla GT-S was unappreciated or underground for most of its life. Now, as it turns 30 years old, that’s no longer true. As if you needed another reminder that you’re getting old, the AE86 has spent more than half its existence hoarded, hooned and fanboy’ed as one of the most important cars Toyota’s ever built.